Planets of our Solar System
In our solar system there are other planets besides our own, some more rocky, smaller and larger. We obtain information thanks to the photographs sent by spacecrafts from time to time. There are eight planets in our solar system. In the following, you may learn something about those planets:
Mercury is the smallest planet in the solar system, a little larger than the moon and the closest to the sun, however, it is not the hottest. The solid surface is covered with rocky craters, the atmosphere is very thin. It spins slowly so a day lasts longer than it does on earth. A year on Mercury goes by fast – it is the closest to the sun, thus it doesn't need much time to cover the whole circumference. It only needs 88 days.
The Venus is the hottest planet and yet it is not the closest to the sun. Its atmosphere is dense and contains a lot of carbon dioxide. That causes a greenhouse effect and clouds composed of sulfuric acid. The gases trap the heat, which makes Venus stay warm. It has mountains and volcanoes; its size is similar to that of the earth. But its rotation is quite slow, as it takes 243 days to turn around the sun only once. On Venus itself the sun rises every 117 terrestrial days, so twice a year. This is due to the slow rotation around itself. Because Venus is moving around the sun in the opposite direction than the other planets, the sun rises in the west.
Our earth has a solid surface with mountains, plains, valleys, canyons and a lot more. Of course, there also is a lot of ocean, which covers 70% of the earth's surface. The planet itself is composed mostly of nitrogen and has a lot of oxygen to breathe. Besides shielding us, our atmosphere also protects us from the meteoroids. In the moment they reach the atmosphere they get split up and burn.
Although Mars has a lot of deserts, it is a cold planet. It measures half the size of the earth and is sometimes called the Red Planet, due to the oxidized iron in the soil. Mars also has seasons, volcanoes, canyons and a specific climate. Its atmosphere is very thin and composed of carbon dioxide, nitrogen and argon. Water can be found in thin clouds on some slopes. Also there is evidence of salty liquid water in the soil. Scientists want to know if it could have had living beings and if it can harbor life in the future.
This is the largest planet in our solar system. The consistence is similar to a star, but not enough to be burning. It is covered with cloud stripes and has strong storms, like the big red spot that has lasted on the same spot for many years. Jupiter is gaseous and does not have a solid surface but the core can become solid.
Saturn is the planet of the rings around it. They are made up of groups of smaller rings that contain tons of ice and rock. The atmosphere consists of a lot of hydrogen and helium.
Uranus is composed of water, methane and ammonia on a small rocky center. Its atmosphere is composed of hydrogen, helium and methane, and thanks to methane you can see the blue color. The planet has internal rings that are narrow and dark. The outer rings have vivid colors and can be easily identified. Uranus, just like Venus, wanders around the sun in the opposite direction as the other planets do.
Neptune is a dark and cold planet with the size of the earth. It is the last of the planets in our solar system. The distance is more than 30 times further from the sun as it is from the earth. The ground is composed of a mixture of water, ammonia and methane on a solid center. Its atmosphere is composed of hydrogen, helium and methane.