Uranus is the seventh planet from the sun and was the first planet to be discovered by scientists. Although it can be seen with the naked eye, it was confused for a long time with a star, this due to the gloom that the planet has and its slow orbit . The planet is also notable for its dramatic tilt , which makes its axis point almost directly at the sun. It is the third planet in size and ranks fourth by mass in the Solar System. It was discovered by means of a telescope.

  • Distance to the sun:  2,871 billion kilometers
  • Gravity:  8.69 m / s²
  • Duration of the day:  17 hours and 14 minutes
  • Orbital period:  84 years

What is Uranus?

Uranus is the seventh planet in the Solar System seen from the sun, it ranks third due to its size and its magnetic field is very similar to that of the earth.


Characteristics of Uranus:

The main characteristics of the planet Uranus are the following:

  • The planet has an equatorial diameter of approximately 51,800 kilometers.
  • The average distance to the Sun is 2,870 million kilometers.
  • It manages to complete its orbit around the Sun every 84.01 Earth years.
  • It is a gaseous planet with an abundant amount of methane on the surface, hence its bluish color.
  • Its axis of rotation is inclined parallel to its orbital plane.
  • Every hemisphere of the planet remains without sunlight for half the year


It was the British astronomer William Herschel who accidentally discovered Uranus on March 13, 1781. He made the discovery with his telescope while examining all the stars in the sky. He noticed that one of the stars looked different, and over the course of a year Uranus was shown to be a new planet in a planetary orbit . The planet was named after the Greek sky deity Ouranos , the oldest of the lords of the heavens. It is the only planet named after a Greek god rather than a Roman one. Before the name was established, many names had been proposed for the new planet, includingHyperchron , Minerva and Herschel . To flatter King George III of England, Herschel himself named it ” The Georgian Planet ,” but that idea was not very well taken outside of England. The German astronomer Johann Bode, who explained the orbit of Uranus in detail, gave the planet its definitive name. Bode argued that since Saturn was the father of Jupiter , the new planet should be named that way. Bode’s colleague Martin Klaproth supported his choice and was named Uranus.


Uranus is composed of methane in the form of ice . This ice forms from the methane cloud bank and the amount of ice in its air continues to increase until it becomes snow and then solid state ice. It has less mass than Neptune and is the least massive of the giant planets . Its core is made up of rocks, ice sheets , and the atmosphere .

Uranus atmosphere:

The planet’s atmosphere is made up mainly of hydrogen and helium , small amounts of methane , acetylene and some other hydrocarbons can also be found . Methane is in the atmosphere has the function to absorb the red light . In the atmosphere you can find clouds circulating in latitudes and their winds are directed in the same direction of rotation of the planet.

Magnetic field:

Its magnetic field is considered abnormal in terms of position and characteristics. Its origin is not in the center of the planet and its magnetic axis has an inclination of 59 ° with respect to the axis of rotation. Due to this situation the planet has an asymmetric magnetosphere in which the magnetic field can become too low. It also has a magnetopause , a magnetotail and several radiation belts.

Rotation and translation of Uranus:

It goes around the sun every 84.01 Earth years . The planet’s average distance from the sun is approximately 3,000 million kilometers. The rotation period of Uranus is 17 hours and 14 minutes , however, due to hurricane force winds, the rotation can be completed in just 14 hours .


The planet has 27 known satellites and each of them has a different name. The classic moons of Uranus are Titania, Oberon, Umbriel, Ariel, and Miranda . The names of its satellites have come from the characters of Shakespeare and Alexander Pope.  Its satellites are divided into two different groups, indoor and outdoor . They are made up of ice and rocks, and the outer satellites are believed to be asteroids that have been gravitationally captured.


In 1977, the American astronomer James L. Elliot observed five rings that surrounded Uranus in the plane of its equator. He decided to call them Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Epsilon . These rings form a belt 9,400 kilometers wide, and extend up to 51,300 kilometers from the center of the planet. In January 1986, during Voyager 2’s exploratory voyage , four more rings were discovered. The rings of Uranus are very different from those of Jupiter and Saturn.

Uranus temperature:

Uranus is one of the planets coldest of the solar system mainly by the way it revolves around the sun. Their temperatures can reach -214.2 ° C.


Some curiosities of this incredible planet are:

  • It was the first planet to be discovered by means of a telescope .
  • The planet is on its side because they have the greatest planetary inclination that exists.
  • Its years last almost a century while a day on Uranus lasts 17 Earth hours, less than our planet.
  • It has many moons and they all come from literary works.
  • It is a giant frozen planet .
  • It has its own chemical element called uranium.

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