Uranus: Neptune's twin
Guess what?Uranus is a large, plain, blue-green planet which can only be seen from the Earth with the unaided eye on a clear, dark night.
Uranus is unique in our solar system because it is tilted 98 degrees. When
viewed from Earth, it appears to rotate on its side! At different times
throughout its orbit, we can actually view one of
the planet's poles head-on. The atmosphere is composed of hydrogen,
helium, and methane. The temperature in the upper atmosphere is so cold that
the methane condenses and forms a thin cloud layer which gives the planet its
blue-green appearance. The winds on Uranus blow mainly to the east and can
reach speeds up to 600 kilometers per hour. The rapid spin of Uranus
influences the winds in the atmosphere. Uranus has a very strong magnetic
field. This planet has a system of rings which
was not discovered until 1977. The ring system contains eleven dark rings
composed of varying sized particles. Satellites embedded in the rings create
gaps between the rings. Uranus has 27 known natural satellites, both
within the rings and outside of the rings.
A QuestionWhy are we occasionally able to view a pole of Uranus head-on?
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