What planet is closest to the Sun? What planet is the furthest from the Sun? What is the makeup of planets in the solar system? Is there life on planets other than on Earth? How are the planets? To find out, check out the following description.
The solar system consists of the Sun, planets, and its Moon (satellites). The sun is the center of the solar system and the planet moves around it. Did you know that besides Earth there are other planets, satellites, asteroids, and comets that move around the Sun? The arrangement of celestial bodies surrounding the Sun is called the solar system.
Planetary Arrangement in the Solar System
Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun. Its diameter ± 4,878 km and has an average distance of 57.9 million km from the Sun. During the day, Mercury’s surface temperature can reach 430°C. Meanwhile, nighttime temperatures reach –170°C.
Mercury’s surface is hollow and mountainous. The holes form craters. This is because many meteors hit Mercury. Mercury has an atmosphere consisting of sodium and potassium gases. With these conditions, living things cannot survive. Therefore, on the planet Mercury there is no life.
Mercury takes 88 days (one year of Mercury) to move around the Sun. It was called the time of Mercury’s revolution against the Sun. To rotate, Mercury takes 59 days (one Mercury Month). What about the other planets?
Venus is the second closest planet to the Sun. Its diameter is ± 12,100 km and its distance from the Sun is 108.2 million km. The size of Venus is not much different from the size of the Earth. What is the temperature on the surface of Venus? The temperature on the surface of Venus is very high reaching 480°C. Thus, Venus is a very hot planet.
Venus’ atmosphere consists of carbon dioxide and nitrogen gases. Venus’ atmosphere is very high pressure. Venus moves around the Sun within 225 days (1 year of Venus). Meanwhile, the rotation time is 243 days. Sometimes Venus can be seen in the morning or evening. Therefore, Venus is also called a morning star or an afternoon star.
Earth is the planet we live on. Surely you already know our Earth? Earth is the only planet inhabited by living things. Earth is third only to Mercury and Venus. Earth’s diameter ±12,725 km and is 149.6 million km from the Sun. Two-thirds of the Earth’s surface is covered by water. Earth is protected by the atmosphere. The Earth’s atmosphere consists of nitrogen gas, oxygen, and other substances, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and ozone (O3).
The Earth rotates within 24 hours and moves around the Sun or evolves within 365.25 days (1 year). Earth has one satellite, the Moon. Satellites are celestial bodies that surround the planet.
Mars is the fourth closest planet to the Sun. The distance of Mars from the Sun is about 228 million km. The diameter of the planet Mars ± 6,794 km. The surface of Mars has temperatures between –133°C to 27°C. The atmosphere of the planet Mars consists of nitrogen gas and carbon dioxide. Mars evolved within 687 days. The rotation time of Mars is 24.6 hours.
On the surface of Mars, there are many craters. When viewed from Earth, the craters look like black patches. The planet Mars is referred to as the red planet. Why is that? When viewed from Earth with the naked eye, the planet Mars appears reddish. Does Mars have satellites? Yes, Mars has two satellites, Phobos and Deimos.
Jupiter is the fifth closest planet to the Sun. Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system. Jupiter has a diameter of 142.984 km and is 778.330.000 km from the Sun. Jupiter’s surface temperature is very cold, which is about –150°C.
Jupiter’s atmosphere consists of hydrogen gas and very thick helium gas. It’s 1,000 km thick. There is no clear boundary between Jupiter’s surface and its atmosphere. Therefore, Jupiter is called a gas planet. You can see Jupiter using star binoculars. Why is that? Can you explain it?
Jupiter has 63 satellites. Ganymede, Io, Europe, and Calisto are the four largest satellites. The four satellites are moving around Jupiter. Another 34 satellites have been named, while the rest have not been named.
Saturn is the sixth closest planet to the Sun. Saturn is the second-largest planet after Jupiter. The planet Saturn is 120,536 km in diameter and is 1,429,400,000 km from the Sun. Saturn’s atmosphere consists of hydrogen and helium. In addition, there are a number of methane gases, water vapors, and ammonia. Saturn’s surface temperature is about –178°C.
The planet Saturn circles the Sun within 29.5 Earth years. Saturn’s rotation time ± 10.7 hours. Saturn can be seen using star binoculars. Saturn is seen as a ringed planet. Saturn’s rings are actually fine dust, gravel, and ice pellets. Based on recent developments, Saturn has 31 satellites. Saturn’s two largest satellites are named Titan and Phoebe.
Uranus is the third-largest planet in the solar system. Like Jupiter, Uranus is a gas planet. Diameter Uranus is 51.118 km away and is 2,870,990,000 km from Matahari. Uranus’s surface temperature is about –210°C. The atmosphere that protects the planet Uranus consists of hydrogen, helium, and methane gases. The time it took Uranus to circumnavigate the Sun was 84 years. Uranus’ rotation time is approximately 10.7 hours. Uranus can be seen with star binoculars. Uranus appears to have a dark-colored ring. Uranus has 27 satellites. Uranus’ five largest satellites are Titania, Oberon, Umbriel, Ariel, and Miranda.
Neptune is the fourth-largest planet in the solar system. The characteristic of Neptune is the planet’s gas. Neptune’s diameter is 49,532 km. Neptune is 4,504,000,000 km from the Sun. Neptune’s surface temperature is about –210°C. Neptune is protected by the atmosphere. Neptune’s atmosphere consists of hydrogen, helium, and methane gases. The period of Neptune’s revolution was 165 years. Neptune’s rotation time is 16 hours. Neptune is visible from Earth rather dim and bluish in color. Neptune has 13 satellites. The three largest are Triton, Nereid, and Proteus.
9. Pluto Does Not Include Planets
Originally, Pluto was a member planet of the solar system. However, in 2006 Pluto was ejected from the solar system. Due to its size, it is considered too small for a planet a member of the solar system. In addition, Pluto’s orbit cuts through Neptune’s orbit. Pluto has a diameter of 2,274 km. The temperature on Pluto’s surface is very low, which is –210°C to –130°C. Pluto has been moving around the Sun for 248.4 years and takes 6.4 days for a single rotation. Pluto has one satellite named Charon.