A Blog by

This Is What Uranus Looks Like From Saturn

The planet Uranus is spectacularly far away. Even when viewed from Saturn, the next planet in, icy Uranus is still just a few pixels of blue in an inky black sky. This photo was taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft while the probe was 2,659,800,000 miles away from Uranus.

Here, Saturn’s A and F rings arc across the foreground. Uranus is in the upper left. With the equivalent of 14.5 Earth-masses of material, the planet is considered an ice giant (its neighbor Neptune is, too) since it’s primarily made of water, ammonia, and methane ices. It looks blue in photographs because the methane in its atmosphere absorbs red wavelengths and reflects blue.

Like Saturn, Uranus has rings and moons. But unlike Saturn — and indeed every other planet in the solar system — the ice giant is tipped on its side. In other words, rather than spinning like a top as it circles the sun, Uranus rolls around on its side. It’s not exactly clear why this is the case, but one of the more popular theories suggests that early on, a pair of giant impacts pummeled the planet and knocked it over. This strange configuration isn’t the only enigma in cool, blue Uranus’ clutches, though: The planet’s moon Miranda is one of the strangest objects in the solar system, a tiny world that looks like it’s been blasted apart and put back together again.

5 thoughts on “This Is What Uranus Looks Like From Saturn

  1. Here in Hawaii we have the Keck optical telescope atop thw 13,500 ft peak
    Mauna Kea , one of the the newest and largest instruments in the the world.
    Approval has been given to construct the largest telescope ever attempted
    there too , a gasping 30 meters. We out here MId/Pac are keen sky gazers
    too! Science!

  2. Uranus . . . or, as I purrrrrrr-fer to say, “Yearnus”. They say she’s cold as ice, but that is just her mask. Those closest to her share her secret – she has a strong drive burning down deep inside – radiating from the center of her soul.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *