Image uranus and neptune comparison

Uranus and Neptune

Uranus and Neptune are two gas planets that are similar in dimension and composition. They are about 20 and 30 Astronomical Units, respectively, from the Sun, which corresponds to 6000 and 9000 billion footsteps.

To get an idea of their size we have included in the figure going from left to right – Earth, Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune. Although the two gas planets are smaller than Jupiter they have every right to be classified as giants.

Uranus, seen from the Earth, seems to be spinning on its side, this is because its axis is almost parallel with the plane of its orbit.This unusual behaviour is perhaps due to a past collision with a large body such as a comet.

Its atmosphere is made up of hydrogen, helium and methane. It rotates so quickly that it creates surface winds of up to 600 km per hour. Uranus has twenty-one moons, some are very small with diameters of just a hundred kilometres.

Neptune’s atmosphere is also rich in helium and methane and its winds can reach a frightening speed of 2000 kilometres per hour! Its biggest satellite is Triton, which rotates around Neptune in the opposite direction to all its other satellites. This, according to astronomers, is because originally Triton wasn’t a satellite but was trapped by Neptune’s gravitational pull and forced to orbit around it.

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