Uranus is surrounded by methane gas. This presents a problem for those of us who are interested in looking at it, since all that gas makes it hard to see what's really going on. Voyager and Hubble have the same problem, but new long-wavelength observations from the Keck II telescope in Hawaii have looked past the gas to examine Uranus in unprecedented detail.
The last time we got an up close and personal look at Uranus was in 1986, when Voyager 2 flew past and did some probing. Back then, we got some spectral hints that Uranus had aurorae, but it's taken another 25 years for Hubble to take some pictures of the light show in action.
Uranus isn't just gassy, it's also tilted completely sideways, such that instead of rotating like a spinning top, it rolls around the plane of the solar system more like a giant ball. Now astronomers think they know how this happened, and it means that Uranus has been pounded really, really hard not once, but twice.
Helium-3 is a trendy new possibility for clean and efficient fusion power, but most of the Earth's supply has long since floated away like a party balloon. To get enough helium-3 to power an interstellar spacecraft (and the rest of the planet for the forseeable future), Project Icarus wants to send floating robotic gas mines to Uranus.