What is Uranus: Definition and 28 Discussions

Uranus is the seventh planet from the Sun. Its name is a reference to the Greek god of the sky, Uranus, who, according to Greek mythology, was the great-grandfather of Ares (Mars), grandfather of Zeus (Jupiter) and father of Cronus (Saturn). It has the third-largest planetary radius and fourth-largest planetary mass in the Solar System. Uranus is similar in composition to Neptune, and both have bulk chemical compositions which differ from that of the larger gas giants Jupiter and Saturn. For this reason, scientists often classify Uranus and Neptune as "ice giants" to distinguish them from the other giant planets. Uranus's atmosphere is similar to Jupiter's and Saturn's in its primary composition of hydrogen and helium, but it contains more "ices" such as water, ammonia, and methane, along with traces of other hydrocarbons. It has the coldest planetary atmosphere in the Solar System, with a minimum temperature of 49 K (−224 °C; −371 °F), and has a complex, layered cloud structure with water thought to make up the lowest clouds and methane the uppermost layer of clouds. The interior of Uranus is mainly composed of ices and rock.Like the other giant planets, Uranus has a ring system, a magnetosphere, and numerous moons. The Uranian system has a unique configuration because its axis of rotation is tilted sideways, nearly into the plane of its solar orbit. Its north and south poles, therefore, lie where most other planets have their equators. In 1986, images from Voyager 2 showed Uranus as an almost featureless planet in visible light, without the cloud bands or storms associated with the other giant planets. Voyager 2 remains the only spacecraft to visit the planet. Observations from Earth have shown seasonal change and increased weather activity as Uranus approached its equinox in 2007. Wind speeds can reach 250 metres per second (900 km/h; 560 mph).

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  1. Dukon

    B Trace methane in Uranus and Neptune, condensing into diamonds

    Uranus and Neptune have roughly an 80-19-1 $H_2$-$He_4$-$CH_4$ mixture. (Of course actual percentages vary but those are rough values for sake of this simplification argument -- unless their actual values are critical to the answer.) Uranus temperature is reported as 2K while Neptune is 20K...
  2. bbbl67

    I About the tilt of Uranus' axis

    Now, Uranus seems to have had an eventful early life. According to theory, it got hit by a large planetary body, which knocked it's axis to nearly 90°. Also according to another theory, it apparently had a close encounter with Neptune which took Neptune further away, when initially it was closer...
  3. nmsurobert

    B Uranus and/or Neptune Lab ideas

    I teach high school astronomy. I have been searching the interwebz for a lab or "meaningful" activity related to uranus or neptune, and have come up empty handed. I have found several lab manuals from different universities and I'm beginning to think that such a lab or activity does not exist...
  4. C

    B Uranus's Moon Cressida is Doomed

    The first measurement of the mass of a small Uranian moon suggests it will be obliterated by smashing into another moon in a mere million years. By Ken Croswell Full story: New Scientist
  5. L

    B Visibility of Ceres, Uranus, and Neptune with $60 binoculars

    Is it possible to see them with binoculars in a dark, clear sky?
  6. C

    B Uranus May Have Two Dark Unseen Moons

    And astronomers will be examining Hubble data to try and find them. Full story at New Scientist
  7. Andy Resnick

    Stargazing Seeing Uranus - Two Nights of Celestial Wonders

    Sorry for the title, I just can't help myself :) Anyhow, here's shots from 2 consecutive nights- you can even see 3 moons, probably Titania, Oberon, and Ariel: (10/10/16 at 11pm) (10/11/16 at 10:40 pm) Deets: 800/5.6, 8", ISO 2000. Non-bleached images (not shown) were taken at 1", ISO 100.
  8. thebosonbreaker

    I Aurora on Uranus? Why Are They In Large Dots?

    I have recently learned that Earth is not the only planet that has the Northern and Southern lights, as many other planets, including Jupiter and Uranus also have them. I fully understand why Earth has them and all of the science behind it, however, I also recently learned that, whereas Earth's...
  9. J

    Is Terraforming Uranus And Neptune Possible?

    According to this website, it might be possible, by blasting off layers and leaving the rocky cores, turning them into rocky planets like the Earth, instead of the gas planets that they are now. http://terraforming.wikia.com/wiki/Uranus http://terraforming.wikia.com/wiki/Neptune
  10. Zack Davis

    Escape Velocity and Gravitational Force

    Hey Guys! I've been doing a few equations in regards to planetary escape velocity and gravitational force. The below links have the escape velocity of listed planet on the left side of the board, the gravitational force between the Sun and given planet on the right side. In the middle of the...
  11. B

    Uranus' closest approach to earth and its interval

    Hello, I am looking for a website that contains information such as the interval between Earth and uranus' closest approach. I can't seem to find exactly what I am looking for, so I was wondering how difficult it would be to calculate this. I am at a loss where to start though... Any pointers...
  12. A

    Data of several moons of the planets Uranus (new)

    Copy the table and determine keepers third law constant ku for Uranus using the data for the first floor moons sorry for the mirror effect its the only way i could get the page so you could read it .. its on the right # 32 b) find the average of the Ku, values of your calculations...
  13. Y

    Could a Swallowed Moon Explain Uranus's Tilt and Magnetic Field?

    I have just finished reading Cosmos by Giles Sparrow and after reading about the odd features of Uranus I have been thinking about it and was wondering... Could Uranus's tilt and off-centered magnetic field be the result of a large moon or planetoid that was "swallowed" by the planet. It...
  14. T

    Uranus Rotates On 2 Poles? | Learn About Its Movements

    Uranus is said to rotate on its side relative to the sun, and it also moves in such a way that both its poles (north an south) take turns facing the sun during its orbit, so does Uranus rotate on two separate poles?
  15. G

    Uranus’ atmosphere – creative help

    I have a very strange question/request/hypothetical situation, whose answers will help me research a piece of artwork that I will be creating. Imagine ascending through the clouds of Uranus in space craft, emerging atop puffy methane clouds. As you float higher in the atmosphere you encounter...
  16. C

    Why Have Uranus and Neptune Been Overlooked by Recent Space Missions?

    Not exactly sure what forum I should post this in, feel free to move it to a more appropriate forum if you wish! Following the successful Galileo and Cassini missions to Jupiter and Saturn, respectively, and with another mission to Jupiter (Juno) coming up shortly I think it is time that the...
  17. E

    Uranus Magnetic Field: Journey to the Planets Documentary

    I saw a documentary on ABC called Journey to the planets, this one episode being about Neptune and Uranus. I don't know how long ago this doco was made, so there may be updates from it. In it, they talked about Uranus's magnetic field being skewed differently to the other planets, and that...
  18. E

    How Does Uranus' Tilt Influence the Orbits of Its Moons?

    One of the leading theories that explains Uranus' tilt is that it was hit early in its lifetime by a protoplanet, which disrupted its rotation axis and caused its unusual tilt. How does this hypothesis explain Uranus' moons as well? Most of them are aligned to the equator, and some are also...
  19. E

    Uranus' satellite Miranda question

    Wow, wow, and wow! I was looking at this: http://ciclops.org//view_media.php?id=18185" and was amazed my the funky striations or flow patterns or whatever they are called. How is it that the marks become curved and square shaped? I love these photos!
  20. S

    Liquid ocean in Uranus and Neptune

    Are there oceans of liquid water in Uranus and Neptune? I remember once reading that there were.
  21. P

    Will Uranus Ever Be Tidal-Locked to the Sun?

    Will ever Uranus be tidal-locked by the Sun?
  22. M

    Occultation of star by epsilon ring of Uranus

    I'm having trouble solving this question... If the epsilon ring of Uranus is 75 km wide, how long will it occult a star? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  23. P

    Sunrise on Uranus: How Often at S. Pole?

    How often does the sun rise at the south pole of Uranus?
  24. J

    Estimating Displacement of Uranus Due to Neptune's Gravity

    I've been scratching my head over this for a while now. Seems pretty simple, but I just can't get anywhere! So, this is a problem out of pater & Lissauer's Planetary Sciences book (prob 2.10). Starts off by describing how Neptune was discovered by observing anomalies in Uranus's orbit...
  25. DaveC426913

    Does Uranus Have a Rocky Core?

    From http://www.nineplanets.org/uranus.html" : "Uranus is composed primarily of rock and various ices, with only about 15% hydrogen and a little helium (in contrast to Jupiter and Saturn which are mostly hydrogen). Uranus (and Neptune) are in many ways similar to the cores of Jupiter and...
  26. Astronuc

    NASA NASA's Hubble Discovers New Rings and Moons Around Uranus

  27. F

    What Caused Uranus' Unique Rotation?

    I was playing around with my gyroscope yesterday and laid out a possible Uranian scenario. If Uranus was long ago in a rotation similar to that of Earth's, then an impact that applied a clockwise force (as viewed from a point further out from the planet looking in at its side) would cause a...