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10 fascinating facts about Uranus

Impress your friends with your knowledge of Uranus

  • Uranus was discovered by Sir William Herschel in 1781 who wanted to name Uranus ‘Georgian Sidus’ or ‘George’s Star’ after the British monarch George III. Unsurprisingly, this name wasn’t popular outside of Britain and Hanover in Germany (where he was from)
  • Uranus takes 84 years to travel round the Sun, the pole experiencing 42 years of light followed by 42 years of darkness
  • The methane in the hydrogen-helium planet gives Uranus its blue-green colour
  • Uranus was not known to the Romans. It is the only planet not named after a Roman deity, instead it is named after the Greek god of the sky
  • You can see Uranus without a telescope, in the right conditions and with low levels of light pollution it is just possible to be seen with the human eye
  • Uranus turns on its axis every 17 hours and 14 minutes
  • Uranus is extremely cold, reaching lows of -224°C
  • Uranus has two sets of dark coloured rings. Modern scientists do not understand what causes these or what they consist of
  • Uranus has 27 moons, most of them being named after characters from William Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Uranus has only been visited once. In 1986, the Voyager 2 swept past Uranus and took thousands of photographs

Did you enjoy these facts about Uranus? Then feel free to have a look round our site, you might enjoy this advice on hamsters or these things white people always do.

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Written by MarkCross

Assignment Editor for Press On This. Twitter @MarkCrossPOT

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