What type of planet is Uranus?
Okay, so, to answer this question, let’s first think about the solar system that we’re in. Starting with the sun, which is at the centre of our solar system, and working outwards, we can see that the first planet in our solar system is Mercury. Then, we’ve got Venus, then Earth, then Mars, followed by Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and finally, Neptune.
Now out of these eight planets, the first four, that’s the four small ones, are known as rocky planets. And then, as we can see from the diagram that we’ve drawn, the remaining four planets are actually a lot larger than the rocky planets. Now obviously, we haven’t drawn the diagram to scale, but it is a good representation of the relative sizes of all these planets.
Now because the outer four planets are a lot larger than the four inner planets, they’re collectively known as the giants. However, even within the giants, there are two different kinds of giant. Firstly, there’s Jupiter and Saturn. They are basically huge balls of gas. Largely composed of hydrogen and helium, these two planets are known as the gas giants. Now sometimes, scientists will also include Uranus and Neptune as part of the gas giants.
However, the composition of Uranus and Neptune slightly differs to the composition of Jupiter and Saturn. Although they are made up of hydrogen and helium, they are also made of large amounts of water ammonia and methane. And what’s more is that a lot of that water ammonia and methane is solidified. Therefore, Uranus and Neptune are sometimes known as the ice giants. Therefore, when asked the question what type of planet is Uranus, we can see that Uranus is one of the ice giants. And therefore, that’s what we give as the answer to our question.