Uranus, Another Peculiar Planet

The planet Uranus had long been thought to be a star, what with its slow orbit, distance from the sun and all. Creationist scientist Sir William Herschel finally determined that it was neither a star nor a comet, but a planet. He also discovered its two largest moons.
Credit: Voyager 2 Team, NASA

Uranus is not all that thrilling. A ball of gas similar to Jupiter and Saturn, with a density that indicates a core of various ices. No sense in making plans to colonize that one. But this planet has some characteristics that are quite intriguing, such as its unusual tilt. These also add to the list of items that thwart evolutionary cosmogony and support creation science. Especially since Russ Humphreys predicted its magnetic field, and was proven right.
Detailed study of Uranus with Earth-based telescopes has been difficult due to the extreme distance. The Voyager 2 spacecraft provided the most detailed images to date when it flew past Uranus in 1986, generating pictures of a nearly featureless blue sphere without the prominent belts and zones found on Jupiter and Saturn. Though it appeared bland during the Voyager 2 flyby, Uranus does manifest white clouds on occasion that are detectable in large, Earth-based telescopes.

Uranus has a system of rings that are quite different from the rings of Saturn. Saturn’s main rings are broad sheets of orbiting material, whereas the rings of Uranus are more like a series of 13 thin ropes. Each of these ropes encircles Uranus at a discrete distance, and all are in the plane of its equator. These rings were discovered in 1977 when Uranus passed in front of a bright star. Astronomers were monitoring the brightness of the star in order to assess the atmosphere of Uranus in the brief moment when the planet just began to cover the star.7 Much to their surprise, the star “winked out” five times before Uranus passed in front of it and again five times afterward. They correctly deduced that a system of five narrow rings surrounds Uranus. The other eight rings were detected at a later date. Since their initial discovery, Uranus’ rings have been imaged directly by the Voyager 2 spacecraft and also by the Hubble Space Telescope.
You can read the rest of "The Solar System: Uranus", in its full context.