This is an image of Uranus.
Click on image for full size
An Overview of Uranus' Atmospheric Evolution
Atmospheres of the giant planets have definitely evolved from their formation
out of the primitive solar nebula. How much they have evolved remains to be seen, however. Because of their enormous gravity, most of the original atmosphere of the planet remains in place
. (The terrestrial planets lost all of the original atmosphere they were made with, because the atmosphere drifted away).
Unlike Jupiter or Saturn, which are made primarily of Hydrogen and Helium, Uranus is made mostly of icy material, the solid form of complex molecules such as methane, ethane, and water. The reason for this is because the nebula itself influenced the kind of material which formed near Uranus.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
on science education, classroom activities in The Earth Scientist
specimens, and educational games
You might also be interested in:
The position of the planets in the solar nebula greatly affected their 1. size and 2. composition. This is because of the effect of how cold it was in the nebula. 1. The nebula was a lot warmer close to...more
Besides methane, Uranus' atmosphere contains more sophisticated atmospheric molecules such as ethane gas, acetylene, and diacetylene. All these molecules form layers of haze at different altitudes high...more
The mesosphere of Uranus is a region of balance between warming and cooling. That essentially means that nothing happens there. Except for diffusion, the atmosphere is still. Upper reaches of the atmosphere,...more
As on Earth, the atmosphere of Uranus consists of a troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, and thermosphere. The troposphere is the region where the visible clouds are to be found. The stratosphere, as...more
On Uranus, as on Jupiter, the winds in the belts and zones blow first in one direction, then in the opposite direction. Wind blows east in a belt, and west in a zone. The clouds rise up in a belt, and...more
The striped cloud bands on Uranus, like Jupiter, are divided into belts and zones. On Uranus the belts and zones are hard to distinquish. The left picture shows the north pole of Uranus. In this picture...more
The clouds of Uranus, composed of methane crystals, are found very low in the troposphere, and are difficult to distinquish below the smog haz es of the planet's atmosphere. False color is used, in the...more