7 Uranus Facts for Kids
Uranus is the seventh planet from the sun in our solar system. You can’t see it with your eyes when you looked up at the night sky because it is so far away. You need to have a telescope in order to see it, which also makes Uranus the first planet which was discovered the use of a telescope. There are some interesting facts about this far away planet that can help us learn more about it. Did you know all of these facts about this planet already?
1. Uranus Rotates Backwards
A day on Uranus is only about 17 hours long. Days are also backwards on Uranus. That’s because this planet spins on its access in a retrograde direction. This means that instead of having sunsets occur in the West, if you could stand on Uranus, they would happen in the East instead.
2. It Has A Slow Orbit
Uranus makes its trip around the sun once every 84 years. If people lived on Uranus, many of them would not live long enough to see an entire trip around the sun. What is unique about the orbit of Uranus around the sun is that sometimes the poles of the planet point directly at the sun. This means a summer season on Uranus would last 42 years.
3. Uranus Has A Lot Of Ice
Scientists like to call this planet an “ice giant.” That’s because it has the characteristics of gas giants combined with the icy outer planets. An ice core that contains rock is surrounded by an atmosphere which has helium and hydrogen, giving the planet it’s blue hue that can be seen in pictures.
4. It Has Rings
Saturn isn’t the only planet in the solar system that has rings. Uranus also has 13 sets of rings that are very dark and very thin. It is believed that these rings formed when one of the moons of the planet were destroyed long ago.
5. It Has Read Shakespeare
The famous playwright Shakespeare came up with numerous characters for his productions. Scientists decided to name the moons of Uranus after these characters. Their names include Miranda, Titania, and Oberon.
6. We Have Visited Uranus Once
Only the Voyager 2 spacecraft can say that it got to visit Uranus and see it up close. This happened in 1986 as the small craft sped by the planet about 80,000 km away.
7. It’s The Coldest Planet In The Solar System
Even though Uranus is at the furthest planet away from the sun, it is the coldest planet that’s in the solar system. Part of this is because there is a layer of methane that hides the various storm clouds that occur within the hydrogen and helium layer. It’s like a reverse greenhouse effect and keeps temperatures at a balmy -224°C throughout the year.
Compared to the years, Uranus is a very big planet. Nearly 6 times the size of Earth at the equator, and with 27 known moons, it is a fascinating planet that was first discovered in 1781. Scientists at first thought they had spotted a comet when they saw Uranus for the first time. In some ways, they weren’t that wrong.