Objectives 1. Explain how each Planet got its name. 2. Describe where each Planet is positioned from the Sun. 3. Explain how long it takes for each Planet to rotate on its axis. 4. Describe the size of each Planet and how it relates to the sizes of the other Planets. 5. Explain the force of gravity at the surface of each Planet. 6. Explain how long it takes each Planet to orbit the Sun. 7. Explain the composition of the atmosphere of each Planet. 8. List and describe the temperature range of your Planet. 9. List the number of moons if any orbiting each Planet. 10. List the number of rings if any orbiting each Planet. 11. Describe if and how a human would survive on each Planet. 12. Describe two interesting facts about each Planet. 13. Describe the difference between an asteroid, meteor, and meteorite.
The Planets Mercury Venus Earth Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Comets
Mercury Mercury is the planet closest to the Sun in our Solar System. This small, rocky planet has almost no atmosphere. Mercury has a very elliptical orbit and a huge range in temperature. During the long daytime (which lasts 58.65 Earth days or almost an entire A year on the Mercury planet is 88 days long), the temperature is hotter than an oven; during the long night (the same length), the temperature is colder than a freezer.
Venus Venus is the second planet from the sun in our solar system. It is the hottest planet in our Solar System. This planet is covered with fast-moving sulfuric acid clouds which trap heat from the Sun. Its thick atmosphere is mostly carbon dioxide. The surface of Venus is a very unpleasant place featuring very high temperatures, winds that blow hundreds of miles per hour and an atmosphere of sulfuric acid.
Earth The Earth is the third planet from the Sun in our Solar System. It is the planet we evolved on and the only planet in our Solar System that is known to support life. From a distance, our planet looks like a beautiful big blue marble. There are a number of things that make our planet unique in the solar system, not the least of which is that we are the only planet so far that we know for certain has ever had life of any kind.
Mars Mars, the red planet, is the fourth planet from the sun and the most Earth-like planet in our solar system. It is about half the size of Earth and has a dry, rocky surface and a very thin atmosphere. The Red Planet is named after the Roman god of war. Its distinctive rust color is easily seen through a small telescope. The surface of Mars features many mountains, canyons and even polar ice caps that look a lot like those here on Earth.
Jupiter The fifth planet in our solar system is also the largest planet in our system, both in size and mass. Jupiter is the fifth and largest planet in our solar system. This gas giant has a thick atmosphere, 39 known moons, and a dark, barely-visible ring. Its most prominent features are bands across its latitudes and a great red spot (which is a storm).
Saturn Saturn is the sixth planet from the sun in our solar system. It is the second-largest planet in our solar system (Jupiter is the largest). Saturn is one of the most beautiful planets in the solar system. Its fascinating system of rings has been a source of wonder since we first saw them with the earliest telescopes. In addition, Saturn has so many moons that it is like a miniature solar system.
Uranus Uranus is the seventh planet from the sun in our solar system. This huge, icy planet is covered with clouds and is encircled by a belt of 11 rings and 22 known moons. Uranus is one of the giant gas planets in the solar system. Its mysterious blue-green color provides very few clues as to what is going on underneath the surface clouds. If you get a chance to look at Uranus through a telescope, all you will see is a faint blue disk that appears exceptionally dull and lifeless.
Neptune Neptune is the eighth planet from the sun in our solar system. This giant, frigid planet has a hazy atmosphere and strong winds. This gas giant is orbited by eight moons and narrow, faint rings arranged in clumps. Actually, there are times when Neptune is the furthest planet from the Sun. Pluto, which has a very elliptical orbit, is sometimes closer to the Sun that Neptune for a period of time, but, for the most part, Neptune is closer to the Sun than Pluto.
Asteroid Asteroids are chunks of rock and metal that orbit around the Sun. Scientists think that they are loose material that never formed into planets. Asteroids are rocky or metallic objects, most of which orbit the Sun in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. None of the asteroids have atmospheres. Asteroids are also known as planetoids or minor planets.