50 interesting facts about planets

Planets

The planets of the Solar system are still almost unexplored. Getting to them is’t easy, space flights are incredibly expensive, and they take a lot of time. If we really want to colonize other celestial bodies, we desperately need new technologies.

Top facts about the planets of the Solar System

  • There are 8 planets in our system. At least that much is known now, but some of scientists believe that there’s one more somewhere near its Solar System outer borders, perhaps a gas planet. This would explain the abnormally elongated orbit of the dwarf planet Sedna.
  • The Earth is the most dense planet in the Solar System. Mercury is in second place, followed by Venus.
  • In the past, Mars had a dense atmosphere and a magnetic field. But the field was gone, and the atmosphere was blown away by the solar wind. But once upon a time there were rivers and seas on this lifeless red globe…
  • Saturn’s moon Titan is most similar to our Earth if talking about weather conditions. It has seas and rivers, lakes and clouds, and even rains! However, the temperature there is not very comfortable – about -291.1 °F (-179.5 °C). So it is full of other gases in liquid form instead of water, mainly methane.
  • Mercury has a comet-like tail because of its proximity to the Sun. It can only be detected by special instruments, although it stretches for a distance of 1.5 million miles (2.5 million km).
Planets of Solar System
Planets of the Solar System compared to the Sun
  • Earth is not a record holder for water reserves. Europa, the moon of Jupiter, has more of it than our planet.
  • Uranus is the first planet discovered using a telescope in Modern history.
  • The temperature at the Sun-facing side of Mercury is hundreds of degrees higher than at the opposite side. During the day, it rises to 800 °F (427 °C), and at night it falls to -279 °F (-173 °C).
  • The dwarf planet Eris was a candidate for the tenth planet, but the Assembly of the scientific society stripped Pluto of its planetary status instead. It has made a precedent.
  • There’s a solid core consisting of rocks In the bowels of Uranus. The lower layer of clouds there consists of water, and the upper layer consists of methane.
  • Only Venus rotates in the opposite direction to the rotation of all the other planets.
  • The shortest year is recorded on Mercury, it lasts 88 days only. And the longest is on Neptune, as much as 165 years. However, this is still nothing compared to the Sedna, the local year lasts about 11.487 years!
  • Еhe atmospheric pressure inside the Jupiter reaches 2.000.000 atm. As a result, even the hydrogen there takes a metallic form, because the atomic nuclei are compressed by this pressure.
  • There’s ice at the surface of Pluto that is millions of years old. This is a special aggregate form of ice, which is as strong as hardened steel.
  • The entire area of Mars is approximately equal to the area of the Earth’s landmass.
Mars planet
The most Earh-like planet in Mars
  • Pluto has not managed to make a single complete revolution around the Sun since its discovery and to the moment it was stripped of its status as a planet.
  • There are underground or subglacial oceans on Ganymede, Enceladus and other satellites of the planets of the Solar System.
  • There’s water ice on Mercury. It is concentrated in polar craters, in places that sunlight never reaches.
  • On Mars, there is snow and ice, as well as one underground lake with liquid water, located at a considerable depth. It is located near the South pole of the red planet, and is about 12.5 miles (20 km) wide.
  • Neptune is the first planet discovered by mathematical calculations rather than visual observations.
Neprune planet
The processes occurring in the atmospheres of gas giants have not been studied yet. Scientists record bursts of energy and radio emission of unknown nature.
  • Uranus is the coldest planet of Solar System. The temperature registered there is -371 °F (-224 °C).
  • Sometimes it snows on Mars. But snowflakes fall from clouds in the upper atmosphere, at an altitude of 25-28 miles (45-50 km), and evaporate before it reaches the surface because of the low pressure.
  • Uranus is the only known planet that rotates on its side. Its tilt axis is tilted at 97.77°.
  • The Great Red spot, a giant hurricane larger than Earth, has been raging on Jupiter for more than 350 years.
  • Uranus is  also the only gas planet in Solar System that doesn’t have powerful atmospheric storms.
  • A powerful atmospheric vortex of gigantic size occurs on Saturn every 29.5 years. It’s called the Great White Spot. It always appears and disappears at the same time.
  • The strongest winds in our system blow on Neptune, sometimes they reach a speed of 1500 mph (2400 kmph). This is twice the speed of sound.
  • There are stable clouds of regular hexagonal shape at the North pole of Saturn. Scientists still argue about what they are.
  • Venus is the hottest planet in our system, and its temperature can reach 867 °F (464 °C). That’s higher than the melting point of some metals, such as lead.
  • Mercury makes three revolutions around its axis for two revolutions around the Sun, so for an observer at the surface of this planet, one day here lasts two years.
Saturn planet
The hexagonal clouds on Saturn are about 62 miles (100 kilometers) thick
  • Saturn’s rings are made up of smaller rings that are 30 to 3000 feet (10 to 1000 meters) thick.
  • Venus and Mars have higher mountains than the Earth. These are the Maxwell mountains (36.00 feet or 11.3 km) and the Olympus volcano (85.300 feet or 26 km), respectively.
  • The densest atmosphere also belongs to Venus, with an atmospheric pressure 92 times higher at its surface than on Earth. Titan, the moon of Saturn, is in second place, and in third place is our Earth.
  • The Venusian atmosphere “thickens” near the surface because of the tremendous pressure, and turns into a kind of supercritical liquid.
  • Not only Saturn have a ring system, but also all the other gas planets of Solar System.
Satrn rings
Saturn’s rings consist mainly of small particles up to 0.5-1 inch (1-2 cm) in diameter
  • Mercury, the smallest planet, is really smaller than some moons in Solar System.
  • There is an atmosphere on all the planets of our system without exception. But on Mercury, it’s so thin that it can only be detected using special tools.
  • The largest number of satellites among the planets of the Solar system belongs to Saturn, it has as many as 82 of them.
  • The Earth’s crust consists of tectonic plates that are constantly moving. But Mars has a solid crust, and it’s motionless.
  • The size of ordinary hurricanes on Jupiter and Saturn exceeds the size of the continents on our planet.
  • On Venus, there are rains consisting of sulfuric acid. But they don’t reach the surface, because they evaporate.
  • The highest temperature ever recorded on Mars is 95 °F(35 °C). The Record was set during a hot summer day at the equator of the red planet.
  • The average density of Saturn is lower than that of water. This is the least dense planet in Solar System.
  • Uranus is the least explored planet in our system. It was visited by the spacecraft only once.
  • Mercury and Venus are the only planets in the Solar system that do not have moons.
Jupiter pkanet
The Juno probe had to be equipped with a 1-cm-thick titanium shell to protect its electronics from the powerful radiation emitted by Jupiter into space
  • Numerous celestial bodies with an average diameter of about 300 feet (100 meters), so-called mini moons, are found inside Saturn’s rings. Scientists believe that there are up to 10 million of them, give or take.
  • On Earth, the sky looks blue, and the sunset colors it in orange or reddish tones. On Mars everything is the opposite because of the different composition of the atmosphere. The sky there is brown, and during sunset there are bluish shades.
  • Atmospheres of Saturn’s moons Dione and Rhea consist of almost nothing but oxygen. But it is so sparse there that it is technically no different from a vacuum.
  • Jupiter’s magnetic field is about 2,000 times stronger than Earth’s.
  • All gas giants have their own radiation belt. The radiation level in such a belt of Jupiter, for example, exceeds the lethal level for humans by about 1000 times.

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