The planet’s axial tilt is an extreme 98 degrees, causing one day on Uranus to equal 84 Astrophysics Division assets have been used in the past to support planetary science research activities and planetary missions. Uranus orbits the Sun once every 84 years, taking an average of seven years to pass through each constellation of the zodiac. While Voyager 2 saw only a few discrete clouds, a Great Dark Spot and a small dark spot during its flyby in 1986, more recent observations reveal that Uranus exhibits dynamic clouds as it approaches equinox, including rapidly changing bright features. Uranus is one of two ice giants in the outer solar system (the other is Neptune). The table below shows the eight planets and the average distance between them. So in astronomical units, Uranus is an average distance of 19.2 AU. A device called SHERLOC will help the next Mars rover detect chemicals linked to the existence of life. If you’d like more information on Uranus, check out Hubblesite’s News Releases about Uranus. Social Media Lead: It was two years later that the object was universally accepted as a new planet, in part because of observations by astronomer Johann Elert Bode. Distance from the sun: 0.39 AU Orbital period: 87.97 earth days Moons: 0 Closest planet to the sun. The AU … Launched in 1977, Voyager 2 made its closest approach to Uranus on January 24, 1986, before continuing its final journey to Neptune. If Earth was the size of a nickel, Uranus would be about as big as a softball. Planetary data for Uranus *Time required for the planet to return to the same position in the sky relative to the Sun as seen from Earth. Listen here, Episode 62: Uranus. Uranus has two sets of rings. Smallest planet Mostly made of rock and metal Terrestrial planet Rich in rocky and mat allied materials, including iron and silicon. Sunlight passes through the atmosphere and is reflected back out by Uranus' cloud tops. Exploration Stories: Favorite Historical Moments - Voyager 2 Mission Team interviews. Hydrogen sulfide, the gas that gives rotten eggs their distinctive odor, has been verified as one of the key components of clouds at Uranus. Site Manager: And here’s a link to the NASA’s Solar System Exploration Guide to Uranus. Uranus took shape when the rest of the solar system formed about 4.5 billion years ago, when gravity pulled swirling gas and dust in to become this ice giant. Winds are retrograde at the equator, blowing in the reverse direction of the planet’s rotation. It is the second least dense planet; Saturn is the least dense of all. Uranus’ distance from the Sun is 2.88 billion km. Like Venus, Uranus rotates in the opposite direction as most other planets. It is the third largest planet in the Solar System with a mass of 8.682 x 10 25 kg or 14.53 Earth masses. It takes 84.099 Earth years to orbit the Sun, and rotates at a rate of 1 rotation every 17.24 hours. 1 astronomical unit, or AU,is the average distance from the Earth to the Sun- about 150 million kilometres. The average distance of Uranus from the Sun is 2,870,990,000 km (1,783,950,480 miles or 19.218 AU) or about 160 light-minutes. The first planet found with the aid of a telescope, Uranus was discovered in 1781 by astronomer William Herschel, although he originally thought it was either a comet or a star. Orbital characteristics Uranus's average distance from the Sun (semi-major axis) is 19.1 AU, which is close to the 19.6 AU predicted by the Titius-Bode law. Kid-Friendly Uranus Uranus is approximately 3 billion km (1.89 billion miles) from the sun.It rotates on an extreme axial tilt of 97.77° and one day is only 17 hours on Uranus, however, it takes the planet 84 years to complete its rotation around the sun at an orbital speed of 6.83 kilometers per second. The seventh planet from the Sun in the solar system. The methane makes Uranus blue. This image from NASA’s Juno spacecraft captures several storms in Jupiter’s southern hemisphere. Uranus - Uranus - Basic astronomical data: At Uranus’s distance from the Sun, the planet takes slightly more than 84 Earth years, essentially an entire human life span, to complete one orbit. Its sidereal year is 84.02 Earth years. mean distance from Sun: 2,870,658,000 km (19.2 AU) eccentricity of orbit: 0.0472: inclination of orbit to ecliptic: 0.77° Uranus orbits the Sun at an average distance of 19.2 AU. The planet has returned to the point of its discovery northeast of Zeta Tauri twice since then, in 1862 and 1943, one day later each time as the precession of the equinoxeshas shifted it 1° west every 72 years. Juno, the second mission in NASA's New Frontiers Program, launched flawlessly on Friday, August 5th, on a journey to Jupiter. William Herschel tried unsuccessfully to name his discovery Georgium Sidus after King George III. Uranus travels in an elliptical orbit around the sun once every 84 Earth years. When this view was obtained, Uranus was nearly on the opposite side of the sun as seen from Saturn, at a distance of approximately 28.6 astronomical units from Cassini and Saturn. Uranus is 1.8 billion miles (2.9 billion kilometers) away from the sun on average – about 19 Astronomical Units (AU). Uranus is the 7th planet from the Sun with an average distance of 19.19 AU or 2.871 x 10 9 km. The distance of Uranus from Earth is currently 2,848,375,455 kilometers, equivalent to 19.040214 Astronomical Units. Join us on a tour of storms. Its magnetic field lines are twisted by Uranus’ sideways rotation into a long corkscrew shape. In 2033, the planet will have made its third complete orbit around the Sun since being discovered in 1781. The temperatures, pressures and materials that characterize this planet are most likely too extreme and volatile for organisms to adapt to. While a spacecraft would have nowhere to land on Uranus, it wouldn’t be able to fly through its atmosphere unscathed either. This unique tilt causes the most extreme seasons in the solar system. Magnetic fields are typically in alignment with a planet's rotation, but Uranus' magnetic field is tipped over: the magnetic axis is tilted nearly 60 degrees from the planet's axis of rotation, and is also offset from the center of the planet by one-third of the planet's radius. Uranus has an unusual, irregularly shaped magnetosphere. Its orbital elements were first calculated in 1783 by Pierre-Simon Laplace. Watch this video to learn more about the distances between our planets and the sun in our solar system! NASA's Voyager 2 is the only spacecraft to have visited the planet and no other visits are currently planned. Science Writer: Wind speeds can reach up to 560 miles per hour (900 kilometers per hour) on Uranus. This site is maintained by the Planetary Science Communications team at, Visit NASA Space Place for more kid-friendly facts, NASA's Perseverance Rover Attached to Atlas V Rocket, VERITAS: Exploring the Deep Truths of Venus, 7 Things to Know About the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover Mission, NASA's InSight Flexes Its Arm While Its 'Mole' Hits Pause, NASA's Venus Rover Challenge Winners Announced, Device to Help Mars Perseverance Rover Search for Signs of Life, Curiosity Mars Rover's Summer Road Trip Has Begun, NASA Scientist Simulates Sunsets on Other Worlds, Revisiting Decades-Old Voyager 2 Data, Scientists Find One More Secret, 10 Things You Might Not Know About Voyager's Famous 'Pale Blue Dot' Photo, 10+ Things: Tour of Storms Across the Solar System, Next-Generation NASA Instrument Advanced to Study the Atmospheres of Uranus and Neptune, Hubble Reveals Dynamic Atmospheres of Uranus, Neptune, What Uranus Cloud Tops Have in Common With Rotten Eggs, Gravity Assist: Ice Giants (Uranus & Neptune) with Amy Simon, International Mission Opportunities and Participation, How Astrophysics Division Assets Are Helping Planetary Science, Message to Attendees of the 2013 IAA Planetary Defense Conference. It is a giant planet with a mass 14.5 times that of the Earth and a radius 4 times that of the Earth. Most (80 percent or more) of the planet's mass is made up of a hot dense fluid of "icy" materials—water, methane and ammonia—above a small rocky core. Kristen Erickson This unique tilt makes Uranus appear to spin on its side, orbiting the Sun like a rolling ball. There are two outer rings: the innermost one is reddish like dusty rings elsewhere in the solar system, and the outer ring is blue like Saturn's E ring. With a radius of 15,759.2 miles (25,362 kilometers), Uranus is 4 times wider than Earth. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), NASA’s Solar System Exploration Guide to Uranus, Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Like its neighbor Neptune, Uranus likely formed closer to the Sun and moved to the outer solar system about 4 billion years ago, where it is the seventh planet from the Sun. Uranus also has faint rings. Methane gas absorbs the red portion of the light, resulting in a blue-green color. The exploration of the solar system is uniquely poised to bring planetary scientists, worldwide, together under the common theme of understanding the origin, evolution and bodies of our solar neighborhood. 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