A Visit To The Solar System

A visit to the
Solar System

Introduction

The Solar System is the gravitationally bound system of the Sun and the objects that orbit it, either directly or indirectly. Of the objects that orbit the Sun directly, the largest are the eight planets, with the remainder being smaller objects, the dwarf planets and small Solar System bodies. The Solar System formed 4.6 billion years ago from the gravitational collapse of a giant interstellar molecular cloud. The vast majority of the system's mass is in the Sun. All eight planets have almost circular orbits that lie within a nearly flat disc called the ecliptic.

Revolution of Planets

Mercury

Mercury is the smallest and closest planet to the Sun. It is actually smaller than two of the Solar System's moons—Ganymede (Jupiter) and Titan (Saturn). Because Mercury has no real atmosphere, it has extreme high and low temperatures. Examining the planet, Mercury looks a lot like the Moon.


Venus

Venus is the second planet from the Sun. It is often called Earth's twin because they are similar in size and both have cloudy atmospheres. It is also the closest planet Earth approaches, and besides the Moon, usually the second brightest object in the night sky.


Earth

Earth is the only planet in the solar system known to harbor life. Our planet's rapid spin and molten nickel-iron core give rise to an extensive magnetic field, which, along with the atmosphere, shields us from nearly all of the harmful radiation coming from the Sun and other stars.


Mars

Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun. It is historically called the Red Planet because of its reddish appearance in Earth’s night sky. Mars has some Earth-type characteristics, such as Polar Caps, clouds, and water in at least the ice or solid phase. It was very active volcanically at one time.


Jupiter

Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system; all of the other planets could fit inside Jupiter. One of its major atmospheric features is the Great Red Spot – cyclonic in nature and twice Earth’s diameter. The Great Red Spot was first seen by Galileo in 1610 and has been seen to change shape and color over the past 400 years.


Saturn

Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second-largest planet in our solar system. Like fellow gas giant Jupiter, Saturn is a massive ball made mostly of hydrogen and helium. Saturn is not the only planet to have rings, but none are as spectacular or as complex as Saturn's. Saturn also has dozens of moons.


Uranus

Uranus was the first planet found with a telescope. Uranus was discovered by Sir William Herschel in 1781, even though others might have recorded Uranus prior to Herschel and not realized what they were seeing. Uranus is often referred to as Neptune’s twin, because of similarities in their sizes, colors, and other characteristics.


Neptune

Neptune was the first planet discovered through mathematical prediction. Urbain Le Verrier and John Couch Adams predicted the position in 1846. Neptune is smaller than Uranus, but denser. Like Uranus, Neptune is also referred to as an Ice Giant, as well as Uranus’ twin.


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