Latest Uranus Stories
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.
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.
This month, Venus can guide you to a naked-eye planet that ancient astronomers inexplicably failed to see.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By using a computer program to play a complex game of "what if," scientists have developed a tale of chaos in the early solar system that they say explains several mysteries about why our cosmic neighborhood turned out the way it did.
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
- Emitting flashes of light; glittering.