There are nine planets orbiting around the Sun. Their names in order are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Jupiter. If you have trouble remembering their names, just remember this short little phrase: My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas. The first letter in these words is also the first letter of the planets in their order. Here are facts about each planet.
Mercury is called the god of romance, travel and thievery. It is the closest planet to the Sun. The surface has thousands of craters because of being hit by objects since the solar system's early days. Since Mercury has no protective atmosphere, the temperature on the surface ranges from extremely hot on the side facing the Sun to extremely cold on the side that doesn't face the Sun. Mercury has only been visited by one space craft (Mariner 10). Mercury can be seen by the human eye or through binoculars from earth. Scientist thinks that there may be some volcanic activity on Mercury. It was once believed that there was no water on Mercury. However, this is wrong. Recent information shows that there is ice on Mercury's north pole. Unlike many of the planets Mercury doesn't have any moons. Mercury is a small rocky planet covered with craters just like our moon. Sometimes Mercury is warmer than an oven. But at other times it is colder than a freezer. Mercury can be seen during early sunrise because it is close the to sun. Mercury is the fastest planet in the solar system. Only Venus is hotter than Mercury. Mercury is the second smallest planet in the solar system after Pluto. It would take 20 Mercury's to fit in the Earth. Mercury is a very interesting planet.
Venus is named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty. However, according to many scientists, Venus isn't very beautiful. The surface of Venus is quite unpleasant. It has very high winds and temperatures. These winds blow really fast sometimes hurling up to hundreds of miles per hour. Venus is also very rocky; it has volcanoes, craters, mountains and lava plains. It is the second planet from the Sun and rotates around the sun. It is also called the Earths twin (sister). Venus is called the Earth's twin sister because the mass is so close to that of the Earth's. Venus is 95% of the diameter of Earth. Venus rotates opposite of the Earth and every other planet except maybe Uranus. A day in Venus is 243 Earth days. Venus is the brightest planet. There are no small craters on Venus caused by the burning. Venus is also visible by the naked eye. This planet has no satellites. It is so hot that it can melt lead. Venus spins on its axis every 243 Earth days. On Venus the Sun rises in the west and sets in the east. Venus is covered in fast moving clouds. Venus is also known as the "evening star" or the "morning star."
There's no place like home. Our planet is a wonderful place with the most varied surface in the entire solar system. From a distance, our planet looks like a beautiful big blue marble. It is the only planet that has water liquid and a gas all in one! Earth is the 5th largest planet and is the 3rd planet from the sun. It is the only planet that is not named by Greek Mythology. Seventy-one percent of the Earth is water and twenty-nine percent is land. Earth has one satellite, the moon. The moon is º of the Earth's diameter. As many people know the Earth has seven continents, which are Antarctica, Australia, Africa, North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. There are also 4 oceans: the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Antarctic. The Earth goes around the Sun every 356 days. That is a year and 24 hours a day or one axis turn. Earth is covered in mountains, lakes, oceans and rivers. The highest point is Mount Everest. Earths average temperature is 45 F. Earth is the densest planet in our solar system. The Earth's rotation is slowing down 1 second every 10 years. Now that would be an interesting fact to research more!
The Red Planet is named after the Roman god of war or the bringer of war. It was probably named that because it is the color red; the rust in the soil was how it was named. The color is easily seen through a small telescope. The surface of Mars has and there is a lot of research going on now trying to get an answer as to whether we are the only life in the solar system. It seems that there may be water on Mars! For these reasons, Mars seems to be the favorite to study. Mars has two small satellites. It has a dry and rocky planet. Mars has the largest volcano in the solar system. The volcano is larger than Mount Everest. The temperature is at the lowest -190 F when the lowest is 90 F. This planet has two moons. Mars has a face on it; it is really weird; Nasa took it. (Not clear)
Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system. It is called the king of planets. It has at least seventeen moons and features the Great Red Spot, which is a huge "storm" that has been observed from here on Earth for over three hundred years. Jupiter is mostly made up of gas. Jupiter was first visited in 1973. It is the 4th brightest object in the sky. This planet is the 5th planet from the Sun and five times bigger than the Earth. Jupiter has a thin faint ring circling around it. Jupiter has a great Red Spot that can be seen through a small telescope. It would take twelve Earth years for Jupiter to go around the Sun. Even though it takes a long time to go around the Sun, it spins quite fast. This planet spins once every ten hours. Jupiter has thin faint rings that are made of rock and dust. The average cloud temperature is -244F. Jupiter has 17 moons and gives off twice more energy than what the Sun gives it. Jupiter was first visited in 1973. and has been known since ancient times. Finally, this interesting planet has a total of thirty-nine moons.
Saturn is the god of agriculture. It is also called the ringed planet because of the hundreds of ring surrounding it. Saturn is one of the most beautiful planets in the solar system. It has a system of rings. They have been a source of wonder since they were first seen with the earliest telescopes. Although the rings look fairly simple through a small telescope, spacecraft pictures have uncovered that what looks like two rings through a telescope is actually hundreds of individual ring systems. Saturn's rings are made of rock and ice sometimes the size of cars. Also, Saturn has so many moons that it is like a miniature solar system. Three rings of Saturn can be seen from Earth. Saturn was visited first in 1979. Saturn is the seventh planet from the Sun and is visible without a telescope. Saturn has 18 moons. The average temperature is - 300F.
Uranus is one of the larger gas planets in the solar system. Its strange blue-green color provides only a small amount of clues as to what is going on underneath the surface clouds. Uranus also has a very faint ring system containing 11 rings, which are made of rocks and dust. We didn't know it had rings until the planet was seen and visited by the Voyager spacecraft. It is the 7th planet from the sun and the third largest. Uranus was visited in 1986. It is tilted on its side. Uranus is very chilled; its average temperature is -350F. Uranus has 5 moons. Uranus was the father of Saturn and grandfather of Jupiter. Uranus orbits over 1 million miles. It is wide enough so that the four Earths could fit on its surface. Uranus has 22 moons, a tilted axis, which is 97.9 degrees. Believe it or not fourteen Earths could fit inside. Williams Herschel discovered Uranus in 1781.
Neptune is known as the god of sea. It is a gas planet and the 8th planet from the Sun. Neptune was the last stop the Voyager mission made before it departed back to Earth. What we found out was that Neptune has winds that blow hundreds of miles per hour. It also has a moon that includes "geysers" of nitrogen. These blow up like a volcano and leave dark marks on the surface. It is the forth-largest planet by its diameter. Neptune has six narrow rings and 8 moons. Its surface is mostly made of water, ice and dry ice. It takes 165 years for Neptune to go around the Sun. Four Earths could fit around the face of Neptune. The average temperature is -370F. Sometimes Neptune can be the 9th planet because of the goofed up orbit.
Pluto is the god of the underworld and the planet farthest away from the sun. The most mysterious planet and smallest planet in our Solar System is Pluto. Pluto is so far away that the Sun is just a little dot of light that looks like any other star. Pluto has one moon, Charon, which was discovered in 1978. Charon is almost as big as the planet itself. As of now no other spacecraft has ever visited Pluto. Pluto's average temperature is negative 390 F. Scientists do not know if Pluto has an atmosphere. Pluto was discovered by a gentleman call Clyde Tombaugh. Some scientist think that Pluto should be an asteroid because it is smaller than many moons. It would take 500 Pluto's to fit into earth. A person who is 100 pounds on Earth would weigh eight pounds on Pluto. Because of the mixed-up orbit, Pluto might be the 8th or the 9th planet.
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