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Latest Uranus Stories

c210deeb3668e72c20baeeb79bd592ef1
2011-01-21 14:58:54

As NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft made the only close approach to date of our mysterious seventh planet Uranus 25 years ago, Project Scientist Ed Stone and the Voyager team gathered at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., to pore over the data coming in. Images of the small, icy Uranus moon Miranda were particularly surprising. Since small moons tend to cool and freeze over rapidly after their formation, scientists had expected a boring, ancient surface, pockmarked by...

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2010-12-13 05:30:00

New research suggests that the origin of Saturn's rings may be a case of cosmic murder. According to a new theory published on Sunday in the journal Nature, the rings are the only evidence left of an unnamed moon of Saturn's that disappeared about 4.5 billion years ago The report said that Saturn robbed its outer layer of ice as the moon made its death spiral, which then formed rings. "Saturn was an accomplice and that produced the rings," study author Robin Canup, an astronomer at the...

1d83afb09306e1e43dc8c8b23da7b2231
2010-12-08 14:30:00

NRC Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics releases image of fourth planet orbiting bright star HR 8799 An international team of astronomers has discovered a fourth giant planet, HR 8799e, outside our solar system. The new planet joins the three planets that were the subjects of the first-ever images of a planetary family orbiting a star other than our Sun. The planets orbit the star HR 8799, which lies about 129 light years from Earth and is faintly visible to the naked eye. The international...

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2010-09-16 06:40:00

Been outside at midnight lately? There's something you really need to see. Jupiter is approaching Earth for the closest encounter between the two planets in more than a decade--and it is dazzling. The night of closest approach is Sept. 20-21st. This is also called "the night of opposition" because Jupiter will be opposite the sun, rising at sunset and soaring overhead at midnight. Among all denizens of the midnight sky, only the Moon itself will be brighter. Earth-Jupiter encounters happen...

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2010-09-13 14:02:41

Giant planet GJ 436b in the constellation Leo is missing something. Would you believe swamp gas? To the surprise of astronomers who have been studying the Neptune-sized planet using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, GJ 436b has very little methane (CH4). "Methane should be abundant on a planet of this temperature and size, but we found 7000 times less methane than what the models predict," says Kevin Stevenson of the University of Central Florida (UCF). Stevenson was lead author of a paper...

bf902d213b0f13b6dcd11826960fddfb1
2010-08-19 10:20:00

Neptune will be in line with the Earth and the sun--a condition known as opposition--on August 20, bringing the planet a step closer to completing its first full orbit since being discovered.The bluish-green planet was officially discovered on September 23, 1846, though it had been observed before then. In fact, according to Space.com, Galileo Galilei first observed Neptune in 1612, though at the time he believed it was a star.In the 1840s, in response to a longstanding theory that a nearby...

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2010-06-29 09:55:00

NASA's plucky Voyager 2 spacecraft hit a long-haul operations milestone June 28 -- operating continuously for 12,000 days. For nearly 33 years, the venerable spacecraft has been returning data about the giant outer planets, and the characteristics and interaction of solar wind between and beyond the planets. Among its many findings, Voyager 2 discovered Neptune's Great Dark Spot and its 450-meter-per-second (1,000-mph) winds. The two Voyager spacecraft have been the longest continuously...

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2010-06-10 15:45:00

For the first time, astronomers have been able to directly follow the motion of an exoplanet as it moves from one side of its host star to the other. The planet has the smallest orbit so far of all directly imaged exoplanets, lying almost as close to its parent star as Saturn is to the Sun. Scientists believe that it may have formed in a similar way to the giant planets in the Solar System. Because the star is so young, this discovery proves that gas giant planets can form within discs in...

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2010-05-07 08:35:00

Engineers have shifted NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft into a mode that transmits only spacecraft health and status data while they diagnose an unexpected change in the pattern of returning data. Preliminary engineering data received on May 1 show the spacecraft is basically healthy, and that the source of the issue is the flight data system, which is responsible for formatting the data to send back to Earth. The change in the data return pattern has prevented mission managers from decoding...

2010-04-01 06:30:00

LOUISVILLE, Colo., April 1 /PRNewswire/ -- It's no secret. For millions of avid cyclists throughout the world, having a comfortable butt while riding your bike is critical, whether you're commuting to work or competing in a grueling 100-mile leg of the Tour de France. To that end, Pearl Izumi (http://www.pearlizumi.com), a leading manufacturer of high performance biking apparel, is unveiling a top-secret program focused exclusively on testing and developing new technology to increase the...


Latest Uranus Reference Libraries

Gas Giant
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Gas Giant -- A gas giant is a generic astronomical term invented by the science fiction writer James Blish to describe any large planet that is not composed mostly of rock or other solid matter. Gas giants may still have a solid core - in fact, it is expected that such a core is probably required for a gas giant to form - but the majority of its mass is in the form of gas (or gas compressed into a liquid state). Unlike rocky planets, gas giants do not have a well-defined surface. There...

4_2a3ec5950ad82c9b458cd93eed908c922
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Planet Neptune -- Neptune is the eighth planet from the sun. It is a gas giant. Orbiting so far from the sun, Neptune receives very little heat. Its 'surface' temperature is -218 degrees Celsius (below zero). However, the planet seems to have an internal source of heat. It is thought that this may be leftover heat generated by infalling matter during the planet's birth, now slowly radiating away into space. Neptune's atmosphere has the highest wind speeds in the solar system, up to...

4_8e255370875396e8bb367964593ba8ac2
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Uranus' moon Sycorax -- Sycorax is a moon of Uranus. It was named after a witch living on an island in William Shakespeare's play The Tempest. Its orbital radius is approximately 12.2 million km from Uranus and is about 160 km in diameter, but this size estimate is based on the moon's apparent brightness and the assumption that it has an albedo of about 0.07. Its orbit is retrograde and highly inclined. Sycorax's composition is probably a mixture of rock and ice, and its unusually...

4_d8cfa66191a98199f7d2aafe01055d5b2
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Uranus' moon Caliban -- Caliban is a moon of Uranus, named after Caliban, the character in William Shakespeare's play The Tempest. Caliban was discovered on September 6 - September 7, 1997 by Brett Gladman, Phil Nicholson, Joseph Burns, and JJ Kavelaars using the 200-inch Hale telescope; they also discovered the moon Sycorax at the same time. ----- Discovery Discovered by Brett Gladman Discovered in 1997 Orbital characteristics Semimajor axis 7.1106 km Eccentricity...

4_40ace4a07b47d76249d746df8e9a2feb2
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Uranus' moon Oberon -- Oberon is the name of the outermost of the major moons of the planet Uranus; discovered on January 11, 1787 by William Herschel. All of the moons of Uranus are named for characters from Shakespeare or Alexander Pope. Names for the first four discovered moons of Uranus (Oberon, Titania, Ariel, Umbriel) were given by John Herschel, the son of William. Oberon was named after Oberon, the king of the Faeries in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Oberon is composed of...

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Word of the Day
cruet
  • A vial or small glass bottle, especially one for holding vinegar, oil, etc.; a caster for liquids.
This word is Middle English in origin, and ultimately comes from the Old French, diminutive of 'crue,' flask.
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