When you think of space exploration you always imagine the far reaches of the galaxy, and in terms of our own solar system Uranus and Neptune are way out there.

Dr Niamh Shaw is here to tell us all about these two gas giants and the little spacecrafts, launched in the 1970s that have given us insights into their unfriendly environment.

Check out the trailer for the film The Farthest which is all about the Voyager mission. It was Directed by Irish filmmaker Emer Reynolds.


Uranus is the seventh planet from the Sun. It was discovered by William Herschel in 1781. Uranus lies more than 2,800 million km from the Sun. At this distance, the temperature of its cloud tops is -214 degrees Celcius. It moves quite slowly and has a long way to travel, so each orbit lasts 84 years.

The full profile can be read here: ESA for kids - Uranus

An image of Neptune taken by Voyager 2 in 1989. Credit: NASA/ JPL

Neptune was discovered in 1846 by Johann Galle, an astronomer at the Berlin Observatory.
Neptune turned out to be almost an identical twin of Uranus. It is 57 times bigger than the Earth, but spins quite rapidly – one day lasts only 16 hours seven minutes. Its average distance from the Sun is about 4,500 million km, and one year on Neptune lasts for almost 165 Earth years.

Read more from the European Space Agency HERE

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