Did you know that a day on Uranus's poles last for 42 years each? This also means that Uranus takes 82 years to complete one revolution around the Sun. There are many more interesting facts about this planet, which almost spins on its sides. Unlike other planets that have a slightly tilted axis, Uranus spins at a 99 degree slope. According to scientists, a collision with a space object may have changed the slope of its axis.
Uranus was discovered on 13th March, 1781, by Sir William Herschel, and was named after a Greek God. It is visible to the naked eyes, but interestingly, was discovered after the invention of the telescope. Internally, the planet is made up of ammonia, ice, water, and methane. The Uranus shares the name "ice-giant" with Neptune, and is the coldest planet of our Solar System with -224° C as the minimum temperature.
Let us find out a few more interesting facts about Uranus, which is the 7th planet of our Solar System.
Uranus has the second lowest density of all planets, the first one being Saturn. Its density is 1.27 g/cm3.
It is now an established fact that the rings around this planet are 13 in number, and are visible only through a telescope. These are extremely narrow as compared to that of the Saturn, and only few kilometers in thickness. Rings made up of ice is the specialty of Uranus, though some amount of dust is spread between these rings.
Although Uranus doesn't offer a pleasing view to our naked eyes - just a dull blue color, it is possible to see storms and magnificent bands of clouds on its surface, when observed through the infrared wavelength of light.
This planet has 27 moons. But they are tiny, and even if we add their total weight, it is less than half of the total weight of Triton - Neptune's largest moon.
Uranus has a windy atmosphere. Winds blowing with great speeds of 200 miles per hour is a common characteristic observed on the surface of Uranus.
Uranus appears to be green due to the methane gas present in its atmosphere. Photochemical smog is also another reason for this color.
The cause behind Uranus's magnetic field is not clearly known. Geometric center is the source of magnetic field in other planets. It is said that this characteristic is due to presence of certain substances, found at shallow depths in the planet's surface.
Uranus comes under the category of 'one of the few brightest planets' seen from the Earth.
Uranus was visited only once on 24th January, 1986. The spaceship Voyager 2 sent by NASA came within 81,500 kilometers of Uranus's atmosphere. After that no other spaceship has been sent to the Uranus.
The only Greek Name - Uranus
Except this planet, every other one has a Roman name. Uranus is the only planet with a Greek name.
There is a bright ring known as the "Fluorescent Cheerio" on a moon called Umbriel of this planet Uranus.
The facts that we know about this planet, and the images received by the Voyager 2 have been an important source for studying it closely. In the future, there are no voyages planned for this weird but interesting celestial body. Let's hope that the next voyage to explore more about Uranus is undertaken in the near future.