Uranus is placed at the seventh position from the Sun in the Solar System at distance of around 3 billion km. It is also categorised under the giant planets. The name Uranus was derived from the ancient Greek deity of the sky, Uranus which happens to be the father of Kronos (Saturn) and grandfather of Zeus (Jupiter). It was once categorised with the five classical planets but was often disregarded due to its dimness and slow orbit.

This planet revolves around the Sun once every 84 Earth years and one rotation takes only 17 hours and 14 minutes. Since the axial tilt of Uranus is 97.77 degrees, this planet experiences a very unlikely change of seasons which differs from other planets. This is because other planets rotate like a spinning top but Uranus rotates like a rolling ball! Therefore only a strip around the equator experiences a rapid day-night cycle but with the Sun being much lower over the horizons comparable to the Earth’s polar region. So each pole gets 42 years of constant sunlight but the other pole gets 42 years of continuous darkness.

In view of the fact that Uranus’s mass is roughly 1.5 times that of Earth, it is therefore the least enormous of the other giant planets. The density of the planet is said to be at 1.27 gcm-3. Therefore it indicates that it is made primarily of various ices such as water, ammonia and methane. The standard model of Uranus’s structure is that it consists of three layers: a rocky core in the centre, an icy mantle in the middle and an outer gaseous hydrogen/helium envelope. The core is relatively small, with a mass of only 0.55 Earth masses and a radius less than 20 percent of Uranus’s; the mantle comprises the bulk of the planet, with around 13.4 Earth masses, while the upper atmosphere is relatively insubstantial, weighing about 0.5 Earth masses and extending for the last 20 percent of Uranus’s radius.

Leave a Reply