So in astronomical units, Uranus is an average distance of 19.2 AU. Instead the planet was named for Uranus, the Greek god of the sky, as suggested by Johann Bode. Meet the women leading two of humankind's two most distant space missions. Uranus follows an elliptical orbit around the Sun. Light takes 2 hours, 38 minutes and 21.1578 seconds to travel from Uranus and arrive to us. As an ice giant, Uranus doesn’t have a true surface. The competition will help advance the design of a mechanical rover to explore the surface of Venus. The outer rings are brightly colored and easier to see. Amanda Barnett Like Venus, Uranus rotates in the opposite direction as most other planets. We have written many articles about Uranus for Universe Today. Visit NASA Space Place for more kid-friendly facts. Smallest planet Mostly made of rock and metal Terrestrial planet Rich in rocky and mat allied materials, including iron and silicon. And then at its most distant point, called aphelion, Uranus gets to within 3 billion km from the Sun. Its magnetic field lines are twisted by Uranus’ sideways rotation into a long corkscrew shape. Hubble uncovered a new dark storm on Neptune and provided a fresh look at a long-lived storm on Uranus. In reality, the average distance from the Sun to Mercury is roughly 58,000,000 km (35,000,000 miles) or 0.4 AU. It's perihelion is an 18.4 AU, and it's aphelion is 20.1 AU. One astronomical unit (abbreviated as AU), is the distance from the Sun to Earth. Its atmosphere is made of hydrogen and helium like Jupiter and Saturn, but it also has methane. The magnetosphere tail behind Uranus opposite the Sun extends into space for millions of miles. Its orbital elements were first calculated in 1783 by Pierre-Simon Laplace. Credit: NASA Visualization Technology Applications and Development (VTAD). The planet is mostly swirling fluids. And unlike any other planet, Uranus rotates on its side. Planetary scientist Geronimo Villanueva created the sunset simulations while building a tool for a possible mission to Uranus. Answer to Uranus, not shown on the graph, orbits about 19 AU from the Sun. Has a solid surface Uranus' planetary atmosphere, with a minimum temperature of 49K (-224.2 degrees Celsius) makes it even colder than Neptune in some places. Listen here, Episode 62: Uranus. William Herschel tried unsuccessfully to name his discovery Georgium Sidus after King George III. Social Media Lead: Juno, the second mission in NASA's New Frontiers Program, launched flawlessly on Friday, August 5th, on a journey to Jupiter. From this distance, it takes sunlight 2 hours and 40 minutes to travel from the Sun to Uranus. Uranus is the 7th planet from the Sun with an average distance of 19.19 AU or 2.871 x 10 9 km. Want that number in miles? 1 astronomical unit, or AU, is the average distance from the Earth to the Sun – about 150 million km. Winds are retrograde at the equator, blowing in the reverse direction of the planet’s rotation. 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. Its orbital eccentricity is 0.046, which means that its orbit is nearly circular … Uranus’ perihelion is the term used by scientists, to mark this planet’s closest point to the Sun. Uranus gets its blue-green color from methane gas in the atmosphere. Learn more about Uranus. A proposed mission called VERITAS seeks to transform our understanding of Venus. The next-generation radiometer is being developed to study the atmospheres of Uranus or Neptune, but could be used to study any atmosphere. Uranus is one of two ice giants in the outer solar system (the other is Neptune). Uranus is made of water, methane, and ammonia fluids above a small rocky center. The Voyager imaging team asked for the photo to show Earth’s vulnerability — to illustrate how small, fragile and irreplaceable it is on a cosmic scale. Distance from the sun: 0.39 AU Orbital period: 87.97 earth days Moons: 0 Closest planet to the sun. With a radius of 15,759.2 miles (25,362 kilometers), Uranus is 4 times wider than Earth. And unlike any other planet, Uranus rotates on its side. While a spacecraft would have nowhere to land on Uranus, it wouldn’t be able to fly through its atmosphere unscathed either. For nearly a quarter of each Uranian year, the Sun shines directly over each pole, plunging the other half of the planet into a 21-year-long, dark winter. Phillips Davis It takes 84.099 Earth years to orbit the Sun, and rotates at a rate of 1 rotation every 17.24 hours. 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. We’ve also recorded an entire episode of Astronomy Cast all about Uranus. Uranus is unique in that it was the first planet discovered in modern times. 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. Uranus has 27 known moons. Discoverer: Sir William Herschel (1781) Spacecraft Encounter(s): Voyager 2 (1986) Mean distance from the Sun: 19.19 AU (2.871 billion km/1.784 billion mi) Uranus is a gas planet made of hydrogen, helium, and methane and has no solid surface. The closest Uranus gets to the Sun is 1,699,800,000 miles or 2,735,560,000 kilometers. Its perihelion is about 2.75 billion km (18.4 astronomical units; 1 AU as the distance of Earth from the Sun). What drives Perseverance's mission and what will it do at the Red Planet? 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. Radius Ten things to know about Voyager 2 on the 40th anniversary of its launch. The planet has a mass 14.5 times the mass of Earth and a radius 4.0 times the radius of Earth. 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. IntroductionThe seventh planet from the Sun with the third largest diameter in our solar system, Uranus is very cold and windy. 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. All of Uranus' inner moons appear to be roughly half water ice and half rock. 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. From an average distance of 1.8 billion miles (2.9 billion kilometers), Uranus is 19.8 astronomical units away from the Sun. Exploration Stories: Favorite Historical Moments - Voyager 2 Mission Team interviews. See no ads on this site, see our videos early, special bonus material, and much more. It is 1.4 yards from the end zone. 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