• LOCATION 14 | Virtual Solar System Drive: From Narrabri to Siding Spring with Fred Watson

    Approaching Uranus

    Better rug up for this planet - Uranus, is the seventh planet from the Sun.

    Uranus is an Ice Giant planet ... brrr! Fred? What does that mean? Are there others in our solar system?

    [Fred] Firstly, Uranus is the coldest planet in our Solar System, with the lowest recorded temperature of -224°C. The composition and distance from the Sun, add to its coldness, but the main reason for its freezing temperatures, is the core of the planet. The coldest in our solar system.

    It is mostly made of flowing water, methane, and ammonia fluids above a small rocky centre. Its atmosphere is made of hydrogen and helium like Jupiter and Saturn, and also has methane, making it blue like Neptune.

    It is nearly four times larger than Earth but the days are shorter, lasting 17 hours and 14 minutes exactly! Uranus has 27 known moons, with many named after William Shakespear characters. One year on Uranus is the same as 84 Earth years - that means you could be as old as your grandparents and before your first birthday cake!

    Like Saturn, Jupiter and Neptune, Uranus is a ringed planet with a set of 13 faint rings. The inner rings are narrow and dark and the outer rings are brightly coloured and easier to see.

    Like Venus, Uranus rotates in the opposite direction to most other planets. And unlike any other planet, Uranus rotates on its side. Uranus is known as the “sideways planet” because of this.

    [Marnie] - Is it true that Uranus was the first planet to be discovered?

    Fred]
    Yes, it is. Uranus was discovered on 13th March 1781 by William Herschel a composer and astronomer from his backyard in Bath, Great Britain.

    All the other planets are visible to the naked eye and were known since prehistoric times. Ancient people looking at the night sky could see these points of light moving among the stars and called them the Wanderers. Planetis is the Greek word for the wanderer and where the word planet comes.

Preview mode limited to first 3 locations.
Virtual Solar System Drive: From Narrabri to Siding Spring with Fred Watson