March 13, 1781 – Uranus was discovered by William Herschel.
On this day in history in 1781, composer, astronomer, and general man-about-town William Herschel discovered the 7th planet in our solar system, Uranus. Now, we’re all adults here and far too mature to laugh over the word “Uranus,” right? Oh, no, wait. I mean the exact opposite of that.
So in honor of 6th grade humor everywhere, here are 13 things you didn’t know about Uranus (which isn’t surprising, really, since it’s pretty dark up there and you’d need special equipment to get a close look, amirite?)
- The interior of Uranus is mostly made of ice and rocks.
- Uranus has a blue-green color due to the presence of methane.
- With careful observation, Uranus is visible to the naked eye.
- Uranus has several small rings around it made up of dark particles and ranging in color from red to blue-grey.
- In 2006, a dark spot was observed on Uranus.
- Uranus is sideways, with a slight bulge in the center.
- If someone were to spend a year on Uranus, it would last 84 times longer than a year on Earth.
- Uranus is surrounded by numerous moons.
- It is very cold on Uranus, with temperatures as low as -371.2°F.
- Uranus is 14.5 times more massive than the Earth.
- French astronomer Pierre Lemonnier observed Uranus multiple times in the mid-18th century.
- Uranus is known as a gas giant.
- In 1986, Uranus was explored by NASA’s Voyager 2 interplanetary probe.