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Latest Uranus Stories

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2007-08-20 00:40:00

PASADENA, Calif. - NASA's two venerable Voyager spacecraft are celebrating three decades of flight as they head toward interstellar space. Their ongoing odysseys mark an unprecedented and historic accomplishment. Voyager 2 launched on Aug. 20, 1977, and Voyager 1 launched on Sept. 5, 1977. They continue to return information from distances more than three times farther away than Pluto. "The Voyager mission is a legend in the annals of space exploration. It opened our eyes to the scientific...

2007-04-16 16:55:00

In a paper presented at the National Astronomy Meeting in Preston from 16 - 20 April, Dr Stuart Eves of Surrey Satellite Technology Limited will challenge the orthodox view that the rings around the planet Uranus were first detected during an occultation experiment in 1977. Remarkably, a paper presented to the Royal Society in December 1797 by the then King's Astronomer, Sir William Herschel, (who had discovered Uranus in 1781), includes a description of a possible ring around the planet. Dr...

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2006-09-28 15:45:00

Just as we near the end of the hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean, winds whirl and clouds churn 2 billion miles away in the atmosphere of Uranus, forming a dark vortex large enough to engulf two-thirds of the United States. Astronomers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison used NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to take the first definitive images of a dark spot on Uranus. The elongated feature measures 1,100 miles by 1,900 miles (1,700 kilometers by 3,000 kilometers). This three-wavelength...

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2006-08-31 12:51:56

This image is a never-before-seen astronomical alignment of a moon traversing the face of Uranus, and its accompanying shadow. The white dot near the center of Uranus' blue-green disk is the icy moon Ariel. The 700-mile-diameter satellite is casting a shadow onto the cloud tops of Uranus. To an observer on Uranus, this would appear as a solar eclipse, where the moon briefly blocks out the Sun as its shadow races across Uranus's cloud tops. Though such "transits" by moons across the disks of...

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2006-08-25 11:26:43

WASHINGTON (AP) - "My Very Excellent Mother Just Sent Us Nine Pizzas." That and variations on it are the way millions of people learned to remember the names of the planets in the solar system - Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto. The problem is that an international convention of astronomers decreed Thursday that tiny Pluto no longer meets the definition of a planet. What a way to spoil a good mnemonic. Now how will students learn the planets? Some...

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2006-08-15 18:05:46

Voyager 1, already the most distant human-made object in the cosmos, reaches 100 astronomical units from the sun on Tuesday, August 15 at 5:13 p.m. Eastern time (2:13 p.m. Pacific time). That means the spacecraft, which launched nearly three decades ago, will be 100 times more distant from the sun than Earth is. In more common terms, Voyager 1 will be about 15 billion kilometers (9.3 billion miles) from the sun. Dr. Ed Stone, Voyager project scientist and the former director of NASA's Jet...

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2006-06-16 09:08:58

Each of our Solar System's outer gaseous planets hosts a system of multiple satellites, and these objects include Jupiter's volcanic Io and Europa with its believed subsurface ocean, as well as Titan with its dense and organic-rich atmosphere at Saturn. While individual satellite properties vary, the systems all share a striking similarity: the total mass of each satellite system compared to the mass of its host planet is very nearly a constant ratio, roughly 1:10,000. Research by...

2006-04-26 12:10:00

By Deborah Zabarenko WASHINGTON -- An early gravitational dance made the giant planets tilt the way they do -- which is different from the way Earth and the other smaller planets tilt, an astronomer reported on Wednesday. The shift probably happened billions of years ago when the bigger planets in our solar system were closer together than they are now, and the gravity of each one exerted a pull on the others, said Adrian Brunini of the Facultad de Ciencias Astronomicas y Geofisicas in Buenos...

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2006-04-13 10:41:09

This month, Venus can guide you to a naked-eye planet that ancient astronomers inexplicably failed to see. Ancient people didn't have TV or electric lights. So, when the sun went down every night, they got their entertainment by watching the sky. And it was entertaining. Without city lights to interfere, the Milky Way was spectacular. Meteors flitted across the sky. Zodiacal lights chased the sunset. Of special interest were the five naked-eye planets, the ones you could see without a...

2006-04-06 14:20:00

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent WASHINGTON -- The newly discovered outer ring of Uranus is bright blue, for the same reason the Earth's sky is blue -- it is made up of tiny particles, astronomers said on Thursday. It is "strikingly similar" to Saturn's outer ring, which astronomers last month confirmed was probably generated by one of the planet's moons, Enceladus. Like Saturn's ring, the Uranus ring also has a small moon in it, called Mab. But Mab is too small and too cold to...


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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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
penuche
  • A fudgelike confection of brown sugar, cream or milk, and chopped nuts.
'Penuche' is a variant of 'panocha,' a coarse grade of sugar made in Mexico. 'Panocha' probably comes from the Spanish 'panoja, panocha,' ear of grain.
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