Uranus and Ariel


Uranus_ArielUranus’ moon Ariel (white dot) and its shadow (black dot) were caught crossing the face of Uranus in this Hubble Space Telescope image. Note that the cloud bands which are aligned with the planet’s rotation are nearly vertical in the picture. Uranus is the giant planet whose equator is nearly at right angles to its orbit. A collision with an Earth-sized object several billion years ago is the likely cause of Uranus’ tilt. Nearly a twin to Neptune, Uranus has more methane in its mainly hydrogen and helium atmosphere than Jupiter or Saturn. Methane gives Uranus its blue tint.

Image Credit: NASA

Uranus and Ariel


Uranus_ArielUranus’ moon Ariel (white dot) and its shadow (black dot) were caught crossing the face of Uranus in this Hubble Space Telescope image. Note that the cloud bands which are aligned with the planet’s rotation are nearly vertical in the picture. Uranus is the giant planet whose equator is nearly at right angles to its orbit. A collision with an Earth-sized object several billion years ago is the likely cause of Uranus’ tilt. Nearly a twin to Neptune, Uranus has more methane in its mainly hydrogen and helium atmosphere than Jupiter or Saturn. Methane gives Uranus its blue tint.

Image Credit: NASA

Mixed Mythologies


Uranus’ moon Ariel (white dot) and its shadow (black dot) were caught crossing the face of Uranus in this Hubble Space Telescope image.

Uranus is named for the Greek deity of the sky (Οὐρανός). Ariel is named for a sky spirit in Pope’s The Rape of the Lock and Shakespeare’s The Tempest. All of Uranus’s moons are named after characters from the works of William Shakespeare or Pope’s The Rape of the Lock.

Image Credit: NASA