Q:

What landforms are on the planet Uranus?

A:

Quick Answer

Uranus does not have any landforms because it has no solid surface. This planet is a gas giant, composed largely of various gases and icy materials.

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Full Answer

Uranus is made up mostly of hydrogen and helium gases, layered on top of a liquid core. It is this icy material – water, methane and ammonia – located at the interior of the planet that gives Uranus its density. The outer layers are clouds, which reflect sunlight and give the planet its blue color.

Uranus has an unusual rotation axis that runs from its top to its bottom, rather than from side to side like all the other planets. Scientists hypothesize that this is the result of an interplanetary collision. This unusual axis has interfered with the planet's magnetic field, throwing into question which is the true north pole. It has 13 rings, all of which are perpendicular to its orbit.

Scientists know of 27 moons orbiting Uranus, all of which have names paying homage to writers William Shakespeare and Alexander Pope. Perhaps the most popular moon is Miranda, a patchwork of peaks and valleys. Uranus, first discovered in 1781 by William Herschel, orbits the Sun once every 84 years. Even the seasons are long, spanning two decades.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How long is a year on Uranus?

    A:

    A year on Uranus is equivalent to 84 Earth years, as it takes that long for Uranus to make one revolution around the sun. A day on Uranus is equivalent to about 17 Earth hours.

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  • Q:

    How much larger is Uranus than Earth?

    A:

    Uranus is around four times larger than Earth. Its mass is made of helium, ice and ammonia, which contributes to its color. Because of its mass and position in the universe, Uranus presents significantly different conditions to those on Earth.

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  • Q:

    How many miles is Uranus from the sun?

    A:

    Uranus is 1.79 billion miles away from the sun at its closest point. Since Uranus follows an elliptical orbit, this number varies up to 1.86 billion miles.

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  • Q:

    What are some special features of Uranus?

    A:

    Special features of Uranus include its 27 moons, faint rings and construction, which is mostly ice. Uranus consists of water, methane and ammonia above a small, rocky inner core. Methane gas gives Uranus its blue tint. Uranus, along with Venus, rotates in the direction opposite to that of most other planets.

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