Uranus, the first planet discovered with a telescope

Uranus, the first planet discovered with a telescope - Culture's Ways

Uranus is the seventh planet from the Sun. It has the third-largest planetary radius and fourth-largest planetary mass in the Solar System. It is similar in composition to Neptune, and both have different bulk chemical composition 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 gas giants.

 

What is Uranus?

It is 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.

It is the only planet whose name is derived from a figure from Greek mythology, from the Latinised version of the Greek god of the sky Ouranos. Like the other giant planets, Uranus has a ring system, a magnetosphere, and numerous moons. The Uranian system has a unique configuration among those of the planets 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. 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).

History

It is named after the ancient Greek deity of the sky Uranus, the father of Cronus (Saturn) and grandfather of Zeus (Jupiter). It is the only planet whose name is derived from a figure of Greek mythology.

ike the classical planets, it is visible to the naked eye, but it was never recognised as a planet by ancient observers because of its dimness and slow orbit. Sir William Herschel announced its discovery on March 13, 1781, expanding the known boundaries of the Solar System for the first time in history and making it the first planet discovered with a telescope.

Image: By NASA/JPL-Caltech, Public Domain
Text: Wikipedia contributors. “Uranus.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 19 Aug. 2017. Web. 23 Aug. 2017.

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