Shop Windows to the Universe

Hands On Mineral Identification helps you to identify over 14,500 minerals! By M. Darby Dyar, Ph.D. See our DVD collection.
The Hubble Space Telescope takes photographs of Uranus and helps scientists study its climate.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of NASA

Spring is no Picnic on Uranus
News story originally written on February 14, 2000

If you lived on Uranus, spring would probably not be your favorite season. Thanks to the Hubble Space Telescope, scientists can study the planet's climate like never before. They came up with some surprising results.

On Earth, spring is often considered a favorite season. The snow is melted, the grass is green and the temperatures warm up. On Uranus, spring signals a time of violent storms and cold temperatures. There are hurricanes larger than half of the United States, and temperatures dip below -300 ° F!

"No one has ever seen this view in the modern era of astronomy because of the long year of Uranus - more than 84 Earth years," Heidi Hammel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said in a statement.

Spring on Earth lasts for a few months. But on Uranus it won't be summer until the year 2007! This doesn't seem so bad when you compare it to the decades of winter the planet is leaving behind. Only one word comes to mind... Burr!

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Our online store includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, as well as books on science education!

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

What Causes the Seasons?

Let's get rid of some common misconceptions about the seasons. The Earth's orbit is in the shape of an ellipse, so that sometimes the Earth is a little bit closer to the Sun than at other times. Is this...more

Hurricanes (also known as Tropical Cyclones)

As a strong hurricane heads towards a vulnerable coast, people take precautions - boarding up houses, packing the car, and evacuating. These massive storms can spell disaster for people in hurricane prone...more

1999--A Year in Review...

It was another exciting and frustrating year for the space science program. It seemed that every step forward led to one backwards. Either way, NASA led the way to a great century of discovery. Unfortunately,...more

STS-95 Launch: "Let the wings of Discovery lift us on to the future."

The Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center at 2:19 p.m. EST, October 29th. The sky was clear and the weather was great as Discovery took 8 1/2 minutes to reach orbit for the Unitied...more

Moon Found Orbiting Asteroid

A moon was discovered orbiting the asteroid, Eugenia. This is only the second time in history that a satellite has been seen circling an asteroid. A special mirror allowed scientists to find the moon...more

U.S. is Fed Up with Russia

Will Russia ever put the service module for the International Space Station in space? NASA officials are demanding an answer from the Russian government. The necessary service module is currently waiting...more

More on Recent Coronal Mass Ejection

During a period of about two days in early May, 1998, the ACE spacecraft was immersed in plasma associated with a coronal mass ejection (CME). The SWICS instrument on ACE, which determines unambiguously...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA