There are plenty of kid facts about Uranus you can find all over the internet which makes it easier for young children to learn more about this amazing planet. Uranus is the seventh planet from the sun and it’s believed that this is the first planet that was ever discovered by scientists. By using a telescope, Uranus is still visible to the naked eye and was once mistaken for a huge star because of its dimness and slow orbit. Unlike other planets, Uranus has a unique tilt making its axis point nearly directly to the sun.
Kid Facts About Uranus – The Man Who Discovered Uranus
William Herschel is a British Astronomer who first discovered Uranus in an unlikely event on March 13, 1781. While he was using his telescope to observe the stars down to the ones that were dim compared to the others, yet still visible to the naked eye, one star seemed different. Within that year, he discovered that this star had a pattern where it followed a planetary orbit. It was then named after the Greek Sky Deity, “Ouranos”, who was known as, the earliest Lords of the Heavens. Uranus is the only planet that was named after a Greek God and not from a Roman God.
Before they settled on the name “Uranus,” there were other names that were suggested to identify the planet. This includes Hypercronius which means “Above Saturn”, Minerva “The Roman Goddess of Wisdom”, and also Herschel-after the British astronomer who discovered the planet. However, Herschel suggested to name it after King George III of England, and for the planet to be called “Georgium Sidus” which means “The Georgian Planet.” However, this idea did not sit well with other people who weren’t from England.
A German astronomer, Johann Bode suggested that the Uranus’ orbit can already give the planet its name. He argued that since Saturn was the father of Jupiter, this new planet should be named after the father of Saturn. This suggestion was supported by the astronomers’ colleague, Martin Klaproth, who then discovered a new element which he named “uranium.” This interesting discussion about how the planet Uranus was named is part of kid facts about Uranus.
Uranus “The Ice Giant” – What Does It Look Like?
According to facts, Uranus has a blue-green hue which is a result of methane in the hydrogen-helium packed atmosphere. The reason why Uranus is usually called the “Ice Giant” is that 80% of its mass is made of a fluid mixture of water, methane, and ammonia ice. Compared to other planets in the solar system, Uranus is tilted and it orbits the sun while tilting on its side where its axis is nearly pointing at the Sun. Many astronomers and scientists believe that this is because of a collision with a planet-sized body or maybe from several small bodies when the planet was formed.
The Unique Seasons on Uranus
Because of the planets’ tilt, Uranus has extreme seasons that last for 20 long years. Cool kid facts about Uranus says that a quarter of a Uranian year is equivalent to 84 Earth years. This is when the sun shines directly on each pole, while the other half of the planet is dark and cold during the planet’s winter. In the solar system, Uranus has the coldest atmosphere. Compared to other planets, even though it’s not the farthest planet from the sun, Uranus has little to no internal heat that can contain the heat of the sun.
The Planet Uranus’ Most Important Characteristics
Learning about the amazing kid facts about Uranus is very important, especially for kids who have a growing interest in what lies beyond our skies. So, here are the most interesting facts about the planet Uranus that every kid should know about:
Distance from the Sun:
According to orbital kid facts about Uranus, the planet’s average distance from the sun is about 1,783,939,400 miles. This is almost 20% more than Earth’s distance from the sun.
- Perihelion: This is the closest distance of Uranus from the sun and is about 1,699,800,000 miles.
- Aphelion: This is the farthest distance of Uranus from the sun, and the estimated distance is about 1,868,080,000 miles.
Uranus Composition and Structure
The Atmospheric Composition by Volume:
The reason why Uranus is called “The Ice Giant” is that of its composition. This planet is made up of 82.5% hydrogen, 15.2% helium, and 2.3% methane.
The Magnetic Field:
Uranus’ magnetic pole tilt, when compared to its rotational axis, is 58.6 degrees.
It’s believed that 80% of the composition of Uranus, by mass, is made up of a hot dense fluid composed of icy materials that include water, methane, and ammonia, and above has a small rocky core.
The Internal Structure:
The planet has a mantle of water mixed with ammonia and methane ice elements while the core is made up of iron and magnesium-silicate.
The Uranus Orbit and Rotation:
Another kid facts about Uranus includes interesting information about its orbit and how it rotates. Its axial tilt is about 97.77 degrees, while the Earth has a 23.5 degrees tilt. Each Uranus season will take approximately 21 years and its orbital period is approximately 84 Earth years.
What is the Climate like?
The extreme axis tilt of Uranus has given rise to very unusual weather. According to NASA, sunlight can still reach some areas on the planet, for minimal time in years. This heats up its atmosphere and causes springtime storms that can be as large as the size of North America. When the Voyager 2 was able to first catch an image of Uranus in 1986, during peak summer in the south, images showed a bland-looking sphere that had about 10 visible clouds. This was the reason why Uranus was named “The Most Boring Planet.”
When Hubble was used a couple of years later, the seasons in Uranus changed to the extremes. There were fast-moving winds that reached a speed of 560 miles per hour. It was in 2014 when astronomers were able to catch a glimpse of a summer storm on Uranus. These massive storms occurred 7 years after Uranus approached the sun; the late giant storms still remain a mystery up to this day.
It has been reported that Uranus has unusual weathers like, “Diamond Rain”. In facts of Neptune for kids article, it’s mentioned that this is thought to fall just thousands of miles below the surface of planets like Uranus and Neptune. It’s caused by extreme compression of carbon and hydrogen in the atmosphere, forming diamonds which sink downward and eventually settle around the core of these planets.
Uranus And Its Rings:
Many children who are highly interested in different kid facts about Uranus know that this amazing planet also has rings that were discovered after Saturn. This discovery was able to help astronomers understand that rings are mutual features of these planets. Uranus has two sets of rings which was discovered by the Hubble Space Telescope. The inner ring is composed of narrow, dark rings, while its outer system has two distant rings that are brightly colored, i.e., red and blue. Till date, the scientists have discovered a total of 13 known rings around Uranus.
Uranus And Its Moons
Uranus is one of the planets in the solar system that has an impressive number of moons. It has a total of 27 known moons, the first 4 discovered moons were named after English literature classics such as, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare and “The Rape of the Lock” by Alexander Pope. Ever since then, scientists have continued this tradition and named other moons after outstanding works of Shakespeare and Pope.
The TOP 10 Moons of Uranus (From the largest to the smallest)
The largest moons of Uranus ranges from 240 to 800km in radius. All of these are discovered telescopically from Earth; four of them were before the 20th century. Between 1985 and 1986, ten small inner moons were discovered by Voyager 2. Here are the top 10 moons of Uranus according to its size.
Uranus is one of the most mysterious planets in the solar system. Through the years, scientists have continuously observed these planets with the help of modern technology for astronomy, hence, more information is discovered and added so that people can learn about this planet. Kids, nowadays, are very lucky to have these interesting kid facts about Uranus. These facts make it easier for them to understand and learn amazing information about Uranus and the other planets in the solar system.