Everything in the Solar System orbits around the Sun
The 8 planets are divided in two groups:
Inner Planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars
Outer Planets: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune
They are separated by the Asteroid Belt
Is the planet closest to the
Sun , and it is the eighth
largest of the nine planets
Is a small, rocky planet. It is covered with craters.
One of Mercury's largest features is called the Caloris Basin . It is about 1300 km across
Mercury is so close to the Sun, and so small, that it has only a very small atmosphere.
It has no moons
Venus is a small, rocky
planet, very similar to Earth
Its surface is very hot (400ºC) due to the “Greenhouse Effect”
It has yellow clouds not made of water (like the ones here on Earth ). Instead, they are formed from a poison called sulfuric acid
Mars is a small , rocky planet
which is cold and lifeless.
Mars has permanent ice caps
at both poles made up mostly of solid carbon dioxide.
Very strong winds and vast dust storms sometimes blow through the entire planet for months!
Mars has two tiny moons which orbit very close to the surface. Their names are Phobos and Deimos .
Jupiter is the largest planet
which is made up of about
90% hydrogen and 10%
Jupiter has 16 known moons! There are four large " Galilean " moons (Io, Gaminedes, Calixto and Europe) and 12 small ones
Jupiter has rings like Saturn's , but much smaller
It has a “Great Red Spot”, a storm of swirling gas that has lasted for hundreds of years. Scientists are still unsure as to how such a storm could last for so long.
Saturn is a giant gas planet
which is made up of about
75% hydrogen and 25%
helium. It's most famous for its thousands of beautiful rings.
Saturn's rings are made up mostly of water ice. The origin of the rings of Saturn is currently unknown
Saturn's rings are extraordinarily thin. Even though they measure about 250,000 km across, they're no more than 1.5 kilometers thick.
Saturn has 18 known moons
Uranus is a giant gas planet which
is made up of mostly rock and
It has been visited by only one spacecraft, Voyager 2 on Jan 24 1986.
Uranus spins differently from most planets. It seems to be tilted "sideways" instead of right-side up. At the time of Voyager 2's passage, Uranus' south pole was pointed almost directly at the Sun .
Uranus has 15 known moons. Voyager 2 discovered 10 small moons in addition to the 5 large ones already known. It is likely that there are many more tiny moons within the rings.
Neptune is a giant gas planet
which is most likely made up of
various " ices " and rock
Neptune's blue color is the result of a gas called "methane" in its atmosphere. Like the other gas planets , Neptune has rapid winds trapped in "bands" of latitude and large storms. Neptune's winds are the fastest in the solar system, reaching 2000 km /hour
Neptune has 8 known moons; 7 small ones and a large moon called " Triton ."