Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 21:24 EDT

Latest Uranus Stories

2005-12-22 16:10:00

NASA -- To the surprise of astronomers, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has photographed a pair of new rings around the distant planet Uranus. The largest is twice the diameter of the planet's previously known rings. The new rings are so far away that they are being called Uranus's "second ring system." In addition, Hubble has spied two small satellites, one sharing its orbit with one of the newly discovered rings. Even more surprisingly, precise analysis of the data reveals that the orbits of...

2005-11-12 09:15:00

UCLA -- A new computer model indicates Jupiter's massive winds are generated from deep within the giant planet's interior, a UCLA scientist and international colleagues report today in the journal Nature. Jupiter's powerful winds are very different from those on Earth. They continually circle the planet, and have changed very little in the 300 years that scientists have studied them. Massive east-west winds in Jupiter's equatorial region reach approximately 340 miles per hour -- twice as...

2005-09-20 09:00:00

NASA -- Comet Tempel-1 may have been born in the region of the solar system occupied by Uranus and Neptune today, according to one possibility from an analysis of the comet's debris blasted into space by NASA's Deep Impact mission. If correct, the observation supports a wild scenario for the solar system's youth, where the planets Uranus and Neptune may have traded places and scattered comets to deep space. "Our observation is a definitive investigation revealing the composition of comet...

2005-09-13 09:10:00

NASA -- Turbulence driven by sunlight and thunderstorm activity may explain the multiple east-west jet streams on Jupiter and Saturn and even produce strong winds extending hundreds or thousands of kilometers into the interior, far below the altitudes where the jets are driven. Scientists have been trying to understand the mechanisms that form the jet streams and control their structure since the first high-resolution images of Jupiter were returned by the Pioneer and Voyager spacecraft in...

2005-07-13 06:51:52

Last August, two groups of scientists announced the discovery of the smallest extrasolar planets found to date. But just what are these Neptune-size worlds? Are they gas giants, ice giants, or oversized Earths? Astronomer Alan Boss examines the possibilities. Astrobiology Magazine -- Over the past decade, astronomers using a planet-hunting technique that measures small changes in a star's speed relative to Earth, have discovered more than 130 extrasolar planets. The first such planets were...

2005-05-26 00:50:00

Astrobiology Magazine -- People of every culture have been fascinated by the dark "spots" on the Moon, which seem to compose the figure of a rabbit, frogs or the face of a clown. With the Apollo missions, scientists found that these features are actually huge impact basins that were flooded with now-solidified lava. One surprise was that these basins formed relatively late in the history of the early solar system -- approximately 700 million years after the formation of the Earth and...

2005-02-08 16:00:00

JPL -- Colorful new images from the Cassini spacecraft show that Saturn's northern hemisphere has a case of the blues. In the first image, the icy moon Mimas is set against a dazzling and dramatic portrait of Saturn's azure northern hemisphere and the shadows of its rings. A second image shows Saturn's northern polar region is a dim blue. The blue color of Saturn's northern latitudes may to be linked to the apparently cloud-free nature of the upper atmosphere there. A precise understanding...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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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