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Harvey's Space Adventure: Uranus

Click and drag to rotate the planet!

Source: NASA Visualization Technology Applications and Development (VTAD)

Harvey's space adventure is taking him pretty far away from the sun now! He's on to the next planet beyond Saturn, which is Uranus.

There are some really amazing things to learn about Uranus! Here are a few of them:

Uranus is the seventh planet from the sun in our solar system. It's so far away, only one spacecraft has ever flown past it. No spacecraft have orbited Uranus yet.

Uranus is huge! It's about four times wider than Earth.

It takes Uranus 17 hours to rotate on its axis, making one day on Uranus equal 17 hours on Earth. A year on Uranus is 84 Earth years! That's how long it takes Uranus to complete one orbit around the sun.

Uranus is called an "ice giant," but it's not really a big ball of frozen water. It has a small, rocky center surrounded by water, ammonia, and methane. It's cold and icy because it's so far from the sun, and it can't support life.

The atmosphere on Uranus is similar to Jupiter and Saturn, with hydrogen and helium. But Uranus also has methane. That's what makes it blue!

Uranus has 27 known moons and 13 known rings. The inner rings are dark and narrow, but the outer rings have bright colors.

Uranus rotates in the opposite direction of all the other planets except Venus. And Uranus has an unusual feature that Venus doesn't have. It rotates on its side!

Uranus was the first planet to be discovered by looking through a telescope!

Voyager 2 Image of Uranus

Source: NASA

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