Uranus is the seventh planet from the Sun. Its name is a reference to the Greek god of the sky, Uranus, who, according to Greek mythology, was the great-grandfather of Ares (Mars), grandfather of Zeus (Jupiter) and father of Cronus (Saturn). It has the third-largest planetary radius and fourth-largest planetary mass in the Solar System. Uranus is similar in composition to Neptune, and both have bulk chemical compositions which differ from that of the larger gas giants Jupiter and Saturn. For this reason, scientists often classify Uranus and Neptune as "ice giants" to distinguish them from the other giant planets. Uranus's atmosphere is similar to Jupiter's and Saturn's in its primary composition of hydrogen and helium, but it contains more "ices" such as water, ammonia, and methane, along with traces of other hydrocarbons.[17] It has the coldest planetary atmosphere in the Solar System, with a minimum temperature of 49 K (−224 °C; −371 °F), and has a complex, layered cloud structure with water thought to make up the lowest clouds and methane the uppermost layer of clouds.[17] The interior of Uranus is mainly composed of ices and rock.[16]

Photograph of Uranus in true colour (by Voyager 2 in 1986)
Discovered byWilliam Herschel
Discovery date13 March 1781
Pronunciation/jʊˈrnəs/ (listen)[1][2] or /ˈjʊərənəs/ (listen)
Named after
the Latin form Ūranus of the Greek god Οὐρανός Ouranos
AdjectivesUranian (/jʊˈrniən/)[3]
Orbital characteristics[4][lower-alpha 1]
Epoch J2000
Aphelion20.11 AU (3008 Gm)
Perihelion18.33 AU (2742 Gm)
19.2185 AU (2875.04 Gm)
369.66 days[7]
6.80 km/s[7]
Inclination0.773° to ecliptic
6.48° to Sun's equator
0.99° to invariable plane[8]
17-19 August 2050[9][10]
Known satellites27
Physical characteristics
Mean radius
25,362±7 km[11][lower-alpha 2]
Equatorial radius
25,559±4 km
4.007 Earths[11][lower-alpha 2]
Polar radius
24,973±20 km
3.929 Earths[11][lower-alpha 2]
Flattening0.0229±0.0008[lower-alpha 3]
Circumference159,354.1 km[5]
8.1156×109 km2[5][lower-alpha 2]
15.91 Earths
Volume6.833×1013 km3[7][lower-alpha 2]
63.086 Earths
Mass(8.6810±0.0013)×1025 kg
14.536 Earths[12]
GM=5,793,939±13 km3/s2
Mean density
1.27 g/cm3[7][lower-alpha 4]
8.69 m/s2[7][lower-alpha 2]
0.886 g
0.23[13] (estimate)
21.3 km/s[7][lower-alpha 2]
−0.71832 d
−17 h 14 m 23 s
(retrograde) (synodic; solar day) [6]
−0.71833 d
−17 h 14 min 24 s
Equatorial rotation velocity
2.59 km/s
9,320 km/h
97.77° (to orbit)[7]
North pole right ascension
17h 9m 15s
North pole declination
Albedo0.300 (Bond)[14]
0.488 (geom.)[15]
Surface temp. min mean max
1 bar level[16] 76 K (−197.2 °C)
0.1 bar
47 K 53 K 57 K
5.38[18] to 6.03[18]
3.3″ to 4.1″[7]
Atmosphere[17][19][20][lower-alpha 5]
27.7 km[7]
Composition by volume(Below 1.3 bar)



    Like the other giant planets, Uranus has a ring system, a magnetosphere, and numerous moons. The Uranian system has a unique configuration because its axis of rotation is tilted sideways, nearly into the plane of its solar orbit. Its north and south poles, therefore, lie where most other planets have their equators.[22] In 1986, images from Voyager 2 showed Uranus as an almost featureless planet in visible light, without the cloud bands or storms associated with the other giant planets.[22] Voyager 2 remains the only spacecraft to visit the planet.[23] Observations from Earth have shown seasonal change and increased weather activity as Uranus approached its equinox in 2007. Wind speeds can reach 250 metres per second (900 km/h; 560 mph).[24]