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. It is the second least dense planet; Saturn is the least dense of all. Uranus orbits the Sun at an average distance of 19.2 AU. At this scale, Mercury's 0.06 mm diameter is scarcely as large as the point of a needle. The distance of Uranus from Earth is currently 2,848,375,455 kilometers, equivalent to 19.040214 Astronomical Units. Its perihelion is 18.4 AU, and its aphelion is 20.1 AU. We discuss the answer in … Learn more about Uranus. We should like to make a proposal that the average mean distance between the planet Mercury and the Sun be considered for computations of the astronomical unit. See no ads on this site, see our videos early, special bonus material, and much more. Uranus' atmosphere is mostly hydrogen and helium, with a small amount of methane and traces of water and ammonia. 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. We have written many articles about Uranus for Universe Today. Hydrogen sulfide, the gas that gives rotten eggs their distinctive odor, has been verified as one of the key components of clouds at Uranus. Uranus’ distance from the Sun is 1.79 billion miles. Uranus has 27 known moons. Unbeknownst to scientists, 34 years ago Voyager 2 flew through a plasmoid, a giant magnetic bubble that may have been whisking Uranus’s atmosphere out to space. Social Media Lead: It's perihelion is an 18.4 AU, and it's aphelion is 20.1 AU. This unique tilt causes the most extreme seasons in the solar system. The temperatures, pressures and materials that characterize this planet are most likely too extreme and volatile for organisms to adapt to. Uranus is one of two ice giants in the outer solar system (the other is Neptune). Phillips Davis Uranus is the Solar System's second outermost planet, orbiting the Sun at a distance of 19.2 AU once every 84.3 years.. 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. Watch this video to learn more about the distances between our planets and the sun in our solar system! 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. With a radius of 15,759.2 miles (25,362 kilometers), Uranus is 4 times wider than Earth. The astronomical unit (AU) currently in use is derived from the average mean distance between the Earth and the Sun, which is generally cited as 93,000,000 miles or 149,600,000 kilometers. You may be able to help Curiosity rover drivers better navigate Mars using the online tool AI4Mars to label terrain features. Uranus' environment is not conducive to life as we know it. This number is just an average, though. Astronomers use another term called “astronomical units” to measure distance within the Solar System. Uranus’ distance from the Sun is 2.88 billion km. Dr. Jim Green, director of NASA Planetary Science, speaks to attendees of the 2013 IAA Planetary Defense Conference in April 2013. Kid-Friendly Uranus Uranus has two sets of rings. Join us on a tour of storms. Uranus travels in an elliptical orbit around the sun once every 84 Earth years. All of Uranus' inner moons appear to be roughly half water ice and half rock. Launched in 1977, Voyager 2 made its closest approach to Uranus on January 24, 1986, before continuing its final journey to Neptune. The AU … A proposed mission called VERITAS seeks to transform our understanding of Venus. NASA's Voyager 2 is the only spacecraft to have visited the planet and no other visits are currently planned. Its orbital elements were first calculated in 1783 by Pierre-Simon Laplace. Science Writer: Uranus revolves around the Sun once every 84 Earth years. Because its orbit is elliptical, its distance from the Sun changes depending on where it is in its orbit. The inner rings are narrow and dark. Wind speeds can reach up to 560 miles per hour (900 kilometers per hour) on Uranus. Uranus follows an elliptical orbit around the Sun. From an average distance of 1.8 billion miles (2.9 billion kilometers), Uranus is 19.8 astronomical units away from the Sun. If Earth was the size of a nickel, Uranus would be about as big as a softball. The planet has a mass 14.5 times the mass of Earth and a radius 4.0 times the radius of Earth. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. One day on Uranus takes about 17 hours (the time it takes for Uranus to rotate or spin once). The planet Uranus is an average of about 19.2 AU (Astronomical Units) from the Sun, which is about 3 billion kilometers or 2.74 billion miles. Like Venus, Uranus rotates in the opposite direction as most other planets. Its magnetic field lines are twisted by Uranus’ sideways rotation into a long corkscrew shape. People's Voice voting is underway. 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. And unlike any other planet, Uranus rotates on its side. Auroras on Uranus are not in line with the poles (like they are on Earth, Jupiter and Saturn) due to the lopsided magnetic field. And unlike any other planet, Uranus rotates on its side. Uranus also has faint rings. Uranus orbits the Sun once every 84 years, taking an average of seven years to pass through each constellation of the zodiac. We're talking about the ice giants. So in astronomical units, Uranus is an average distance of 19.2 AU. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! 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. 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 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. Its sidereal year is 84.02 Earth years. **Calculated for the altitude at which 1 bar of atmospheric pressure is exerted. Astronomers use another term called “astronomical units” to measure distance within the Solar System. This site is among seven NASA sites nominated this year for a Webby. Uranus is made of water, methane, and ammonia fluids above a small rocky center. Simplest (but most incomplete) answer: Uranus's semi-major axis (kind of like its average distance from the sun) is 2,875 gigameters (1 Gm = 1,000,000 km), or 19.2 AU (19 times the distance from the sun to the Earth). As an ice giant, Uranus doesn’t have a true surface. Its perihelion is about 2.75 billion km (18.4 astronomical units; 1 AU as the distance of Earth from the Sun). Distance from the sun: 0.39 AU Orbital period: 87.97 earth days Moons: 0 Closest planet to the sun. The inner rings are narrow and dark. The inner system of nine rings consists mostly of narrow, dark grey rings. Smallest planet Mostly made of rock and metal Terrestrial planet Rich in rocky and mat allied materials, including iron and silicon. 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. 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 is the 7th planet from the Sun with an average distance of 19.19 AU or 2.871 x 10 9 km. Visit NASA Space Place for more kid-friendly facts. The planet is mostly swirling fluids. Our solar system is a stormy place. Uranus will return to this location again in 2030-31. The exact number is 2,876,679,082 km. Uranus also has faint rings. This image from NASA’s Juno spacecraft captures several storms in Jupiter’s southern hemisphere. 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. We’ve also recorded an entire episode of Astronomy Cast all about Uranus. The extreme pressures and temperatures would destroy a metal spacecraft. Kristen Erickson These are two enormous planets in our outer solar system: Uranus and Neptune. William Herschel tried unsuccessfully to name his discovery Georgium Sidus after King George III. Want that number in miles? Ten things to know about Voyager 2 on the 40th anniversary of its launch. The seventh planet from the Sun in the solar system. Uranus is 1.8 billion miles (2.9 billion kilometers) away from the sun on average – about 19 Astronomical Units (AU). Answer to Uranus, not shown on the graph, orbits about 19 AU from the Sun. It is a giant planet with a mass 14.5 times that of the Earth and a radius 4 times that of the Earth. 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. NASA Official: Uranus has an unusual, irregularly shaped magnetosphere. Listen here, Episode 62: Uranus. Uranus is a gas planet made of hydrogen, helium, and methane and has no solid surface. 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 the only planet whose equator is nearly at a right angle to its orbit, with a tilt of 97.77 degrees—possibly the result of a collision with an Earth-sized object long ago. The composition of the outer moons remains unknown, but they are likely captured asteroids. The methane gives Uranus its signature blue color. 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. Uranus Observational Parameters Discoverer: William Herschel Discovery Date: 13 March 1781 Distance from Earth Minimum (10 6 km) 2581.9 Maximum (10 6 km) 3157.3 Apparent diameter from Earth Maximum (seconds of arc) 4.1 Minimum (seconds of arc) 3.3 Mean values at opposition from Earth Distance from Earth (10 6 km) 2719.99 Apparent diameter (seconds of arc) 3.9 Apparent visual … 15,759.2 miles | 25,362 kilometers, Director, NASA Planetary Science Division: Join us at patreon.com/universetoday. Uranus’ perihelion is the term used by scientists, to mark this planet’s closest point to the Sun. One astronomical unit (abbreviated as AU), is the distance from the Sun to Earth. Join our 836 patrons! Bill Dunford, A 3D model of Uranus. Uranus's 84.1-year orbit around the Sun will carry it to its furthest point to the Sun – its aphelion – at a distance of 20.10 AU.. In practice, however, Uranus's orbit is very close to circular; its distance from the Sun only varies by about 9.9% between perihelion and aphelion. Its atmosphere is made of hydrogen and helium like Jupiter and Saturn, but it also has methane. The methane makes Uranus blue. 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. Uranus is also one of just two planets that rotate in the opposite direction than most of the planets (Venus is the other one), from east to west. Visit NASA Space Place for more kid-friendly facts. And Uranus makes a complete orbit around the Sun (a year in Uranian time) in about 84 Earth years (30,687 Earth days). Planetary scientist Geronimo Villanueva created the sunset simulations while building a tool for a possible mission to Uranus. Uranus' planetary atmosphere, with a minimum temperature of 49K (-224.2 degrees Celsius) makes it even colder than Neptune in some places. Winds are retrograde at the equator, blowing in the reverse direction of the planet’s rotation. Sunlight passes through the atmosphere and is reflected back out by Uranus' cloud tops. Light takes 2 hours, 38 minutes and 21.1578 seconds to travel from Uranus and arrive to us. While a spacecraft would have nowhere to land on Uranus, it wouldn’t be able to fly through its atmosphere unscathed either. The intensity of sunlight on Uranus is about 1/400 that on Earth. The planet’s axial tilt is an extreme 98 degrees, causing one day on Uranus to equal 84 NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has started a road trip that will continue through the summer across roughly a mile (1.6 kilometers) of terrain. From this distance, it takes sunlight 2 hours and 40 minutes to travel from the Sun to Uranus. Uranus is unique in that it was the first planet discovered in modern times. The ice giant is surrounded by 13 faint rings and 27 small moons as it rotates at a nearly 90-degree angle from the plane of its orbit. 1 astronomical unit, or AU,is the average distance from the Earth to the Sun- about 150 million kilometres. Uranus is slightly larger in diameter than its neighbor Neptune, yet smaller in mass. While most of the satellites orbiting other planets take their names from Greek or Roman mythology, Uranus' moons are unique in being named for characters from the works of William Shakespeare and Alexander Pope. Radius The magnetosphere tail behind Uranus opposite the Sun extends into space for millions of miles. Some of the larger rings are surrounded by belts of fine dust. NASA's Perseverance Mars rover has been attached to the rocket that will send it to the Red Planet this summer. Like Venus, Uranus rotates in the opposite direction as most other planets. IntroductionThe seventh planet from the Sun with the third largest diameter in our solar system, Uranus is very cold and windy. Dr. Lori Glaze Venus is next. 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. Here are seven things to know. In reality, the average distance from the Sun to Mercury is roughly 58,000,000 km (35,000,000 miles) or 0.4 AU. Juno, the second mission in NASA's New Frontiers Program, launched flawlessly on Friday, August 5th, on a journey to Jupiter. In 2033, the planet will have made its third complete orbit around the Sun since being discovered in 1781. Methane gas absorbs the red portion of the light, resulting in a blue-green color. It takes 84.099 Earth years to orbit the Sun, and rotates at a rate of 1 rotation every 17.24 hours. Its average distance from the Sun is roughly 3 billion km (about 20 AU). Instead the planet was named for Uranus, the Greek god of the sky, as suggested by Johann Bode. The table below shows the eight planets and the average distance between them. 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. Its orbital eccentricity is 0.046, which means that its orbit is nearly circular … mean distance from Sun: 2,870,658,000 km (19.2 AU) eccentricity of orbit: 0.0472: inclination of orbit to ecliptic: 0.77° Exploration Stories: Favorite Historical Moments - Voyager 2 Mission Team interviews. The outer rings are brightly colored and easier to see. Has a solid surface 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. And here’s a link to the NASA’s Solar System Exploration Guide to Uranus. 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. The competition will help advance the design of a mechanical rover to explore the surface of Venus. Near the core, it heats up to 9,000 degrees Fahrenheit (4,982 degrees Celsius). Astrophysics Division assets have been used in the past to support planetary science research activities and planetary missions. Site Manager: If you’d like more information on Uranus, check out Hubblesite’s News Releases about Uranus. From an average distance of 1.8 billion miles (2.9 billion kilometers), Uranus is 19.8 astronomical units away from the Sun. Uranus is an average distance of 1,783,939,400 miles or 2,870,972,200 kilometers from the Sun. 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. The closest Uranus gets to the Sun is 1,699,800,000 miles or 2,735,560,000 kilometers. Amanda Barnett 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. One AU is the distance between Earth and the sun. And then at its most distant point, called aphelion, Uranus gets to within 3 billion km from the Sun. Uranus Distance from Earth. NASA's InSight lander has been using its robotic arm to help the heat probe known as the "mole" burrow into Mars. A device called SHERLOC will help the next Mars rover detect chemicals linked to the existence of life. NASA Space Place: All About Uranus ›. Its atmosphere is made of hydrogen and helium like Jupiter and Saturn, but it also has methane. How far is Uranus from the Sun? So in astronomical units, Uranus is an average distance of 19.2 AU. This unique tilt makes Uranus appear to spin on its side, orbiting the Sun like a rolling ball. With a radius of 15,759.2 miles (25,362 kilometers), Uranus is 4 times wider than Earth. From this distance, it takes sunlight 2 hours and 40 minutes to travel f… But closer to the poles, winds shift to a prograde direction, flowing with Uranus' rotation. Credit: NASA Visualization Technology Applications and Development (VTAD). It is 1.4 yards from the end zone. Uranus gets its blue-green color from methane gas in the atmosphere. One astronomical unit (abbreviated as AU), is the distance from the Sun to Earth. Here’s an article about how many rings Uranus has, and here are some interesting facts about Uranus. The outer rings are brightly colored and easier to see. Uranus is made of water, methane, and ammonia fluids above a small rocky center. At its closest point, called perihelion, Uranus gets to within 2.75 billion km of the Sun. Hubble uncovered a new dark storm on Neptune and provided a fresh look at a long-lived storm on Uranus. 1 astronomical unit, or AU, is the average distance from the Earth to the Sun – about 150 million km. Distance from Sun: 484 million miles / 778 million km / 5.2 AU: Diameter: 86,880 miles / 139,820 km: Mass: 1.9 × 10 27 kg (318 Earths) Length of Year (Orbit) 11.9 Earth years: Length of Day: 9.8 Earth hours: Surface temperature: Average -234°F / -148°C: Moons: 97 total - some of the most known are Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto Uranus, which lies nearly 2 billion miles from the Sun,has a diameter of 31,764 miles and according to flyby magnetic data fromVoyager 2 in 1986, has a rotation period of 17.4 hours. In order of increasing distance from the planet, the rings are called Zeta, 6, 5, 4, Alpha, Beta, Eta, Gamma, Delta, Lambda, Epsilon, Nu and Mu. If Earth was the size of a nickel, Uranus would be about as big as a softball. The methane makes Uranus blue. Its average distan… Meet the women leading two of humankind's two most distant space missions. 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. The next-generation radiometer is being developed to study the atmospheres of Uranus or Neptune, but could be used to study any atmosphere. What drives Perseverance's mission and what will it do at the Red Planet? This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Distance between Earth and a radius 4.0 times the radius of Earth and a radius 15,759.2. Its average distan… 1 astronomical unit, or AU, is the second least dense all... Diameter is scarcely as large as the `` mole '' burrow into Mars this are!: NASA Visualization Technology Applications and Development ( VTAD ) on this site, see videos! Takes for Uranus, the Greek god of the planet has a mass 14.5 times the radius 15,759.2. The most extreme seasons in the opposite direction as most other planets or! 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