If the planets of the solar system can be considered a family, then the sun would undoubtedly be the all caring mother. Each planet on the solar system possesses unique characteristics which can be significantly different from one another making them more exciting to be learned individually. The following are basic knowledge everyone should know regarding planets of the solar system which you can find out on our Space 4D+. Read on!
Mercury is the smallest one among planets of the solar system. The tiniest planet contains a rocky body having a surface scarred by craters from meteoroid impacts. Only 33% the size of Earth, Mercury offers you extreme daytime and nighttime temperatures. Its surface tend to be six times hotter compared to hottest spot on Earth in daytime, and once the night comes, the temperature drops dramatically to be twice as freezing as the iced temperatures in Antarctica. When Mercury, the moonless planet, reaches its closest point to the Sun, the bright star will appear three times larger in comparison to everything we observe from Earth.
If you have decided to move and live on Venus, you’ll find the Sun rises in the west and sets in the east rather than the opposite way like on earth since Venus rotates backwards. Although Venus is the second nearest planet to the Sun, it can be assured that Venus is the hottest plane in the solar system for Venus is not shielded by such layers, which on Earth we call it ozone layer, which means the surface of the planet is directly exposed to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. In consequence, Venus becomes an extremely dry planet as a result of water breakdowns caused by ultraviolet radiation which directly casts upon Venus’ surface and has been separating hdrogen from oxygen for billions of years. Its thick atmosphere and a everlasting layer of clouds does not cloak Venus in mystery, but they also trap heat in an endless greenhouse effect. Although sharing close similarities to Earth in size, gravity, materials, and the existence of volcanoes on it, the surface of Venus is extremely hot it will certainly burn almost anything to crisp in mere minutes. A high amount of carbon dioxide in its atmosphere also causes Venus to be an extremely toxic planet.
As we all know, Earth is the only planet which is able to sustain life given its terrestrial aspects. Although most planets in our Solar System have atmosphere, only the Earth’s is breathable. Earth’s atmosphere consists mainly of nitrogen, due to oxygen amounting to about 21%, while the rest of other substances. Apart from enabling all of us to inhale and exhale effortlessly, the atmosphere furthermore guards us from falling meteoroids, most of which are worn away and disintegrated before striking the surface as meteorites. Of its entire surface, 70% of Earth is covered in water in form of the ocean, rivers, and lakes.
Mars is commonly known as the Red Planet for its bright-rust color caused by dust and rocks in all over its surface. Even though there are traces of water bodies in ancient Mars, its pumped dry atmosphere consisting mostly of carbon dioxide is way too cold and too thin to allow water to remain on its surface for a significant amount of time. Due to this fact, Mars becomes an arid planet. Mars contains both the highest volcano and the deepest, longest canyon known in the Solar System. Olympus Mons is roughly three times the height of Mount Everest, while Valles Marineris is almost as wide as Australia and spans along approximately 20% of the distance around Mars. Furthermore, Mars is recently the subject of a long-term project with Earth’s NASA to be observed on rovers program. The last remaining rover on Mars is named Curiosity.
When it comes to sheer size, Jupiter is without a doubt the reigning champion among the planets of the solar system. This largest planet is subsequently enormous that it could easily accommodate more than 1,300 Earths at once. If only it had been 80 times bigger, Jupiter might as well call itself a star altogether. The atmosphere of the planet and the planet itself are mostly composed of hydrogen and helium. Yet, Jupiter could have a planet-sized solid core. Storms have been raging across its surface for a long time. The biggest and most conspicuous being is called the Great Red Spot, a gigantic hurricane that has been occurring for hundreds of years. Similar to the other 3 outer planets of the solar system, Jupiter also is known to have a ring system. There are certainly three of them: the two faint outer ones are known as the Gossamer Rings, while the thicker one on the inside is referred to as the Halo. Having 50 confirmed moons along with 17 more to be waiting for confirmation, this enormous gas planet and its satellites serve as a kind of a small solar system by their own. Of those moons, 4 of them which can be as large as planets are known as the Galilean moons.
Regarded as one of the greatest planes of the solar system, Saturn ironically is the lightest. Composed mainly of hydrogen and helium, two elements among the lightest in the solar system, Saturn is even considered to be capable of floating on water! What makes Saturn earns much regard as beautiful planets is its ring systems which consist of seven rings made of dust, ice, and rock particle. Those rings spans hundreds of thousands of kilometers wide in total, but only less than 1 kilometer (0.62 miles) thick! They are held in place by Saturn’s many moons which also cause the rings to have gaps between them. Similar to Jupiter as the biggest planets in the solar system, Saturn is accompanied by 54 confirmed satellites with 9 more moons to be confirmed.
Uranus differs from the others simply because it spins sideways or horizontally, and backwards or clockwise like Venus. This largest tilt of all the planets of Solar System may most likely be the consequence of a huge collision some time ago which significantly changed Uranus’ rotation. Uranus is furnished with 13 faint rings: 11 mostly dark and narrow inner rings and 2 outer rings that are brighter colored. On the other hand, Uranus greenish blue tint derives from the methane in its atmosphere that mostly contains hydrogen and helium. Uranus is among the ice giants in the Solar System which is composed of a hot combination of icy substances: water, methane, and ammonia, in their liquid forms over a rocky core about the size of the Earth. Like Jupiter, this planet is known to have great storms raging on it, clouds, and vortex in its atmosphere, huge enough to engulf two-thirds of the United States. Uranus has 27 moons in total, named after the characters in the works of William Shakespeare and Alexander Pope.
Pluto had been regarded as the 9th planet in the Solar System until 2006 when it was reclassified as a dwarf planet, space objects that are similar to planets, but share their orbits with other space objects in a zone beyond Neptune’s orbit called the Kuiper Belt. Consists of a rocky core inside water ice mantle, Pluto’s mountainous surface is composed of frozen methane and nitrogen. Similar to Venus and Uranus, this ring-less planet rotates backwards. When Pluto is getting closer to the Sun, the frozen ice on its surface sublimates into gas; forming a temporary thin atmosphere that will gradually freeze and fall back to the surface as snow as it is drawing farther away from the star. If you have noticed the ‘heart’ of Pluto, it is actually a bright area of frozen ice and nitrogen called the Tombaugh Regio.