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Solar System
Uranus



Uranus
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 8 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.35

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    logically-minded, occultation, determined, eclipse, magnification, astronomy, astronomer, heavenly, telescope, phenomenon, reset, spacecraft, discovery, solar, interesting, flicker
     content words:    William Herschel, Anders Lexell


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Uranus
By Sharon Fabian
  

1     As long as people have lived on Earth, they have been able to look up in the sky and see planets; they just didn't know that they were planets. By the time of the ancient Greeks, some logically-minded people had figured out that not everything up there was a star. Stars stayed in one place, but other heavenly bodies, such as planets, moved. In this way, the planets closest to Earth: Mercury, Venus, and Mars, and also two of the giant planets, Jupiter and Saturn, were discovered.
 
2     It wasn't until the age of astronomy and telescopes that people were able to learn much more about the solar system.
 
3     William Herschel was an astronomer in the 18th century who enjoyed looking through his telescope to see what he could see. In fact, he became so interested in astronomy that he began to build his own telescopes. In 1781, Herschel was looking through one of his own telescopes in his hometown of Bath, England. It was a seven-foot long telescope with a seven-inch lens. When he noticed an interesting dot in the sky, he reset his telescope to a higher magnification and looked again. The dot was bigger. At an even higher magnification, the dot was bigger still. Since stars always look about the same size because they are so far away, this told him that what he was looking at must be something else. At first he thought he had sighted a comet.

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