Uranus, the seventh planet from the sun, was the first planet to be discovered using a telescope. It is an odd world that tilts over on one side, with thin rings and dozens of moons.
In 2022, Uranus was selected by planetary scientists as a top target in the solar system for exploration, and NASA expects to launch a new probe sometime in the 2030s, that will explore sideways Uranus in greater detail than ever before. In English, the planet’s name can be pronounced two ways — YOU’-rin-us and you-RAIN’-us. Both invite puerile puns that have made Uranus the butt of schoolyard jokes for generations.
How did Uranus get its name?
In 1781, astronomer Frederick William Herschel spotted Uranus through his telescope, making it the first planet to be discovered in the modern scientific era, according to NASA. Herschel originally thought he was looking at either a comet or a star, but observations by other astronomers, including Johann Elert Bode in the late 1700s, eventually proved it to be a newfound planet.
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