Moons of UranusUranus uranus moons named after the seventh planet from the sun and the first to be discovered by scientists. Although Uranus is visible to the naked eye, it was long mistaken as uranus moons named after star because of the planet's dimness and slow orbit. The planet is also notable for its dramatic tilt, which causes its axis to point nearly directly at the sun. One "star" seemed different, and within a year Uranus was shown to follow a planetary orbit. Uranus was named after the Greek sky deity Ouranos, the earliest of the lords of the heavens.
Moons of Uranus - Wikipedia
Uranus is the seventh planet from the sun and the first to be discovered by scientists. Although Uranus is visible to the naked eye, it was long mistaken as a star because of the planet's dimness and slow orbit.
The planet is also notable for its dramatic tilt, which causes its axis to point nearly directly at the sun. One "star" seemed different, and within a year Uranus was shown to follow a planetary orbit. Uranus was named after the Greek sky deity Ouranos, the earliest of the lords of the heavens. It is the only planet to be named after a Greek god rather than a Roman one.
German astronomer Johann Bode, who detailed Uranus' orbit, gave the planet its ultimate name. Bode argued that as Saturn was the father of Jupiter, the new planet should be named for the father of Saturn.
Bode's colleague, Martin Klaproth, supported his choice and named his newly discovered element "uranium. How Do You Pronounce 'Uranus'? Uranus is blue-green in color, the result of methane in its mostly hydrogen-helium atmosphere. The planet is often dubbed an ice giant, since 80 percent or more of its mass is made up of a fluid mix of water, methane, and ammonia ices.
Unlike the other planets of the solar system, Uranus is tilted so far that it essentially orbits the sun on its side, with the axis of its spin nearly pointing at the star. This unusual orientation might be due to a collision with a planet-size body, or several small bodies, soon after it was formed. This unusual tilt gives rise to extreme seasons roughly 20 years long, meaning that for nearly a quarter of the Uranian year, equal to 84 Earth-years, the sun shines directly over each pole, leaving the other half of the planet to experience a long, dark, cold winter.
Uranus has the coldest atmosphere of any of the planets in the solar system , even though it is not the most distant from the sun. That's because Uranus has little to no internal heat to supplement the heat of the sun. The magnetic poles of most planets are typically lined up with the axis along which it rotates, but Uranus' magnetic field is tilted, with its magnetic axis tipped over nearly 60 degrees from the planet's axis of rotation.
According to Norman F. Uranus' parameters , according to NASA:. Average distance from the sun: Perihelion closest approach to the sun: Aphelion farthest distance from sun: Atmospheric composition by volume: Mantle of water, ammonia and methane ices; core of iron and magnesium-silicate. The extreme axial tilt Uranus experiences can give rise to unusual weather. As sunlight reaches some areas for the first time in years, it heats up the atmosphere, triggering gigantic springtime storms roughly the size of North America, according to NASA.
Ironically, when Voyager 2 first imaged Uranus in at the height of summer in its south, it saw a bland-looking sphere with only about 10 or so visible clouds, leading to it to be dubbed "the most boring planet," writes astronomer Heidi Hammel in "The Ice Giant Systems of Uranus and Neptune," a chapter in "Solar System Update" Springer, It took decades later, when advanced telescopes such as Hubble came into play and the seasons changed, to see extreme weather on Uranus, where fast-moving winds can reach speeds of up to miles kilometers per hour.
In , astronomers got their first glimpse at summer storms raging on Uranus. Carbon and hydrogen are thought to compress under extreme heat and pressure deep in the atmospheres of these planets to form diamonds, which are then thought to sink downward, eventually settling around the cores of those worlds. The rings of Uranus were the first to be seen after Saturn's. They were a significant discovery, because it helped astronomers understand that rings are a common feature of planets, not merely a peculiarity of Saturn.
Uranus possesses two sets of rings. The inner system of rings consists mostly of narrow, dark rings, while an outer system of two more-distant rings, discovered by the Hubble Space Telescope, are brightly colored, one red, one blue.
Scientists have now identified 13 known rings around Uranus. Oberon and Titania are the largest Uranian moons, and were the first to be discovered, by Herschel in William Lassell, who was the first to see a moon orbiting Neptune, discovered the next two, Ariel and Umbriel.
Then nearly a century passed before Miranda was found in Then, Voyager 2 visited the Uranian system in and found an additional 10, all just 16 to 96 miles km in diameter — Juliet, Puck, Cordelia, Ophelia, Bianca, Desdemona, Portia, Rosalind, Cressida and Belinda — and each roughly made half of water ice and half of rock.
Since then, astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope and ground-based observatories have raised the total to 27 known moons, and spotting these was tricky — they are as little as 8 to 10 miles 12 to 16 km across, blacker than asphalt, and nearly 3 billion miles 4. Between Cordelia, Ophelia and Miranda is a swarm of eight small satellites crowded together so tightly that astronomers don't yet understand how the little moons have managed to avoid crashing into each other.
The first was discovered in , despite claims that the planet's Langrange point would be too unstable to host such bodies. It discovered 10 previously unknown moons, and investigated its unusually tilted magnetic field.
The butt of solar system jokes, Uranus is also a spectacular blue planet still hiding many scientific secrets. See how much you know: Start the Quiz 0 of 10 questions complete Uranus Quiz: Choi is a contributing writer for Space.
He covers all things human origins and astronomy as well as physics, animals and general science topics. Charles has visited every continent on Earth, drinking rancid yak butter tea in Lhasa, snorkeling with sea lions in the Galapagos and even climbing an iceberg in Antarctica. Start Over More Quizzes.
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