Planet Uranus Images

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Uranus orbits the Sun once every 84 years. Its average distance from the Sun is roughly 20 AU (3 billion km; 2 billion mi). The difference between its minimum and maximum distance from the Sun is 1. 8 AU, larger than that of any other planet, though not as large as that of Pluto, the nearest dwarf planet. The intensity of sunlight varies inversely with the square of distance, and so on Uranus (at about 20 times the distance from the Sun compared to Earth) it is about 1/400 the intensity of light on Earth. Its orbital elements were first calculated in 1783 by Pierre-Simon Laplace. With time, discrepancies began to appear between the predicted and observed orbits, and in 1841, John Couch Adams first proposed that the differences might be due to the gravitational tug of an unseen planet. In 1845, Urbain Le Verrier began his own independent research into Uranus's orbit. On 23 September 1846, Johann Gottfried Galle located a new planet, later named Neptune, at nearly the position predicted by Le Verrier.