Uranus's Moons

Uranus moon Miranda
The icy surface of Uranus's moon Miranda
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Uranus has 27 moons. They are all named after characters from William Shakespeare or Alexander Pope's works. 

Uranus has 5 large moons. These are so big that if they were orbiting the Sun and not Uranus they would be called dwarf planets. These large moons are called Titania, Oberon, Ariel, Umbriel, and Miranda. These moons are made of rock, and water ice. These were the only moons known about until 1986 when the Voyager 2 spacecraft passed by Uranus. It found 10 more moons. 

When the Hubble Space Telescope started looking at the planet many more were found. The smaller moons are hard to see as they are so far away from the Sun that they do not reflect much light.

Many of these small moons are thought to be asteroids. They passed so close to the planet that they were captured by the gravity and went into orbit. They orbit so closely that scientists are surprised they haven't crashed into each other!

Uranus also has a ring system. It is not as impressive as those of Saturn, but bigger than the rings of both Jupiter and Neptune. There are 10 rings in total.