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Let's Learn About Uranus!

Many images of Uranus (most astronomy pictures, in fact) use light that human eyes can’t see, and computer processing of the pictures to show up things that we can’t easily see in the photos.

Uranus & Voyager 2

This is an image of the planet Uranus taken by the spacecraft Voyager 2 in 1986, processed to look just like it would to human eyes. Voyager 2 is the only space mission to visit Uranus. It passed at a distance of 82,000 kilometres.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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Iguda’s Uranus Fact File

*FUN FACT* The radioactive element Uranium was named after the planet Uranus.

Position from the sun

7th planet

Diameter

49,000 km

Distance from The Sun

2,870,000,000 km

Day length

17.2 hours

Year Length

84 years

Number of moons

27

Surface temperature

-224 °C

Surface gravity

8.9 m/s²

Atmosphere

Hydrogen, helium, methane

Uranus Dark Spot!

This photo from the Hubble Space Telescope has been altered to highlight weather features in the atmosphere. Uranus seems to be very similar to Neptune, but its atmosphere is less active.

The picture from 2007 shows a dark spot forming, which had not been there before. Scientists think this may be because northern Uranus is coming into its springtime. That could make the weather change as the Sun becomes a bit stronger. Each season lasts 21 years on Uranus!

Rings of Uranus!

Uranus has thin rings that move around a bit.

The pictures, taken two years apart by the Hubble Space Telescope show how the angle of the ring system changes over time.

Part of the reason why the rings appear to change position is because of Uranus’ unusual rotation. It’s axis is turned over at nearly 90 degrees to the axis of its orbit round the Sun. This is shown in the picture of the Rings of Uranus.

YOUR MISSION, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT …

YOUR MISSION, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT …

YOUR MISSION, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT …

YOUR MISSION, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT …

Uranus is named after the Greek god who was ‘Father Sky’, or the main god of heaven.

Many space objects are named after gods from different cultures. All the other planets are named after gods from Ancient Rome. If this planet had been named for Roman mythology, it would have been called Caelus, their version of Uranus.

Your Task

Choose any four space objects, and research the mythology behind their names. Next, write a new myth about what happened when all four met up.

You could also draw a picture to show your new myth, like the painting above from 1754 called The Return of Neptune, by John Singleton Copley.

You might want to choose your space objects so that your myth could reflect something happening in space. For example, maybe a comet might crash into an asteroid and send it flying towards a planet and a moon. What would that mean for the gods or creatures in your myth story?

There are many websites that will give you information about space objects, and many others that will tell you about the myths in different cultures. You could search the Internet looking for ‘mythology’, ‘legend’, ‘Greek myths’, ‘Roman myths’, ‘space objects’.

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Your Journey So Far …

Tanno and Iguda have explored these places up to now. You can go back and visit again by clicking below.

The Moon

Venus

Mercury

The Sun

Mars

Asteroids

Jupiter

Saturn

Uranus

Great to see you here, thank you for the visit! See you next time …

Tanno & Iguda