Tuesday, October 23, 2012

There's lots of fun to be had with Uranus!

Ran across this headline today, and could not help reverting to the status of child and laughing out loud at my desk: The Most Detailed Images of Uranus' Atmosphere Ever

Reminded me of the childhood joke: "Where did the Star Ship Enterprise find Klingons? On Uranus!"

So I had to wiki Uranus, and my coworker and I couldn't help but laugh reading some passages of the entry out-loud. I have highlighted the funniest. Trust me, read these out loud with friends around.

  • Uranus has a ring system.
  • The wind speeds on Uranus can reach 250 meters per second (900 km/h, 560 mph).
  • Uranus had been observed on many occasions.
  • The French astronomer Pierre Lemonnier observed Uranus at least twelve times between 1750 and 1769, including on four consecutive nights.
  • In 1845, Urbain Le Verrier began his own independent research into Uranus.
  • The rotational period of the interior of Uranus is 17 hours, 14 minutes, clockwise (retrograde).
  • Uranus has an axial tilt of 97.77 degrees.
  • Uranus rotates more like a tilted rolling ball.
  • At the other side of Uranus...
  • Uranus reached its most recent equinox on December 7, 2007.
  • The polar regions of Uranus receive a greater energy input.
  • Uranus is hotter at its equator than at its poles.
  • The reason for Uranus's unusual axial tilt is also not known with certainty.
  • From 1995 to 2006, Uranus's apparent magnitude fluctuated between +5.6 and +5.9, placing it just within the limit of naked eye visibility.
  • Uranus is visible to the naked eye in dark skies, and becomes an easy target even in urban conditions.
  • Uranus's interior is not precisely known.
  • Uranus's structure ... consists of three layers: a rocky ... core in the center, a... mantle in the middle and an outer gaseous ... envelope.
  • Uranus's heat flux...
  • When Uranus was hit by a supermassive impactor, which caused it to expel most of its primordial heat, it was left with a depleted core temperature.
  • The outermost part of Uranus's gaseous envelope that is accessible to remote sensing is called its atmosphere.
  • [The] extended corona is a unique feature of Uranus. Its effects include a drag on small particles orbiting Uranus, causing a general depletion of dust in the Uranian rings.
  • William Herschel described a possible ring around Uranus in 1789. This sighting is generally considered doubtful, as the rings are quite faint, and in the two following centuries none were noted by other observers. Still, Herschel made an accurate description of the epsilon ring's size, its angle [and] its red color.
  • Uranus has relatively well developed aurorae.
  • Uranus's atmosphere is remarkably bland.
  • On August 23, 2006, researchers ... observed a dark spot on Uranus's surface.
  • Good data on Uranus's atmosphere have existed for less than 84 years.
  • Uranus displayed elevated levels of brightness.
  • Uranus's hemispheres lie alternately either in full glare.
  • ...probe encountered Uranus.
  • ...closest approach to Uranus.
  • Its irregular structure, its tilt and its unique corkscrew magnetotail [are] caused by Uranus's sideways orientation.
  • Uranus was evaluated during a mission extension planning phase in 2009.
  • a 13-year cruise to Uranus.
  • Uranus entry probe
  • Colonization of Uranus
By the way, this guy...

...discovered Uranus using this device...

Ouch!  And Uranus is named after the Greek god of the sky, Ouranus. Really. And originally, Uranus was named Georgium Sidus. At least it was George's Star, not George's Moon!