Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto: Their Properties and How They Are Similar to One Another By Maria Tomas Three planets, one powerpoint, awesome.
Uranus • Seventh planet from the sun and third largest • Named after Roman God of the heavens • Is as big as approx. 63 Earths • 1,784,860,000 miles away from sun • First planet discovered ever (out of all other planets) by William Herschel on March 13, 1781 • Made up of gases(83% hydrogen, 15% helium, and 2% methane) ice, and rock • Has rings like Saturn, but very faint • Has 27 named moons (named after Shakespeare and Pope writings) Picture of Uranus (YOOR-a-nus)
Uranus • Gases rotate inside at varying intensities and speeds • Center of gravity is not oriented in center of planet, but about 60 degrees from axis. • 84 Earth year rotation around the sun • Has a core of rock and ice, and mantle consisting of water, methane, and ammonia • -355 degrees on outside, approx. 4,200 degrees inside, and 12,000 in core. • Tilted at about a 90 degree angle (north and south are at 90 degrees) Tilt of Uranus and orbit around sun. Thermal imaging of Uranus
Why is Uranus blue? • Methane in outer atmosphere absorbs red light from sun, but not blue, which it reflects back into space, making the planet appear blue.
Neptune! • Eighth and last planet from the sun, and the fourth largest. • 4.5 billion km. away from the sun • Orbit spans about 164Earth years • Named after Roman God of the sea, Neptune • As big as approx. 57 Earths • Discovered by Galle and d’Arrest on September 23, 1846 - found planet by discovering that something was disturbing Uranus’ orbit - essentially mathematically calculated that Neptune (as well as Jupiter and Saturn) existed Beautiful Neptune • Made out of ice, rock, and gases - gases rotate rapidly and at different speeds in different places - winds can reach up to 2000 km/hr on the surface • Has a Great Dark Spot - similar to Jupiter’s Great Red Spot - disappeared in 1994, but reappeared later in a different location - this led scientists to believe that Neptune’s atmosphere changes very rapidly • Also has Small Dark Spot Great and Small Dark Spots on Neptune
Similarities to Uranus • Blue like Uranus for the same reason (Methane absorbs red, but not blue) • Also has a cold outer atmosphere, but very hot in center • Very similar composition to Uranus • Methane, helium, and hydrogen in atmosphere • Mantle made of methane, ammonia, and water • Core of ice and rock • Also has magnetic center of gravity at a tilt (47 degrees) • Has rings like Saturn and Neptune of space debris, but, again, still smaller than Saturn’s
Differences between Neptune + Uranus • Neptune has a more dynamic weather system (Uranus has bland weather) • Smaller than Uranus, but denser.
Pluto! • Not officially a planet anymore, but was ninth planet. - orbits outside of Neptune - farthest away from the sun of all solar objects in the solar system • Named after god of the underworld • 7.3 billion km. away from the sun (at farthest) • 248 Earth year orbit • As big as .187 Earths • Discovered in 1930 by mathematical calculations and sky survey by Clyde W. Combaugh • Has three moons: Charon, Nix, and Hydra • Rotates in opposite direction from most other planets • Also has a right angle orbit (center of gravity, poles, etc.) like Neptune and Uranus. • Atmosphere is probably nitrogen, methane, and hydrogen Pluto
Pluto Composition • Made up of ice and rock, similar to Uranus + Neptune • Interior is made of ice in different stages - Core is heavy, rock elements such as silicates - Two interior mantles of ice - Surface is hard ice - Pluto is mostly just ice and gases - Gases due to radiation from sun, etc., and mostly on surface Interior of Pluto
Similarities Between Neptune, Uranus, and Pluto • All have 90 degree angle tilts (their north and south poles are at our east and west, if it was on our planet) • All are made out of ice and rock and similar gases, such as methane, hydrogen, etc. • Three furthest planets from the sun (or two furthest planets and dwarf planet) However, Uranus and Neptune are different from Pluto because: • They have a tilted center of gravity • They attract space debris, which creates rings around them • They appear blue because of methane in the atmosphere (this may be true about Pluto as well, but not much is known about Pluto in this regard, so it is debatable.) • They are much larger And Uranus is different from Neptune because: • Neptune has a much more dynamic weather system (similar to Jupiter) • Neptune is denser than Uranus
bibliography • “Neptune”, http://nineplanets.org/uranus.html • “Uranus”, http://www.nasa.gov/worldbook/uranus_worldbook.html • “Uranus”, http://kids.nineplanets.org/uranus.htm • “What Pluto and Charon are made out of”, http://www.windows2universe.org/pluto/pluto_composition.html • “Pluto”, http://nineplanets.org/pluto.html • “Pluto Statistics”, http://www.windows2universe.org/pluto/statistics.html&%20link=/mars/mars.html