Uranus is the seventh planet from our Sun. It has 27 known natural satellites. The names for these satellites are chosen from characters from the works of Shakespeare and Alexander Pope. The five main satellites are Miranda, Ariel, Umbriel, Titania and Oberon. Sir William Herschel announced its discovery on March 13, 1781, expanding the known boundaries of the Solar System for the first time in modern history. Uranus was also the first planet discovered with a telescope.

Uranus is similar in composition to Neptune, and both are of different chemical composition than the larger gas giants Jupiter and Saturn. As such, astronomers sometimes place them in a separate category, the 'ice giants'. Uranus's atmosphere, while similar to Jupiter and Saturn's in its primary composition of hydrogen and helium, contains more 'ices' such as water, ammonia and methane, along with traces of hydrocarbons. It has the coldest planetary atmosphere in the Solar System, with a minimum temperature of 49 K (–224 °C). It has a complex, layered cloud structure, with water thought to make up the lowest clouds, and methane thought to make up the uppermost layer of clouds. In contrast the interior of Uranus is mainly composed of ices and rock.

Like the other giant planets, Uranus has a ring system. The Uranian system has a unique configuration among the planets because its axis of rotation is tilted sideways, nearly into the plane of its revolution about the Sun. As such, its north and south poles lie where most other planets have their equators.

In astrology he rules Aquarius the third of the three Air signs.

Uranus marks the area of the birth chart where we are most in touch with our originality and independence. Uranus encourages us to rebel against what is and to forge a new path. We may do this regardless of what our families have encouraged us to believe or value and regardless of what elements of security we might lose in the process. Where do we most desire to show our non-conformity? Where are we most likely to experience changes in life? Which circumstances of our lives are subject to alteration? Where is the best outlet for our urge to be a free spirit?

As Uranus spends a seven year perid of time in each sign, all those people born in one generation will have Uranus in the same sign. For this reason, the house position of Uranus is regarded as being more important than the sign position. Nevertheless, Uranus' movement through the signs tells us a great deal historically about the ways in which innovations and technological advances will occur.

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Last updated by Simon on 10th December 2020  •