Uranus Fact Sheet

[/caption]
The following Uranus fact sheet is based on NASA’s excellent planetary fact sheets. Uranus is the 7th planet from the Sun, and it requires a telescope to be able to see it.

Mass: 86.832 x 1024 kg
Volume: 6,833 x 1010 km3
Average radius: 25,362 km
Average diameter: 50,724 km
Mean density: 1.270 g/cm3
Escape velocity: 21.3 km/s
Surface gravity: 8.87 m/s2
Natural satellites: 27
Rings? – Yes
Semimajor axis: 2,872,460,000 km
Orbit period: 30,685.4 days
Perihelion: 2,741,300,000 km
Aphelion: 3,003,620,000 km
Mean orbital velocity: 6.81 km/s
Orbit inclination: 0.772°
Orbit eccentricity: 0.0457
Sidereal rotation period: 17.24 hours
Length of day: 17.24 hours
Axial tilt: 97.77°
Discovery: 13 March 1781
Minimum distance from Earth: 2,581,900,000 km
Maximum distance from Earth: 3,157,300,000 km
Maximum apparent diameter from Earth: 4.1 arc seconds
Minimum apparent diameter from Earth: 3.3 arc seconds
Maximum visual magnitude: 5.32

We’ve written many articles about Uranus for Universe Today. Here’s an article about the atmosphere of Uranus, and here’s an article about a blue ring around Uranus.

If you’d like more info on Uranus, check out Hubblesite’s News Releases about Uranus. And here’s a link to the NASA’s Solar System Exploration Guide to Uranus.

We’ve also recorded an entire episode of Astronomy Cast just about Uranus. Listen here, Episode 62: Uranus.

How Far is Uranus from the Sun?

Uranus’ distance from the Sun is 2.88 billion km. The exact number is 2,876,679,082 km. Want that number in miles? Uranus’ distance from the Sun is 1.79 billion miles.

This number is just an average, though. Uranus follows an elliptical orbit around the Sun. At its closest point, called perihelion, Uranus gets to within 2.75 billion km of the Sun. And then at its most distant point, called aphelion, Uranus gets to within 3 billion km from the Sun.

Astronomers use another term called “astronomical units” to measure distance within the Solar System. 1 astronomical unit, or AU, is the average distance from the Earth to the Sun – about 150 million km. So in astronomical units, Uranus is an average distance of 19.2 AU. Its perihelion is 18.4 AU, and its aphelion is 20.1 AU.

We have written many articles about Uranus for Universe Today. Here’s an article about how many rings Uranus has, and here are some interesting facts about Uranus.

If you’d like more information on Uranus, check out Hubblesite’s News Releases about Uranus. And here’s a link to the NASA’s Solar System Exploration Guide to Uranus.

We’ve also recorded an entire episode of Astronomy Cast all about Uranus. Listen here, Episode 62: Uranus.

How Long Does it Take Uranus to Orbit the Sun?

[/caption]
Uranus orbits the Sun much further than the Earth, and so it takes much longer to orbit the Sun. How much longer? Uranus takes 84.3 years to complete its orbit around the Sun. Uranus was only discovered in 1781 by Sir William Herschel. Since a year takes just over 83 Earth years, it completed its first orbit since discovery in 1865, and then its second in 1949. It’ll only complete its 3rd orbit around the Sun since its discovery in 2033.

Unlike most of the planets, which have slightly tilted orbits, Uranus is completely tilted over on its side. It kind of looks like it’s rolling its way around as it orbits the Sun. What this means is that one of Uranus’ hemispheres is completely in sunlight for half of its orbit, and then its other hemisphere is in sunlight for the rest of its orbit. Each pole gets 42 years of continual sunlight, followed by 42 years of continual darkness.

The orbit of Uranus is about the same length as the average life expectancy for a human being. In other words, if you were born on Uranus, you would only experience a single birthday, if you were lucky, after living for more than 84 Earth years. And nobody would experience two birthdays.

We have written many articles about Uranus for Universe Today. Here’s an article about how many rings Uranus has, and here’s an article about the atmosphere of Uranus.

If you’d like more information on Uranus, check out Hubblesite’s News Releases about Uranus. And here’s a link to the NASA’s Solar System Exploration Guide to Uranus.

We have also recorded an entire episode of Astronomy Cast just about Uranus. Listen here, Episode 62: Uranus.