I have noticed that many of us only know the basics about our solar system. That is good when it’s for passing the exams, but do we really need to know only that or do we need some more information about our solar system?
Mercury – Mercury is the first planet from the sun and is the smallest planet smaller thann the largest moon of our solar system.
- Diameter: 4,879 km (3,032 miles)
- Mass: 3.3011 x 1023 kg (0.055 Earths)
- Length of Year (Orbit): 87.97 Earth days
- Length of Day: 59 Earth days
- Two probes have visited Mercury: Mariner 10 in 1974-75 and MESSENGER, which flew past Mercury three times before going into orbit around Mercury in 2011 and ended its mission by impacting the surface of Mercury on April 30, 2015. MESSENGER has changed our understanding of this planet, and scientists are still studying the data.
Venus – Venus is the second planet from the sun. It is also the hottest planet. We also call it morning star and evening star .
- Diameter: 7,521 miles (12,104 km)
- Mass: 4.867 x 1024 kg (0.815 Earth mass)
- Length of Year (Orbit): 225 days
- Length of day: 243 Earth days
- More than 40 spacecrafts have explored Venus. The Magellan mission in the early 1990s mapped 98 percent of the planet’s surface.
Earth – Earth is the third planet from the sun and fifth largest planet. It’s the only known planet to have life. It is also called the blue planet.
- Diameter: 12,760 km (7,926 miles)
- Mass: 5.97 x 1024 kg
- Length of Year (Orbit): 365 days
- Length of day: 24 hours (more precisely, 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds.)
Mars – Mars is the fourth planet from the sun. It is also known as red planet because of the iron oxide present on its surface.
- Diameter: 6,787 km, (4,217 miles)
- Mass: 6.4171 x 1023 kg (0.107 Earths)
- Length of Year (Orbit): 687 Earth days.
- Length of day: 24 hours 37 minutes.
- More than 40 spacecraft have been launched to Mars.
Asteroid belt- The is a torus-shaped region in the Solar System, located roughly between the orbits of the planets Jupiter and Mars, that is occupied by a great many solid, irregularly shaped bodies, of many sizes but much smaller than planets, called asteroids.
Ceres – the largest body in the main asteroid belt that lies between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. With a diameter of 940 km (580 mi), Ceres is both the largest of the asteroids and the only likely dwarf planet inside Neptunes orbit. It is the 25th largest body in the solar system within the orbit of Neptune
Jupiter- Jupiter is the fifth planet from the sun and the largest planet in our solar system. It is a gas giant, meaning that it is primarily composed of hydrogen and helium, with swirling clouds and other trace gases.
- Diameter: 428,400 km (88,730 miles)
- Mass: 1.8986 × 1027 kg (317.8 Earths)
- Length of Year (Orbit): 11.9 Earth years
- Length of day: 9.8 Earth hours
- Many missions have visited Jupiter and its system of moons, with the latest being the Juno mission arrived at Jupiter in 2016.
Saturn – Saturn is the sixth planet from the sun. It is a gas giant with layers of gaseous material surrounding a solid core. It can be easily recognised due to it’s ring.
- Diameter: 120,500 km (74,900 miles)
- Mass: 5.6836 x 1026 kg (95.159 Earths)
- Length of Year (Orbit): 29.5 Earth years
- Length of day: 10.7 Earth hours
- Temperature: -178 C (-288 F)
- Five missions have gone to Saturn. Since 2004, Cassini has been exploring Saturn, its moons and rings.
Uranus – uranus is the seventh planet from the sun.Though it is classified as a “gas giant”, it is often referred to as an “ice giant” as well, owing to the presence of ammonia, methane, water and hydrocarbons in ice form. The presence of methane ice is also what gives it its bluish appearance.
- Diameter: 51,120 km (31,763 miles)
- Length of Year (Orbit): 84 Earth years
- Length of day: 18 Earth hours
- Temperature: -216 C (-357 F)
- Voyager 2 is the only spacecraft to have visited Uranus.
Neptune – Neptune is the eight planet from the sun.Due to its extreme distance from our Sun, Neptune cannot be seen with the naked eye, and only one mission has ever flown close enough to get detailed images of it.
- Diameter: 49,530 km (30,775 miles)
- Mass: 1.0243 x 1026 kg (17 Earths)
- Length of Year (Orbit): 165 Earth years
- Length of day: 16 Earth hours
- Temperature: -214 C (-353 F)
- Voyager 2 is the only spacecraft to have visited Neptune.
Pluto – pluto is the second dwarf planet .once considered the ninth and most distant planet from the sun, is now the largest known dwarf planet in the solar system. It is also one of the largest known members of the kuiper belt a shadowy zone beyond the orbit of Neptune thought to be populated by hundreds of thousands of rocky, icy bodies.
Senda – sedna is a large planetoid in the outer reach of the solar system that was, as of 2020, at a distance of about 85 astronomical units.
Haumae- Haumea is a likely dwarf planet located beyond Neptune’s orbit. It was discovered in 2004 by a team headed by Mike Brown of Caltech at the Palomar Observatory in the United States
Makemake – makemake is a dwarf planet in the outer solar system. It was the fourth body identified as a dwarf planet, and was one of the bodies that caused Pluto to lose its status as a planet.
Makemake is large enough and bright enough to be studied by a high-end amateur telescope.
Eris – Eris is the most massive and second-largest known dwarf planet in the Solar System. Eris was discovered in January 2005 by a Palomar Observatory-based team led by Mike Brown, and its discovery was verified later that year. In September 2006 it was named after the goddess of strife and discord.
Oort cloud – A giant shell of icy bodies known as the Oort Cloud is thought to encircle the solar system. There may be billions, even trillions of bodies in it, and some are so large they count as dwarf planets. When the inhabitants interact with passing stars, molecular clouds, and gravity from the galaxy, they may find themselves spiraling inward toward the sun, or cast completely out of the solar system into distant regions of space.