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The Best of All Worlds #6: Uranus — February 12, 2013

The Best of All Worlds #6: Uranus

The Best of All Worlds

Ah yes, Uranus—the butt of all planetary jokes. It’s also the most boring planet in our Solar System. Uranus is like your accountant uncle who spends his evenings sipping V8 juice and organizing his stamp collection. When Voyager 2 swung by Uranus back in 1986, it found a bland, teal, featureless gas giant surrounded by its own collection of uninteresting moons.

You see, in our ranking of the planets from worst to first, we have moved from the ghastly realm of the awful worlds (Venus and Mercury) to the dreary realm of the mediocre worlds. Of these pedestrian planets, Uranus is the worst by the slightest of slight margins. I will admit that I hemmed and hawed on this decision for a while. (Though not the entire three months since my last blog entry; that gap was just me being lazy.)

The miscoloured cue ball of the Solar System.

But here’s the deal with Uranus: it’s not a bad planet per se. In fact, it’s the most Cessna-friendly of all the planets, apart from our own Earth. It’s just that there’s only one interesting feature about the planet: it’s lying on its side like a beached whale. Its poles point along the plane of the Solar System instead of perpendicular to it, like all the other planets. Also, it has rings, but so do all the other gas giants, so that’s not remarkable. Also, its moons are named after characters in Shakespeare’s plays—Titania and Oberon being the largest of the moons—but that’s mainly because astronomers got bored of naming moons after obscure Greek nymphs and demigods. Also, it’s tealish-blue because of methane gas, but whatever.

So yeah. What more is there to say? Uranus, everybody.

Our rankings so far:

8. Venus
7. Mercury
6. Uranus
1–5. ???

Vote below for the best and worst planets in our Solar System! (Hint: Uranus is not the correct answer for either.)

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