2020 events

Sun 14:30-15:00
Starlight Room

The planet Uranus

Ian Sullivan


The first planet not easily visible to the naked eye was discovered in 1781 by William Herschel, a German who lived in England and became world famous. He made his own instruments and was granted a pension by King George III. He also discovered the first 3 of Uranus' satellites. Its rings were first detected in 1977. The Voyager II Spacecraft found more in 1986.

It can just be seen with the naked eye from Earth, but is not a common small telescope object as it shows no distinctive features – just a pale blue-green colour.

Uranus rotates counter to most other planets, but is a gas giant like Saturn, Jupiter, and later Neptune. Its structure is similar to the other gas giants, but its rotation axis and slower revolution gives it strange day/night and seasonal characteristics.

This talk will discuss the discovery and strange nature of Uranus.