The Eight Planets of the Solar SystemEdit
see Mercury for the full article
- Mercury (IPA: /ˈmɚkjəri/) is the innermost and smallest planet in the Solar System, quickly orbiting the Sun once every 87.969 Earth days. The orbit of Mercury has the highest eccentricity out of all the planets in the Solar System, and it has the smallest axial tilt. Mercury is nearly tidally locked to the Sun meaning just over half of it's surface always faces the Sun, this paired with the fact that Mercury has an extremely thin atmosphere makes for extreme temperature differences between the "dark side" and "light side".
see Venus for the full article
- Venus (IPA: /ˈviːnəs/) is the unforgiving, second planet from the Sun, orbiting it every 224.7 Earth days. Ironically the planet is named after Venus, the Roman goddess of love and beauty though in truth Venus is far from this vision of beauty, below a thick toxic reflective greenhouse gas rich atmosphere is a volcanic hostile surface that is baked to a temperature 860 °F (460 °C). After the Moon, it is the brightest natural object in the night sky, reaching an apparent magnitude of −4.6, which even makes it bright enough to cast shadows. Venus is the second largest terrestrial planet and it is sometimes called Earth's "sister planet" due to the similar size, gravity, mass, and composition. A younger Venus is believed to have possessed seas and oceans, but these evaporated as the temperature rose above the boiling point. Venus's surface is a dry desert, periodically redone by volcanism, which leads to few craters on its surface.
see Earth for the full article
- Earth (IPA: /ɝθ/) is the hospitable, blue, third planet from the Sun and is the largest of the terrestrial planets in The Solar System, by both diameter and mass. Home to the millions of diverse life forms including the intellegent human race, it is also referred to as "The Earth", "Planet Earth", "Gaia" (after the greek goddess Gaia), and "The World". Earth is the only planet known to have liquid water on the surface and is the only place in the universe certain to harbor life. Earth has an intence magnetic field that, together with a thick ozone layer, protects the surface from dangerous solar radiation that is harmful to most of Earth's ecosystem. Its atmosphere is mostly comprised of nitrogen, oxygen, and water vapor. The atmosphere also serves as a shield that causes most small meteors to burn up before they can strike the surface though sometimes meteors do strike the surface. Earth formed around 4.57 billion years ago and its only known natural satellite, The Moon, began orbiting after a large planetary collision occured around 4.53 billion years ago.For over 1 billion years atmospheric conditions on Earth have been greatly altered by the formation of life forms, which created an ecological balance that inadvertently changed the atmosphere. About 71% of the surface is covered with salt-water oceans filled with sodium, chloride, magnesium, and several other salts. These oceans provide a sanctuary for many life forms that thrive there. The remaining 29% consists of continents and islands which are also inhabited by many life forms. The planet's outer surface is divided into several solid moving sections, or tectonic plates, that gradually migrate across the surface over periods of many millions of years, they also help to recycle the land forming new land and sloshing old land back to the mantle over a period of millions of years. Earth's interior remains very active, with a thick layer of relatively solid mantle, a liquid outer core that generates a protective magnetic field, and a thick solid-iron inner core.
see Moon for the full article
- The Moon (IPA: /mun/) or Luna is Earth's only known natural satellite and the fifth largest satellite (after Ganymede, Titan, Callisto, and Io in that order) in the Solar System. The Moon is also extremely dense and is the second densest moon after Io. The Moon (other than the Earth) is the only natural extraterrestial body on which humans have set foot apon. There is evidence of volcanic activity in The Moon's past, though it is unlikely vulcanism still takes place today or has been active recently.
- Mars (IPA: /ˈmɑrz/) is the striking, red, fourth planet from the Sun and may be colonized in the future. The planet is named after Mars, the Roman god of war (equivalent of the Greek god Ares). It is also referred to as the "Red Planet" because of its reddish appearance when viewed from Earth because of large amounts of iron oxide. The second smallest terrestrial planet, Mars has a thin carbon dioxide rich atmosphere and a landscape comprised both of the impact craters like those found on Mercury and The Moon and the volcanoes, valleys, deserts and polar ice caps like those found on Earth. It is home to both the tallest mountain in the solar system Olympus Mons, and Valles Marineris, the largest canyon. In addition to its geographical features, Mars’s rotational period and seasonal cycles are somewhat similar to those of the Earth. Mars is on average 142 million miles from the sun which is further and colder than Earth. The distance varies between its perihelion about 129 million miles and its aphelion about 160 million miles. Despite its small size and relatively low temperatures life can't be ruled out there and many NASA scientists are searching for life on Mars, though most Exobiologists think life is more likely under the surface of the Jovian Moon Europa. Mars formed around 4.57 billion years ago and sometime later captured its two small moons.Originally it was speculated that there might be liquid water on the planet. This was based on observations of periodic variations in light and dark patches, which were thought to be oceans and continents, though later that was proven incorrect. Still, Mars might harbor life.