Planets Essay, Research Paper

—- Closest to the sun—- Smallest of the inner planets—- Temperatures reach up to 1,380 F—- Has low gravity, therefore there is no atmosphere—- Orbits the sun once every 88 days—- Surface is devoid of basalt – a hard, dense type of volcanic rock that has a glassy appearance—- High density which implies that there is a large iron or nickel-ore core—- Fun/Interesting Fact* Mercury’s perihelion (the time at which the planet is the closest distance from the sun) advances 43 seconds of arc per century.

—- Second planet that is closest to the sun—- Earth’s twin–has the same density, mass, diameter and rock composition—- High surface temperatures reaching near 900 F—- Surface features: low-lying plains, mountain ranges, volcanoes, and rift systems.—- Largest highland region is about the size of Africa —- Rotates on its axis in a retrograde “backwards” direction —- Completes one trip around the sun in 224.7 Earth- days —- 98% of the atmosphere is made up of carbon dioxide —- Fun/Interesting Fact* Venus has hot spots, formed from deep in the planet’s interior, that are similar to the ones that made the Hawaiian Islands

—- Third planet from the sun—- Distance from the sun 92,956,000 miles—- Has only one orbiting companion-the Moon—- Largest of the inner planets—- Appears as a blue sphere from outer space, due to the water—- Only place, that we know of, that has life on it—- Made up of: Mantle: Composed of compounds of iron, magnesium, silicon, and oxygen Outer Core: sodium, potassium, oxygen, silicon and aluminum—-Fun/Interesting Fact* Earth’s crust has a isostasy, (a condition of balance that exists between different portions of Earth’s crust), which means the lighter rocks of the crust float on the heavier, plastic rocks of the mantle and either rise higher or sink lower, depending on the density and volume of the crust

—- Fourth planet from the sun—- 15 times as far from the Sun as the Earth—- Orbits somewhat elliptical—- Distance varies from 128.4 million mi. To 154 million mi.—- It takes 687 Earth days to revolve around the Sun—- Rotates at 15 mi/sec.—- A day is 24hr. 37min. 23sec. long—- Has two small moons: Phobos (fear) & Deimos (terror) —- Martian atmosphere contains carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and argon. Minor amounts of oxygen, carbon monoxide, water vapor, and small traces of other elements. —- Mars has a similar global atmospheric circulation patterns to Earth’s. For example: warm air rises at the equator which moves poleward. And also a mid to high latitudes where winds move west and contains a jet stream (a large band of high winds) —- Fun/Interesting Fact* Mars got its name from its red color which inspired the Greeks and Romans to name it after their god of war, Ares, or Mars.

—- Fifth planet from the sun—- Most massive planet—- 1,000 times smaller than the sun—- Equatorial diameter 88,700 miles —- Orbits the Sun in 11.9 years at 52 times the Earth’s distance from the sun —- Atmosphere contains: oxygen, ammonia, methane, and other compounds—- Wind moves in jets parallel to the equator —- Weather isn’t well understood. For example, Eddies (water moving contrary to the main current in a circular motion) form and dissipate from a few days to much longer —- Has a magnetic field 4,000 times stronger than Earth’s. The field wobbles up and down with the electrical charged particles trapped within it. —- Fun/Interesting Fact* Jupiter may have formed, like the Sun, by the gravitational collapse of part of the primeval solar nebula

—- Sixth planet from the sun —- Has the most extensive satellite system in the solar system Six can be seen from telescopes. Largest is Titan—- Has white ring that surrounds the entire planet—- Atmospheric Make-Up: Methane Ethane Phosphine —- Has a strong, dipolar magnetic field. It extends in the direction away from the sun—- Has a solar-like chemical abundance—- 18 moons surround Saturn—- Orbits the Sun at a distance of 1.427 billion km —- Has a magnetic tail which extends in the direction away from the sun similar to cometary plasma tails —- Fun/Interesting Fact* The white rings of Saturn had first been seen by Galileo Galilei in 1610

—- Seventh planet in the solar system

—- 1st planet to be discovered since ancient times (the Greeks and Romans) —- Appears in the sky as a bluish- green disk —- It’s rotation axis is inclined 97 degrees 54′ from its orbital plane. This means the poles lie nearly in the plane of its orbit around the Sun —- Deep within Uranus there is a superheated water ocean that contains a great amount of ionized chemicals (chemicals that are electrically charged) —- Uranus’s magnetic field is tilted 60 degrees to its rotation axis —- Fun/Interesting Fact* Uranus has only been visited, that is on the surface, by one spacecraft-Voyager 2—- Is the eighth planet from the Sun —- Most remote of the gas giants of the outer solar system—- Average distance is 2,794,000,000 mi.—- Its tilt is 29 degrees 34′ —- Atmosphere consists mainly of hydrogen and helium. Only about 2.5-3% is methane —- Cirrus clouds (clouds that are thin, feathery, clouds that are made up of ice crystals at high altitudes) seen in the atmosphere probably consist of crystals of methane than water ice, like on Earth—- Temperatures are at about -218 degree F—- Neptune has eight moons surrounding it —- One satellite, Larissa, is irregular shaped and only reflect 5% of the sunlight that falls on it —-Fun/Interesting Fact* Galileo may have spotted Neptune two centuries before it was discovered by Adams and Leverrier.

—- Ninth planet from the Sun—- Smallest, most remote planet —- Average distance from the Sun is 3.66 billion miles and goes as far as 4.60 billion miles—- Has one small moon. It is called Charon —- Appears as only a faint point of light even when using the largest telescope on Earth —- Revolves around the Sun once every 248.4 years —- Pluto is chaotic-that is, not completely predictable, which leads to the chaos theory which is a development in science and mathematics that provides a framework for understanding irregular and erratic fluctuations in nature —- Fun/Interesting Fact* Pluto’s axis is tilted more than 112 degrees to its orbital plane so that it’s lying on its side” like that of Uranus

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