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Uranus (not Finished)

Essay by   •  November 16, 2010  •  Essay  •  414 Words (2 Pages)  •  895 Views

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Because Uranus is the 7th planet from the sun, not only is it cold, but it's barely visible too. During the night the only way you can see it is through binoculars or telescope; sometimes on a clear night it's visible to the naked eye. Even from the planet it is dark. Only 15moons are able to be seen, the rest is too dark to tell.

Uranus was discovered with a telescope, by William Herschel. Uranus reaches a maximum brightness of magnitude 5.5 and can be seen by the naked eye as a faint point of light in a clear, moonless sky. In Voyager 2 photos, Uranus appears as a generally featureless disk, except for considerable darkening toward the edges. Faint banding is seen in contrast enhanced images, which are clouds.

Uranus's average distance from the Sun is 2.875 billion km, and the planet takes 84.01 Earth years to make one revolution about the sun. The inclination of Uranus's orbit is 0.742. Its period of rotation was determined by Voyager 2 to be 17.24 hours. One weird aspect of Uranus is that its ration axis inclined 97.54 degrees from its orbital plane. The circumference of Uranus is 160,454km. This means that the poles of Uranus lie nearly in the plane of its orbit path.

Uranus has an equatorial diameter of 51,100km; almost precisely four times that of the Earth. The volume is approximantly 67 times greater than Earth. The gravity is 1.17 times greater than that of Earth. The dark bands discovered in 1869 in the red part Uranus were identified in 1932 as being caused by methane gas in Uranus's atmosphere. This red "spot" of Uranus is the major cause of the blue green color of the planet; the methane absorbs much of the red light from the impinging white sunlight, leaving a bluish green color in the reflected sunlight. Measurements by Voyager 2verified that hydrogen is the main constituent, about 15% in terms of molecular weight, which is a larger percentage than in the atmospheres of either Jupiter or Saturn. Together, hydrogen and helium make up more than 99% of Uranus's atmosphere. A layer of mechanic clouds was detected by Voyager 2 near a pressure level of about one atmosphere. Deep within Uranus exists a superheated water ocean, perhaps 10,000km deep, which contains large concentrations of ionized chemicals. It is in this ocean that Uranus's magnetic field may originate. Beneath this ionic ocean, an Earth sized core of molten rocky materials is believed to exist.

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