Uranus

Pale blue Uranus is the seventh planet out from the Sun. Most of what we know of it has come from the one probe to visit it, Voyager 2. Uranus is tipped on its side so its ring system and family of moons seem to encircle it from top to bottom.

structure

Uranus is the third-largest planet. It is about four times the size of Earth and its volume is 63 times that of Earth. Uranus is, however, made of only 14.5 times our planet's mass, and so its material is not as dense as Earth's. Below its gas atmosphere, Uranus consists of a deep layer of water, methane, and ammonia ices. It is thought that electric currents within this layer generate the planet's magnetic field. The boundaries between the layers are not rigid, with one layer merging into the next.

core of rock and possibly ice layer of water, methane, and ammonia ices

core of rock and possibly ice layer of water, methane, and ammonia ices atmosphere of hydrogen, helium, and other gases seen from space

The southern hemisphere of Uranus is lit by the Sun in this Voyager 2 image dating from 1986.

uranus data atmosphere of hydrogen, helium, and other gases the planet's iNTERioR

Like Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune, Uranus is a gas giant. The top of its hydrogen-rich atmosphere is its visible surface. Below is a layer of ices; below this is its core.

DIAMETER 31,763 miles (51,118 km)

average distance from sun 1.78 billion miles (2.87 billion km)

ORBITAL pERIOD 84 Earth years

ROTATION pERIOD 17.24 hours cloud-top temperature

number of moons 27 size comparison

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