Voyager image of Uranus and at least 3 of its moons.
It has at least 15.
You know what’s really cool about the seventh planet from the sun? All the moons. Not just that either, but that several of the moons are named for characters in William Shakespeare’s Midsummer Nights Dream. Now, I happen to really like Shakespeare, but if you don’t, you’d probably still get a kick out of someone having to wear a donkey head for most of a play, which is just what happens to one of the characters. Come on, that’s just funny. Talk about taking the seriousness out of the pretentious sounding English delivery…just wear a donkey head. Then there’s the fairy/sprite Puck. It’s due to his errors and mischievous nature that so many hilarious problems and hijinks occur in the play. Puck is also the name of one of Uranus’ moons. Actually, many of Shakespeare’s best known plays are represented in the names of Uranus’ moons. Very cool. I like that better than the name of Earth’s moon, which we call…Moon.
This view of Uranus was acquired by Voyager 2 on January 10, 1986. The blue-green appearance of its atmosphere results from methane and high-altitude photochemical smog. This gas absorbs red wavelengths from the incoming sunlight, leaving the predominant bluish color seen here.
(Copyright Calvin J. Hamilton)
Here’s a little something to help you remember the order of our planets:
Um, just x out that part about Pluto…
**(On August 24, 2006, the International Astronomical Union formally downgraded Pluto from an official planet to a dwarf planet. According to the new rules a planet meets three criteria: it must orbit the Sun, it must be big enough for gravity to squash it into a round ball, and it must have cleared other things out of the way in its orbital neighborhood. The latter measure knocks out Pluto, which orbit among the icy wrecks of the Kuiper Belt, and Ceres, which is in the asteroid belt.**