On January 24th, 1986, Voyager 2 swept past our system’s seventh planet, Uranus, on its way through the solar system. It was the first and last time we visited the gas giant, and we found it’s one of the stranger locations in our solar system.
People like to make lists of things, especially lists of superlatives: the best, fastest, oldest, largest, heaviest and so on. There are lists of the ten fastest animals and the ten longest rivers and even of the ten highest-paid rock stars. The Guinness company created a small industry from publishing lists exactly…
Do names determine our destiny? Certainly, Uranus (properly pronounced, yur-an-us) makes a strong case for that theory. The planet has been repeatedly ignored by space missions, aside from a Voyager 2 flyby in 1986. But, a group of planetary scientists say Uranus has fascinating traits that merit investigation.
Just released by NASA's Cassini Imaging Team, the picture above shows Uranus as a tiny blue orb shining far beyond the bright hazy bands of Saturn's F ring.
Two-hundred-and-thirty-two years ago a mistake was made. The question is, do we have to keep living with it forever, or is it finally time to rename Uranus?
Almost fifty years after his death, Frank R. Paul remains one of the biggest names in science fiction art and pulp magazine illustration. These visions of life on moons and planets throughout our solar system (recently posted to reddit with no attribution to Paul, his work, or his impact) provide us with another…
Outside of Earth, we've seen auroras on Jupiter and Saturn, but never on Uranus. Now, for the first time, the Hubble Space Telescope has photographed two auroral storms, each as large as the Earth.
Back in the Forties, the science fiction rag Planet Comics published the ongoing feature "Life On Other Worlds." This section peppered scientific know-how amongst whatever gonzo shit the writer happened to make up. Here's a tour of our Solar System using old issues of Planet Comics. Did you know that Mars is occupied…
Uranus is unique among all the planets of the solar system because it essentially orbits on its side, with its axis tilted nearly perpendicular to the Sun. Now astronomers have finally solved the mystery of why Uranus looks so strange.
This solar system just doesn't work. According to a new computer simulation, the planets could never have come together in their current configuration. The only explanation is that we once had a fifth gas giant...and it's still out there somewhere.
We've just learned that there's strong evidence that saltwater flows on the surface of Mars. It's another reminder that water is everywhere in our solar system, whether it's ice, vapor, or liquid. Here's a handy guide to where all the water can be found.
Last week saw Neptune Day, the first anniversary - in Neptune years - of the planet's discovery on September 23, 1846. That got us thinking: what are the "birthdays" for all the other planets? Here's a handy, mildly insane guide.
Verona Rupes is a huge cliff face located on Uranus's moon Miranda. It's the tallest cliff in the solar system, as much as twenty kilometers deep. If you jumped off it, you'd fall for twelve minutes...and you could still survive.
NASA's Messenger probe is currently orbiting close around the Sun in preparation for its mission to Mercury. While making its lonely orbit, Messenger snapped this amazing photo that shows all the planets (plus our Moon) in one big family photo.
The great challenge for any climber is to conquer each continent's tallest mountain. But tomorrow's climbers can consider a far more extreme challenge: leaving Earth to climb the tallest peaks of the solar system. Here's how they'll do it.
Remote gas giant planets Neptune and Uranus could be covered in vast seas of liquid diamond, dotted with solid diamond chunks like icebergs. A new experiment revealed such oceans are plausible, and would explain some oddities about Neptune's magnetic field.