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Uranus Brief History 7 th Planet from the Sun 3 rd largest planet by mass Named after the ancient Greek god for Heaven Discovered in 1781 by William Herschel Visited by Voyager 2 on January 24, 1986 Statistics Distance from Sun: 2.87 billions kilometers; 19.22 AU

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brief history
Brief History
  • 7th Planet from the Sun
  • 3rd largest planet by mass
  • Named after the ancient Greek god for Heaven
  • Discovered in 1781 by William Herschel
  • Visited by Voyager 2 on January 24, 1986
statistics
Statistics
  • Distance from Sun: 2.87 billions kilometers; 19.22 AU
  • Diameter: 51,118 km; 4.01 Earth Diameters
  • Mass: 8.683e25 kg; 14.535 Earth Mass
  • Satellites: 21 named moons and 6 unnamed moons
  • Composition: mostly rock and ice; only about 15% Hydrogen
  • Atmosphere: 83% Hydrogen
          • 15% Helium
          • 2% Methane
statistics4
Statistics
  • Orbit around sun: 84.01 earth years
  • Day: 17 hours 14 minutes
  • Color: Blue-green color; due to Methane gas in the upper atmosphere which absorbs red light
  • Density: 1.2 g/cm3
  • Albedo: 0.35
internal structure
Internal Structure
  • Similar to Neptune’s
  • Outer envelop: hydrogen, helium and methane about the mass of 1-2 earths
  • Mantle: water, methane, and ammonia under high pressure and temperature, about 10-15 earth masses
  • Core: rock and ice, about 1 earth mass
uranus rings
Uranus’ Rings
  • First 9 rings discovered in 1977
  • 11 known rings
  • Very dark and faint
  • Outermost rings is the brightest: Epsilon
  • Composed of fine dust to large particles of ice boulders up to 10 meters in diameter
  • Most rings 2-12 km across
uranus rings8
Uranus Rings
  • Shepherd moons keep the dust in rings
  • Without the moons’ gravity the rings would spread apart until they disappeared
uranus moons
Uranus’ Moons
  • 21 named moons and 6 unnamed moons
  • Named after writings of Shakespeare and Pope
  • Mostly circular orbits except outermost four, which are much more elliptical
  • 3 distinct classes: 11 small, dark inner moons

5 large moons Newly discovered further out moons

titania
Titania
  • Largest moon
  • Radius: 788 km
  • Mass: 3.49e21 kg
  • Distance from Uranus: 435,840 
  • Density: 1.7 gm/cm3
oberon
Oberon
  • 2nd largest moon
  • Radius: 761.4 km
  • Mass: 3.03e 21 kg
  • Distance from Uranus

582,600 km

  • Density: 1.64 gm/cm3
moon characteristics
Moon Characteristics
  • Like our own moon
  • Most are covered in craters and trenches
  • A few mountains
  • Icy
uranus is weird
Uranus is Weird
  • Uranus is tipped on its side
  • Result of a planetoid colliding with it
  • This causes the magnetic field to be tilted 60 degrees from the planet’s axis of rotation
  • The source of the magnetic field is unknown and the the tail was twisted into a corkscrew by the collision
voyager 2
Voyager 2
  • Launched on April 20, 1977
  • Passed Uranus on January 24, 1986