Uranus
Uranus from Titania

Uranus from Titania

This painting, in acrylics, formed a double-page spread in Challenge of the Stars, Hardy's 1972 book with Sir Patrick Moore. At this time it was not known that Uranus has rings.

Rings of Uranus

Rings of Uranus

Unlike Saturn's brilliant, icy girdle, the rings of Uranus (discovered by Voyager) are quite dark and widely spaced. Here we are among the rocky particles. The blue-green gas giant, with its retinue of satellites, rotates at almost a right-angle to the plane of its orbit. Uniquely, its poles can point towards the Sun. (Gouache)

Ice Cliffs of Miranda

Ice Cliffs of Miranda

One of the most spectacular discoveries of Voyager 2. Close to the south pole of Miranda, ice-cliffs rise up to 5km (3 miles) from the valley floor at an angle of 45-50 degrees. (Digital, from Futures.)

Uranus is another gas giant, smaller than Jupiter and Saturn, and blue-green in colour. Its most unusual feature is that instead of spinning upright, like a top, it 'rolls' around its orbit like a ball on its side, its axis being tilted at 98 degrees (Earth's axial tilt is 23.5). Once thought to have 5 moons, the latest count was 27…

Text & images copyright © 2015 AstroArt by David A. Hardy. All Rights Reserved.

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