How Is the Planet Uranus’s Rotation Tilted On Its Axis and What Does a Retrograde Rotation Mean?

The planet Uranus’s axis is tilted in a peculiar way.

Earth’s axis tilts at 23.5°; Uranus’s axis tilts at 97.9°, which is at more than a right (90°) angle.

Imagine Earth’s poles being located near the equator.

The planet, however, still rotates around its north-south axis.

Because it is tilted more than 90°, Uranus’s rotation is technically retrograde: from east to west rather than from west to east, as on Earth.

Because Uranus is a gas giant, the planet has varying rotational speeds.

Since Uranus’s axis is tilted more than 90° from the vertical plane, the planet appears to rotate on its side.

Technically, Uranus has a retrograde rotation, in the opposite direction from most other planets

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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