the solar system - School Datebooks

the solar system - School Datebooks

SCIENCE the solar system Jupiter SUN Mercury Venus Earth Mars Saturn TERRESTRIAL PLANETS Uranus Neptune JOVIAN PLANETS MARS REVIEW ONLY ...

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SCIENCE

the solar system

Jupiter SUN

Mercury

Venus

Earth

Mars

Saturn

TERRESTRIAL PLANETS

Uranus

Neptune

JOVIAN PLANETS

MARS

REVIEW ONLY

OUR SOLAR SYSTEM

Observing the night sky with the naked eye, ancient astronomers noticed moving points of light they called “planets,” which means “wanderers.” Those first planets were named for Roman deities: Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Venus and Saturn. With the invention of the large telescope, astronomers were able to see other planets. These included Uranus in 1781, Neptune in 1846, and Pluto in 1930, which was later redefined as a dwarf planet. Besides planets, thousands of asteroids and comets fill the universe. Most asteroids orbit between Mars and Jupiter. Comets exist beyond Pluto’s orbit. There are two types of planets. Terrestrial planets, closest to the Sun, have rocky surfaces. These are Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. Those beyond Mars’ orbit—Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, are called Jovian planets, meaning “gas giants.”

Named for the Roman god of war, Mars gets its red coloring from soil rich in iron oxides. diameter: 4,221 miles temperature: -305°F to 90°F rotation: almost 25 Earth hours revolution: 687 Earth days mean distance from the sun: 141.61 million miles closest distance to Earth: 35 million miles weight on Mars: 100 lbs on Earth would weigh 38 lbs on Mars JUPITER

The largest planet in our solar system was named for the king of the Roman gods. Its bands of color can be seen with a large telescope. diameter: 88,846 miles temperature: -234°F average rotation: 10 Earth hours revolution: 12 Earth years mean distance from the sun: 483.80 million miles closest distance to Earth: 370 million miles weight on Jupiter: 100 lbs on Earth would weigh about 265 lbs on Jupiter SATURN

THE SUN

MERCURY

Named for the Roman messenger god, Mercury orbits the sun faster than any other planet. diameter: 3,031 miles temperature: -346°F to 950°F rotation: 59 Earth days revolution: 88 Earth days mean distance from the sun: 35.98 million miles closest distance to Earth: 57 million miles weight on Mercury: 100 lbs on Earth would weigh 38 lbs on Mercury VENUS

Named for the Roman goddess of love and beauty, it is the only planet that rotates in the opposite direction of its orbit around the sun. diameter: 7,521 miles temperature: 55°F to 396°F rotation: 243 Earth days revolution: 243 Earth days mean distance from the sun: 67.23 million miles closest distance to Earth: 26 million miles weight on Venus: 100 lbs on Earth would weigh 88 lbs on Venus EARTH

Named for the Roman god of agriculture, Saturn was the most distant planet known by the ancients. Its rings are comprised of ice particles. diameter: 74,897 miles temperature: -288°F average rotation: almost 11 Earth hours revolution: 29.5 Earth years mean distance from the sun: 890.73 million miles closest distance to Earth: 744 million miles weight on Saturn: 100 lbs on Earth would weigh about 107 lbs on Saturn

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A huge sphere of mostly ionized gas, the sun is the closest star to Earth. size: 332,900 times more massive than Earth temperature: 27 million°F weight on the sun: 100 lbs on Earth would weigh 2,800 lbs on the sun

Earth is the only planet known to harbor life and the only planet with liquid water on its surface. Water covers 70 percent of the planet. diameter: 7,926 miles temperature: -128°F to 136°F rotation: 24 hours revolution: 365.2 days mean distance from the sun: 92.96 million miles

URANUS

Originally named Georgium Sidus in honor of King George III, Uranus was discovered in 1781. It is twice as far from the sun as Saturn. diameter: 31,763 miles temperature: -353°F uniform rotation: 17 Earth hours revolution: 84 Earth years mean distance from the sun: 1,784.89 million miles closest distance to Earth: 1.6 million miles weight on Uranus: 100 lbs on Earth would weigh 89 lbs on Uranus NEPTUNE

Named for the Roman god of the sea, Neptune’s layer of methane gives a blue coloring. Winds tear through its clouds at more than 1,200 mph. diameter: 30,775 miles temperature: -353°F rotation: 16 Earth hours revolution: 165 Earth years mean distance from the sun: 2,793.12 million miles closest distance to Earth: 2.68 billion miles weight on Neptune: 100 lbs on Earth would weigh about 112 lbs on Neptune DWARF PLANETS

Named for the Roman god of the underworld, Pluto is the coldest, smallest and outermost planet in our solar system. In 2006, Pluto was reclassified as a dwarf planet. Other dwarf planets are Ceres, Eris, Makemake, Haumea and Sedna.