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The Planets

The Planets. The eight planets that orbit the sun are (in order from the Sun): Mercury Venus Earth Mars Jupiter (the biggest planet in our Solar System) Saturn (with large, orbiting rings) Uranus Neptune

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The Planets

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  1. The Planets The eight planets that orbit the sun are (in order from the Sun): • Mercury • Venus • Earth • Mars • Jupiter (the biggest planet in our Solar System) • Saturn (with large, orbiting rings) • Uranus • Neptune A belt of asteroids (minor planets made of rock and metal) orbits between Mars and Jupiter. These objects all orbit the sun in roughly circular orbits that lie in the same plane, the ecliptic (Pluto is an exception; this dwarf planet has an elliptical orbit tilted over 17° from the ecliptic).

  2. Inner Planets The inner planets (those planets that orbit close to the Sun) are quite different from the outer planets (those planets that orbit far from the Sun). The inner planets are: Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars. They are relatively small, composed mostly of rock, and have few or no moons. The inner planets are quite different from the outer planets. They are relatively small, composed mostly of rock, and have few or no moons.

  3. Outer Planets The outer planets include: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. They are mostly huge, mostly gaseous, ringed, and have many moons (plus Pluto, which is a dwarf planet that has one large moon and two small moons). • The outer planets are mostly huge, mostly gaseous, ringed, and have many moons • The exception is Pluto, the dwarf planet, which is small, rocky, and has one large moon plus two tiny ones.

  4. Temperatures on the Planets Generally, the farther from the Sun, the cooler the planet. Differences occur when the greenhouse effect warms a planet (like Venus) surrounded by a thick atmosphere.

  5. Density of the Planets The outer, gaseous planets are much less dense than the inner, rocky planets. The Earth is the densest planet. Saturn is the least dense planet; it would float on water.

  6. Mass of the Planets Jupiter is by far the most massive planet; Saturn trails it. Uranus, Neptune, Earth, Venus, and Mars, are orders of magnitude less massive.

  7. Gravitational Forces on the Planets The planet with the strongest gravitational attraction at its surface is Jupiter. Although Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are also very massive planets, their gravitational forces are about the same as Earth.

  8. A Day on Each of the Planets A day is the length of time that it takes a planet to rotate on its axis (360°). A day on Earth takes almost 24 hours. The planet with the longest day is Venus; a day on Venus takes 243 Earth days. (A day on Venus is longer than its year; a year on Venus takes only 224.7 Earth days). The planet with the shortest day is Jupiter; a day on Jupiter only takes 9.8 Earth hours! When you observe Jupiter from Earth, you can see some of its features change.

  9. Average Orbital Speed of the Planets As the planets orbit the Sun, they travel at different speeds. Each planet speeds up when it is nearer the Sun and travels more slowly when it is far from the Sun.

  10. Mercury • Almost no atmosphere • Can reach surface temperatures of 801 F • Nighttime temperatures can be as much as • -279 F • Length of year- 88 days • Length of day- 1407 hours 30 minutes • Diameter- 3,032 miles

  11. Mercury • Orbit is as close as 29 million miles (47 million kilometers) and as far as 43 million miles (70 million kilometers) from the sun. • Surface resembles that of Earth's moon, scarred by many impact craters resulting from collisions with meteoroids and comets. • The second smallest planet in the solar system, larger only than previously measured planets, such as Pluto

  12. Venus • “The Goddess of Love” • Diameter- 12,104 km • Temperature Range- -45° C to 464° C • Atmosphere- 97% Carbon Dioxide, Nitrogen • Revolution- 0 Years, 224 Days, 16.8 Hours • Rotation- 243 Days, 0.5 Hours • Winds- 350 km/hr

  13. Venus • Known as the Morning Star and the Evening Star. • This planet is about the same size as Earth but is covered with impenetrable clouds of carbon dioxide and sulfur compounds. • Lots of craters and that 90% of the landforms are volcanic. Venus Video http://www.videojug.com/film/all-about-venus

  14. Venus • Spins slowly backwards east to west in 243 days and takes about 225 days to orbit the sun. • This makes the daytime about 115 days which can raise surface temperatures up to 464° C. • Above the dense CO2 layer are thick clouds consisting mainly of sulfur dioxide and sulfuric acid droplets. • These clouds reflect about 60% of the sunlight that falls on them back into space, and prevent the direct observation of the Venusian surface in visible light.

  15. Earth • Diameter- 12,756.28 km • Temperature Range- -69° C to 58° C • Atmosphere- Mostly Nitrogen and Oxygen • Winds- 483 km/hr • Average Distance from Sun- 149,597,870 km • Orbital Period- 1 Year, 0 Days, 0 Hours • Rotation- 23 Hours 56.1 Min

  16. Earth • Home to millions of species including humans, Earth is currently the only place where life is known to exist. • Earth's internal heat comes from a combination of residual heat from planetary accretion (about 20%) and heat produced through radioactive decay (80%). Earth Video http://www.videojug.com/film/all-about-earth

  17. The Earth’s Structure

  18. Mars • Named after the Roman god of war • Nicknamed the Red Planet, Mars tends to give off a reddish hue when viewed from Earth • Has two moons, Phobos and Deimos, both of which are relatively small in size and not shaped in perfect spheres like ours

  19. Mars • Two rovers, Spirit and Opportunity • Martian surface temperatures range widely from as little as 140 K (-133 C, -207 F) at the winter pole to almost 300 K (27 C, 80 F) on the day side during summer. • Olympus Mons: the largest mountain in the Solar System rising 24 km (78,000 ft.) above the surrounding plain.

  20. Mars • Clear evidence of erosion in many places on Mars including large floods and small river systems • Mars is easily visible with the unaided eye Mars Video http://www.videojug.com/film/all-about-mars

  21. Jupiter • The gas planets do not have solid surfaces, their gaseous material simply gets denser with depth • Largest planet • Has 16…no, wait…24….no, wait…63 moons • 5.20 AU) from Sun • King of the Gods, the ruler of Olympus and the patron of the Roman state

  22. Jupiter • about 90% hydrogen and 10% helium • with traces of methane, water, ammonia and "rock“ • This is very close to the composition of the primordial Solar Nebula from which the entire solar system was formed • The light colored bands are called zones; the dark ones belts

  23. Jupiter • Great Red Spot has been seen by Earthly observers for more than 300 years. The GRS is an oval about 12,000 by 25,000 km, big enough to hold two Earths. • Jupiter has rings like Saturn's, but much fainter and smaller • Temperature range from 163° C to >-121° C Jupiter Video http://www.videojug.com/film/all-about-jupiter

  24. Saturn • Saturn is the god of agriculture • Its the second largest planet in our solar system • About 95 times larger than the Earth • Saturn is about 75% hydrogen and 25% helium with traces of water, methane, ammonia and "rock“ • Temperature range from 191° C to >-130° C

  25. Saturn • Saturn's rings, unlike the rings of the other planets, are very bright • The rings are actually small particles each in an independent orbit. They range in size from a centimeter or so to several meters • Saturn's rings are extraordinarily thin • Rings are composed primarily of water ice • Saturn has 53 named satellites Saturn Video http://www.videojug.com/film/all-about-saturn

  26. Uranus • Greek god of the sky • The first planet discovered in modern times-1781 • Uranus' blue color is the result of absorption of red light by methane in the upper atmosphere • Spins on its side • Made of rock and various ices, with only about 15% hydrogen and a little helium

  27. Uranus • Uranus has 27 named moons • Uranus has rings like Jupiter's; they are very dark • Atmosphere is about 83% hydrogen, 15% helium and 2% methane

  28. Neptune • The god of the Sea • Because Pluto's orbit is so eccentric, it sometimes crosses the orbit of Neptune making Neptune the most distant planet from the Sun for a few years • Neptune has 13 known moons • Composed of various "ices" and rock with about 15% hydrogen and a little helium • Neptune also has rings which are very dark but their composition is unknown • 223° C to >-220° C

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