Uranus – what’s with the name?

Uranus stinks!

Uranus stinks!

Yer Anus?!? Did she just say what I think she said? Oh I see. Uranus! Well, you should have just said so in the first place! Makena and Charae’ ask Professor B about some of the characteristics of Uranus as they look at it through their binoculars. You can learn a lot from just looking at the sky from your backyard.

Listen here [3:36m]:

What’s the facts:

Uranus was discovered by William Herschel, in 1781. This planet is strange to the solar system in many ways. Though most planets rotate on an axis perpendicular to it’s elliptical orbit around the Sun, Uranus’ axis is nearly parallel to it, so it’s rolling like a barrel on its side. Uranus is composed primarily of rock and various ices, and its atmosphere is about 83% hydrogen, 15% helium and 2% methane. The methane (a chemical that’s also in cigarettes, yuck!) in Uranus’ upper atmosphere absorbs red light and reflects blue light, giving the planet a blue appearance. Uranus has 27 fascinating moons, named mostly afters Shakespeare characters and a complicated ring systemOne year on Uranus is the equivalent to about 84 years on Earth, but it’s day (rotation around it’s axis) is only a little more than 17 Earth-hours. Careful pronunciation may be necessary to avoid embarrassment; say “YOOR a nus” , not “your anus” or “urine us”.

Original air date 4 April 2009.


One response to “Uranus – what’s with the name?

  1. Pingback: Uranus – what's with the name? « Astrofacts! | planets

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