Q:

What are some special features of Uranus?

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Quick Answer

Special features of Uranus include its 27 moons, faint rings and construction, which is mostly ice. Uranus consists of water, methane and ammonia above a small, rocky inner core. Methane gas gives Uranus its blue tint. Uranus, along with Venus, rotates in the direction opposite to that of most other planets.

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Full Answer

Uranus is the seventh planet from the sun and orbits at an average distance of 1.8 million miles. Uranus is the third-largest planet in the solar system, after Jupiter and Saturn, and is the only giant planet whose equator is nearly at right angles to its orbit. It is theorized that the tilt may have been caused by a large earth-sized object impacting it.

The only spacecraft that has visited Uranus is Voyager 2 in 1986. During Voyager’s flyby, evidence was gathered of an ocean of boiling water below the cloud tops. Voyager discovered 10 previously unknown moons, 2 rings and a strong magnetic field during its mission.

Uranus was discovered in 1781 by astronomer William Herschel who wanted to name it after King George III. Eventually, Uranus received its name and also became the only planet named after a Greek god. According to myth, Uranus was the father of Saturn and the grandfather of Jupiter.

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  • Q:

    How cold is Uranus?

    A:

    As of 2014, Uranus has an atmospheric temperature minimum of -224 degrees Celsius, making it the coldest planet in the solar system. The planet's upper atmosphere is mostly covered by a haze of methane, which hides storms that occur in the clouds beneath it.

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  • Q:

    How long does it take Uranus to rotate?

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    Uranus takes 17 Earth hours to rotate. It takes 84 Earth years for it to orbit around the sun, and it rotates horizontally.

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  • Q:

    Who is Uranus named after?

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    The planet Uranus is named after the god Ouranos, or Uranus, from ancient Greek mythology. Uranus is the only planet in the solar system to be named after a god from Greek mythology rather than from Roman mythology.

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  • Q:

    How large is Uranus?

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    Uranus has a radius of 15,759.2 miles, which is almost four times that of Earth, and it has a circumference of 99,018.1 miles. It has a volume of about 16.39 cubic miles, which makes it 63 times more voluminous than Earth.

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