It’s Uranus Day! On March 13th, 1781 the astronomer William Herschel announced that he’d discovered the previously unknown planet that would be named Uranus. Uranus had been seen before, even by ancient astronomers, but everyone thought it was just a faint star until Herschel turned his telescope toward it and took a good, clear look at Uranus. The addition of Uranus helped expand the solar system and people have been intrigued and puzzled by Uranus ever since. It’s not the biggest planet in the solar system or even the farthest but, as the third largest of the gas giants, Uranus is still pretty big, full of hydrogen and helium. There are twenty-seven known moons orbiting it and there are even rings around Uranus, although they’re faint and set at an odd angle.
It takes Uranus eighty-four Earth years to orbit the sun, and yet a day on Uranus is just a little over seventeen hours. Uranus spins really fast!
That’s all about the planet Uranus. I’d now like to focus on the town of Uranus, located just below the center of Missouri, along the historic Route 66. More of a tourist attraction than a small town it’s really home to a lot of fun attractions, although I don’t have any details about how many people regularly pass through Uranus. The world’s biggest belt buckle is there–it’s more than ten feet tall and would probably fit a pair of pants just big enough to hold all of Uranus. There’s a fudge factory in Uranus, and a place called The Axehole where you can practice competitive axe-throwing and try to hit a target. There was even a short-lived newspaper, The Uranus Examiner, which unfortunately upset the mayor of a nearby town who thought it would encourage people to make jokes about Uranus. It just seems like a fun and interesting place, and what kind of people would make fun of Uranus?