Discovery of Uranus: Facts about the Ringed Planet

Publish Date: 13 Mar, 2023
Discovery of Uranus: Facts about the Ringed Planet

On this Day: On March 13, 1781, British astronomer William Herschel used a telescope to survey all stars, down to those about 10 times fainter than those visible to the unaided eye, and made the discovery of Uranus. Within a year, Herschel determined one star was distinctive and had an apparent planetary orbit. 

The Greek sky deity Ouranos, the first of the rulers of the heavens, inspired the name Uranus, which became the name given to the planet after about 1850.

In the entire history of space travel, only one spacecraft has ever come quite close to Uranus. On January 24th, 1986, NASA's Voyager 2 made its closest approach to Uranus, passing just 81,000 kilometres from the planet's cloud tops.

Third Largest Planet in the Solar System

The third largest planet in the solar system, Uranus is located seven planets from the sun. Despite being visible to the naked eye, Uranus has long been mistaken for a star due to its low brightness and sluggish orbit. The planet's remarkable tilt, which causes its axis to point almost directly at the sun, is another noteworthy feature.

Amazing Facts about Uranus Planet

  • Uranus is the coldest planet in the Solar System.

  • Orbits the Sun on its side.

  • One long day, or 42 years, constitutes a season on Uranus.

  • It is the second-least dense planet.

  • The Solar System's second most impressive set of rings is Uranus’.

  • The atmosphere of Uranus contains “ices”.

  • At present, astronomers have confirmed the existence of 27 natural satellites on Uranus.

  • First planet discovered in the modern age.

  • Herschel of Uranus wanted it to be called Georgium Sidus. 

  • Uranus’ Moons are named after Shakespeare characters. 

  • Uranus is blue is due to the presence of methane.

  • Titania is Uranus' largest moon. In the Solar System, it is the eighth-largest moon.

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