Uranus and also Neptune are frequently put right into the very same group because they are similar to each other, which is true to some extent.

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Both space ice giants at the far finish of our solar system, lock are almost the very same size and color. Even their settings have the exact same elements: hydrogen, methane, and helium, and also their mantles consist of water, ammonia, and methane as well.

While the is easy to view them together ‘twins’, there are additionally many differences in between the 2 planets. Most of them to be shaped early on in the planets’ formation.

Planets Uranus and also Neptune (Source)

Let’s travel ago in time to see what those differences are and how they affect the planets that we watch today.

Comparison Table

There is nothing much easier than visualizing the differences in a table, the bigger or larger number is underlined:

Mass (1024 kg)86.813102.413
Volume (1010 km3)6,8336,254
Distance native the Sun1.83 billion miles (2.9 billion km)2.79 billion miles (4.49 billion km)
Diameter31,518 miles (50,723 km)30,599 miles (49,244 km)
Orbital Speed15,290 mph (24,607 km/h)12,146 mph (19,547 km/h)
Length the one year84 planet years165 planet years
Length the one day17 hours 14 minutes16 hours 06 minutes
Axial tilt97.77 degrees29 degrees
Average temperature (at 1 bar pressure)-197℃ or -322.6℉-201℃ or -329.8℉
Gravity (m/s2)8.8711.15
AtmosphereHydrogen: 82.5%, Helium: 15.2%, Methane: 2.3%Hydrogen: 80%, Helium: 19%, Methane: 1.5%
RingsYes, divided into three major groupsYes, a complete of 6 rings
Spacecrafts visitedVoyager 2Voyager 2

As you can see, there are differences in between the planets however they don’t all swing in one direction. Over there are measurements that Uranus wins and also those which Neptune wins. They space most similar when it involves diameter; less than a hundred miles separates the 2 planets.

Differences in between Neptune and also Uranus

The sisters planets, Uranus and Neptune, are similar in that they space both ‘ice-giants’ (the just ones in the solar system), but the differences between them trace ago to your evolutionary history.

The Axial Tilts the Uranus and also Neptune Compared

Neptune is tilted at 28.5 degrees, i m sorry is not very different from earth’s 23.5 degrees.

On the other hand, Uranus is precise ‘lying top top its side’ due to the fact that of its 97.77 levels tilt. This has actually severe impacts on Uranus’ climate. Sunshine shines straight onto one of the planet’s poles, heater up one side while the various other is actors into a 21-year-long winter.

Comparably, Neptune enjoys middle weather, however its orbit that 165 earth years stretches each season for 40 long years.

Triton’s Orbit that Neptune

Triton is Neptune’s largest moon. It is additionally the only large moon in the solar system to rotate in a direction opposite to that of its hold planet.

Neptune is believed to have recorded the moon countless years ago, i beg your pardon is perhaps why Triton’s orbit is lean a steep 157 levels to Neptune’s equator. Neptune’s various other moons space in the same aircraft as the planet’s equator, hinting the they were formed from leftover material from Neptune’s formation.

Internal Warming

All planets, shortly after your formation, begin losing heat earlier into space. This warm radiates from their cores and also cools the planet. Neptune go that together well; it radiates 2.6 times as much power as it receives from the Sun.

At Neptune’s core, the temperature is 7000°C or 12,632°F, which is 2,000°C greater than the Sun’s surface.

However, Uranus seems to have lost many of its heat when the tipped ~ above its side due to a huge collision. The ice large radiates less warmth into space than that receives native the Sun.

Why are They Different?

Both Neptune and Uranus suffered major impacts early in their history, and have experienced different evolutionary paths because then.

Neptune proficient a head-on collision through a celestial object, and this collision deposited extra power into Neptune’s core, which is why it radiates nearly 2.6 times an ext heat than it receives indigenous the Sun.

On the various other hand, a various celestial object collided with Uranus in what’s called an ‘oblique collision’, in which 2 bodies brush previous each other, however not without consequences. This collision tilted Uranus’ axis to practically 98 levels off vertical.

Uranus also lost lot of that is heat during this time, which is why its main point is no radiating significant heat.


Neptune and Uranus are often thought come belong to the exact same group. If both planets space ice giants, your histories and evolutionary routes diverged once each collided with one more celestial body.

For Neptune, a head-on collision deposited more energy right into its core than it initially encompassed, which that is now dissipating earlier into space. However, Uranus’ tilt collision tilted the planet on that side, because of which it shed most that its internal heat into space.

Tilts that the planets affect their weather. Neptune witnesses an ext moderate weather, however its 165-year orbit approximately the sun leads to each weather extending for 40 long years. Uranus’ tilt extreme tilt leads to too much winters due to the fact that only one pole deals with the sun at any type of one time.

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Both planets are comparable but also an extremely different, as we have actually seen. Think about that following time girlfriend look in ~ Neptune or Uranus through your telescope.