What Are Some Cool Facts About Uranus?

cool-uranus Credit: Jurgen Ziewe/Ikon Images/Getty Images

Some cool facts about Uranus include that it is the only giant planet whose equator sits at nearly a right angle to its orbit and that it was discovered by William Herschel on March 13, 1781. The planet has nine known rings and two moons.

Uranus is approximately 1.8 billion miles from the Sun, which is about 19 times further than Earth, and is about 31,500 miles in diameter. Uranus is about the same size as Neptune, but has more methane than Jupiter or Saturn, giving it a blue tint. The planet's atmosphere is mainly composed of hydrogen and helium. A day on Uranus is equivalent to about 17 Earth hours, while a year on the planet is equivalent to about 84 Earth years.

In 1986, the NASA launched the Voyager 2, which flew past Uranus, providing Earth's first close view of the planet. Today, the Voyager 2 flies in deep space about 10 billion miles away from Earth. The Voyager 1 and 2 spacecrafts report data on the influence of the Sun at far distances and the characteristics of space between stars. Uranus' two moons, 1986U7 and 1986U8, are located on either side of the planet's outermost ring. The moons are about 20 and 30 kilometers in diameter, respectively.