5 Facts about Uranus

There are many fun facts about the 7th planet from the Sun, Uranus. Surprisingly, Uranus is quite a mysterious and fascinating planet. Here is a list of 5 interesting facts about this planet.

1. Uranus is the coldest planet in the entire solar system

Uranus orbits around the Sun from a distance of 2.88 billion km. Yet, Neptune is about 2 billion km farther from the Sun than Uranus. The strange thing is that Uranus is extremely cold, even colder than Neptune. Uranus absorbs more heat from the Sun than it gives off. The other large planets have extremely heated cores and radiate infrared radiation. Something has made the core of Uranus cool down to the extent that very little heat is radiated. It is so cold there that the temperature of the cloud tops on Uranus can decrease to 49 K.

2. Uranus is turned over and rotates on its side

This is the only planet in our solar system that does not rotate its axis, with a similar tilt as the Sun�s. The other planets are a bit tilted, yet not drastically like Uranus�s 99 degree tilt. The planet is completely rotating on its side. Imagine that all the other planets resemble a spinning top as they orbit around the Sun, while Uranus is the oddball that looks like a ball rotating on its side.

3. A day in the north pole of Uranus lasts 84 Earth years

A Uranian day is only 17 hours, but the planet�s tilt causes one pole or the other to be pointed towards the Sun. Only one pole at a time can be facing the Sun. Therefore, while standing on the north pole of Uranus, you could witness the Sun rising in the sky, circle around for 42 years and finally go down below the horizon. When the sun goes below the horizon, you would have 42 years of darkness.

4. Uranus contains rings

We all know that Saturn has a huge set of rings. However, Uranus has the second most drastic set of rings in the solar system. In contrast to Saturn�s bright, icy particles, the rings of Uranus are quite dark and narrow. Many astronomers think that Uranus�s rings formed recently and not when the planets were formed.

5. Uranus is 1st planet discovered in modern age

Most of the other planets were visible to the naked eye and discovered in ancient times. Uranus, however, was the first planet to be discovered after the telescope was invented. In 1690, John Flamsteed was the first to record Uranus, but he had mistaken the planet for a star. Yet, Sir William Herschel�s observations in 1781 was what made astronomers realize that it was actually a planet. Originally, Herschel wanted to call the planet �George�s Star� after King George III, but more astronomers settled with the name Uranus.

A few other interesting facts about Uranus are�

- It has only been visited one time
- It has 27 moons
- It can be seen without a telescope or binoculars.

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