Uranus is the seventh planet from the Sun. It has the third-largest planetary radius and fourth-largest planetary mass in the Solar System. Uranus is similar in composition to Neptune, and both have different bulk chemical composition from that of the larger gas giants Jupiter and Saturn. Uranus’s atmosphere is similar to Jupiter’s and Saturn’s in its primary composition of hydrogen and helium, but it contains more “ices” such as water, ammonia, and methane, along with traces of other hydrocarbons. It is the coldest planetary atmosphere in the Solar System, with a minimum temperature of 49 K (−224 °C; −371 °F), and has a complex, layered cloud structure with water thought to make up the lowest clouds and methane the uppermost layer of clouds. The interior of Uranus is mainly composed of ices and rock. Uranus is the only planet whose name is derived directly from a figure from Greek mythology, from the Latinised version of the Greek god of the sky Ouranos.
In 1986, images from Voyager 2 showed Uranus as an almost featureless planet in visible light, without the cloud bands or storms associated with the other giant planets. Observations from Earth have shown seasonal change and increased weather activity as Uranus approached its equinox in 2007.
The cosmic voice of Uranus
(NASA Voyager recording)
The name of Uranus references the ancient Greek deity of the sky Uranus (Ancient Greek: Οὐρανός), the father of Cronus (Saturn) and grandfather of Zeus (Jupiter), which in Latin became “Ūranus“. It is the only planet whose name is derived directly from a figure of Greek mythology. Consensus on the name was not reached until almost 70 years after the planet’s discovery. During the original discussions following discovery, Maskelyne asked Herschel to “do the astronomical world the faver to give a name to your planet, which is entirely your own, [and] which we are so much obliged to you for the discovery of“. In response to Maskelyne’s request, Herschel decided to name the object Georgium Sidus (George’s Star), or the “Georgian Planet” in honour of his new patron, King George III. In astrology, the planet Uranus is the ruling planet of Aquarius. Because Uranus is cyan and Uranus is associated with electricity, the colour electric blue, which is close to cyan, is associated with the sign Aquarius.
In Hesiod’s Theogony, Uranus is the offspring of Gaia, the earth goddess. Alcman and Callimachus elaborate that Uranus was fathered by Aether, the god of heavenly light and the upper air. Under the influence of the philosophers, Cicero, in De Natura Deorum (“Concerning the Nature of the Gods“), claims that he was the offspring of the ancient gods Aether and Hemera, Air and Day. According to the Orphic Hymns, Uranus was the son of Nyx, the personification of night. Uranus was the brother of Pontus, the God of the sea.
In the fabulous ages of ancient times the appellations of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn were given to the Planets, as being the names of their principal heroes and divinities. In the present more philosophical era it would hardly be allowable to have recourse to the same method and call it Juno, Pallas, Apollo or Minerva, for a name to our new heavenly body. The first consideration of any particular event, or remarkable incident, seems to be its chronology: if in any future age it should be asked, when this last-found Planet was discovered?
The Isis-Urania Temple was initially the first temple of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The three founders, Dr. William Robert Woodman, William Wynn Westcott, and Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers, were Freemasons and members of Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia (S.R.I.A.). It continued as one of four daughter organisations into which the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn fragmented, the others being the Alpha et Omega, the Stella Matutina and Aleister Crowley’s A∴ A∴. In October 1887, Westcott wrote to Anna Sprengel, whose name and address he received through the decoding of the Cipher Manuscripts. A reply was purported to have been received with much wisdom, and honorary grades of Exempt Adept were conferred upon Westcott, Mathers and Woodman, as well as a charter to establish a Golden Dawn temple to work the five grades outlined in the manuscripts. In 1888, the Isis-Urania temple in London was founded, in which the rituals decoded from the cipher manuscripts were developed and practiced.
In addition, there was an insistence on women being allowed to participate in the Order in “perfect equality” with men, which was in contrast to the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia (S.R.I.A.) and Masonry. Towards the end of 1899, the Adepts of the Isis-Urania and Amen-Ra temples had become extremely dissatisfied with Mathers’ leadership, as well as his growing friendship with Aleister Crowley. They were also anxious to make contact with the Secret Chiefs, instead of dealing with them through Mathers. Among the personal disagreements within the Isis-Urania temple, there were disputes between Florence Farr’s The Sphere, a secret society within the Isis-Urania, and the rest of the Adeptus Minors.