The Planet Neptune – Planets In Our Solar System

Planet Neptune

Planet Neptune - Planets In Our Solar SystemThe Planet Neptune is in the eighth positioned planet from the Sun. This planet is faster than the sound speed and is renowned for strong winds. Neptune is far out and really cold. This planet is far from the sun to over 30 times as the earth. It features a rocky core. This was the first planet forecasted as existed using math, even before it was discovered. Neptune is 17 times massive as Earth.

  • Orbit: 165 earth years
  • Diameter: 30,775 miles (49,530 km)
  • Day: 19 earth hours

Neptune, the eighth planet was predicted on Sept 23, 1846, even prior to seeing it through a telescope. Galileo, the previous astronomer mistook this planet to be a star owing to its slow motion. Neptune acquired the name as the Roman god of the sea. However, Johann Galle based on calculations spotted Neptune through a telescope.

Neptune has a blue tint owing to an unidentified compound and absorption of methane red light in the planets due to the hydrogen-helium atmosphere.  Neptune is dubbed often as ice giant as it possesses a slushy mix of thick water, methane ices and ammonia in its atmosphere and is 17 times earth’s mass and the volume is nearly 58 times as per NASA. The rocky core of Neptune is equal to Earths mass.

Neptune winds reach 1500 mph and are detected to be the fastest in the solar system. It receives sunlight to maintain warmth though it is at the farthest distance from the sun. This oval shaped ‘Great Dark Spot’ spinning counterclockwise was huge to contain entire earth and moves nearly 750mph westward.

Magnetic poles of the planet Neptune are tipped more than 47 degrees in comparison to others that spins together. As such, the magnetic field of this planet is nearly 27 times powerful than the earth’s and with each rotation it undergoes wild swings. Considering the cloud formations, scientists calculated that it takes less than 16 hours to complete a day.

Neptune’s oval-shaped orbit is at a distance of (4.5 billion kilometres) 2.8 billion miles, from the sun. It is 30 times roughly away from the Earth such that it cannot be seen through the naked eye. Neptune goes roughly every 165 earth years around the sun.

Every 248 years, Pluto appears to move closer to the sun and this is because it moves inside the orbit of Neptune for 20 years. Nevertheless, Neptune is the farthest planet and Pluto was considered as a dwarf planet.

The Planet Uranus – Planets In Our Solar System

Planet Uranus

The Planet Uranus - Planets In Our Solar SystemThe Planet Uranus is the seventh planet from the sun. It has the distinction of being the only planet with an equator that is at a right angle from its orbit. Effectively, the planet orbits sideways. Astronomers believe that is due to Uranus colliding with another object long ago. The tilt is responsible for extreme seasons. Sometimes these seasons last for more than 20 years and the sun beating down on one pole for close to 84 Earth years.

  • Orbit: 84 Earth years
  • Diameter: 31, 763 miles (51, 120 km)
  • Day: 18 Earth hours

The planet Uranus was formally discovered in 1781 by William Herschel. Though it was observed long ago, it was long mistaken to be a star as a result of its slow orbit and dimness. The dimness associated with the planet is due to the methane present in its atmosphere. The planet has many moons and also faint rings.

Uranus is named after the Greek god of the sky, Ouranos and is the only planet to be named after a Greek god. Before this particular name was decided upon, several names were proposed such as Hypercronius (“above Saturn”), Minerva, Herschel and even Georgium Sidus. The name for this planet was later finalised by the German astronomer, Johann Bode.

Magnetic Poles

The magnetic poles of planets are typically aligned with their axis of rotation. Uranus exhibits an exception with its magnetic field being tipped by almost 60 degrees from its axis of rotation. Furthermore, it has been found that the strength of the magnetic field is more at the surface near the northern hemisphere than that at the southern hemisphere.

The composition of the planet Uranus is estimated as 25% rock, 5-15% helium and hydrogen and 60-70% ice. Uranus’ core is made of iron and magnesium silicate and its mantle is made of water, methane and ammonia ices. Uranus has seasons that last 21 years on an average. However, the extreme tilt of its axis gives rise to unusual weather. When sunlight reaches some areas for the first time after some years, this heats the atmosphere and causes huge storms. On the other hand, when it was discovered in 1986 by Voyager 2, it had only 10 clouds and was dubbed ‘the most boring planet’.

Uranus possesses two sets of rings. The inner set is comprised of narrow and dark rings while the other set has two distant rings that are coloured red and blue. As of now, as much as 27 rings have been seen around Uranus.

The Planet Mars – Planets In Our Solar System

Planet Mars

The Planet Mars - Planets In Our Solar SystemPlanet number four in the solar system is the Planet Mars. Mars is a cold and dusty place with the nickname “The Red Planet” due to the presence of iron oxide in the dust. The Martian territory is similar to the terrain of Earth with valleys and mountains. Mars receives some snowfall and has water in the form of ice. Due to all this, scientists believe that the planet must have been warm and wet once before it became the cold and desert-like planet it is today.

  • Orbit: 687 days on Earth
  • Diameter: 4,217 miles (6,787 km)
  • Day: Slightly more than one Earth day (6,787 km)

The planet Mars is named after the Roman god of war. In actuality, Romans copied from the Greeks who had named it as Ares, due to its colour. Other civilisations that have seen mars have also given it colours based on its colour, namely Her Desher (The Red One) by the Egyptians and The Fire Star by the Chinese.

This planet contains both deepest valley and the highest mountain in the solar system. The Valles Marineris valley system is as deep as 6 miles and has a width of around 2,500 miles, while the Olympus Mons have a height of 17 miles.

The Martian atmosphere is too thin making it impossible for liquid water to exist for any length of time. However, there is a belief that the planet may have supported life previously and scientists continue to search for any signs of life in the past.

Volcanoes

Mars has the largest volcanoes and they are shield volcanoes. They were created by the flowing of erupted lava for long distances before it solidified. The planet Mars has other volcanic landforms such as small steep cones and plain’s that are coated in hardened lava. Some minor volcanic eruptions might still occur on the planet even today.

The Planet Mars has numerous valleys, gullies and channels giving rises to the suggestion that liquid water may have existed on the planet sometime in the past. Some of these channels are 60 miles wide and around 1200 miles long. Water may still be found in some underground rocks and cracks.

The Martian landscape also contains numerous craters and theses vary based on how old that particular surface is. The southern hemisphere is extremely old with many craters, while the northern hemisphere is relatively new and has fewer craters. Sometimes lava erupting from volcanic eruptions cover up the old craters and thus, alter the landform.

The Planet Mercury – Planets In Our Solar System

Planet Mercury

The Planet Mercury - Planets In Our Solar SystemThe Planet Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun. With virtually no atmosphere, the planet has some really harsh conditions with temperatures rising to 840 degrees Fahrenheit during daytime and fall to hundreds of degrees on the negative scale during night. Mercury has almost no atmosphere that can absorb meteor impacts and hence, its surface is strewn with craters.

  • Orbit: 88 Earth Days
  • Diameter:3,031 miles (4,878 km)
  • Day:6 Earth days

The present name given to the planet Mercury is that of the Roman messenger god. This is due to the fact that it circles the sun faster than the other planets. The planet has been named differently by different civilisations. The Sumerians knew about this planet around 5,000 years ago and they associated it with their god writing, Nabu. Mercury is known as a morning star as well as an evening star. However, Greek astronomers knew that both names referred to the same astronomical body.

Smallest Planet

Mercury is the smallest of all planets. Physically, it is only slightly bigger than Earth’s moon. Due to the absence of a significant atmosphere, the planet faces some of the worst temperatures in the solar system and also is hit by asteroids and meteors. Around 4 billion years ago, Mercury was struck by an asteroid that was roughly 60 miles. The impact was equal to the explosion of a trillion one megaton bombs. The resulting crater is today known as Caloris Basin. It is believed that a similar impact may have resulted in the odd spin that the planet follows presently.

Despite being the closest to the sun, water ice has been discovered in craters around its north pole. Certain regions may be permanently shaded from the sun’s heat aiding in the formation of water ice. The southern orbit has also contained ice, but this has not been validated by scientists yet.

The planet Mercury is the second most dense planet after Earth. It is a core of around 2,200 to 2,400 miles in width. The outer shell of the planet is only 300 – 400 miles thick. This fact is a mystery for scientists till date.

It was recently discovered that the planet Mercury possessed a magnetic field. Due to its slow rotation speed (59 Earth days), the planet was not expected to possess one. The presence of such a magnetic field suggests that its core may still be molten, although solar winds may dampen some of the magnetic field emanating from the planet.

 

 

Planets In Our Solar System

Planets In Our Solar System

Planets In Our Solar System - (Planets In Our Solar System)Planets in Our Solar System, A solar system is essentially a star and the objects that orbit around it. Our solar system consists of the Sun in the centre around which eight planets, a dwarf planet and some asteroids revolve. Our solar system is in an outward portion of the Milky Way galaxy. Let’s have a look at the planets in our solar system.

The planets in our solar system were discovered after astronomers followed moving points of light among the stars. Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Mars and Saturn were discovered in a similar manner, while Neptune, Uranus, Pluto, the Asteroid Belt and the moons of many planets were observed only after the telescope was invented. The discovery of the dwarf planet Eris led to the discovery of other dwarf planets. Several space probes were sent out in space to further explore the solar system and are being continued today.

Solar System theorised

The solar system is theorised to have originated from a giant rotating cloud of dust and gas known as the solar nebula. This nebula collapsed due to its gravity. It spun faster and was flattened to a disc. Most of the material from this nebula moved towards the centre and formed the sun. Other particles collided and stuck together to form planetesimals (objects that are the size of asteroids). Some of these planetesimals combined to form comets, asteroids, moons and planets. The solar winds were very powerful and swept away lighter elements such as helium and hydrogen from the inner planets. The solar winds were much weaker in the outer planets and hence, they are predominantly made of helium and hydrogen.

Planets in our Solar System

In the order of their distance from the Sun, the planets in our solar system are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. In the year 2006, The International Astronomical Union classified Pluto as a dwarf planet and it is effective, not included in this list. Apart from the planets, it also includes meteorites, comets, asteroids, a disc-shaped Kuiper Belt, a spherical Ort Cloud and a heliopause that is shaped like a teardrop. The solar system is estimated to stretch for a distance of 9 billion miles.

Planet Nine

Evidence for a new planet nicknamed “Planet x / Planet 9“was unveiled in 2016 bringing the number of planets in the solar system back to nine. It is estimated to have a mass that is 5,000 times that of Pluto and 10 times that of Earth. This planet x (video) is believed to exist between Neptune and Pluto. In any case, Pluto is the farthest object in our solar system orbiting in an elliptical and completely tilted axis.

The sun lies at the centre of our solar system and is by far, the largest object in it. It contains around 99.8% of the mass in the entire solar system. It provides light and heat without which life on Earth would stop. Most of the other objects in the solar system orbit in oval-shaped paths, with the sun slightly off centre from their paths.

Kinds of Planets

The planets in our solar system are of two kinds. The first kind is Terrestrial planets or planter whose surfaces are rocky. This includes Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. The other four are called Jovian planters because they are huge in comparison to the terrestrial planets and more importantly, are gaseous in nature. Jupiter and Saturn are basically called gas planets while Uranus and Neptune have more ice. A common feature is that all four planets contain helium and hydrogen.

Pluto also has solid rocky surfaces. But since it has been classified as a dwarf planet, it falls out of this list. The IAU defines a planet that can circle the sun without being the satellite of any other object while being large enough so that it can be rounded (by its own gravity) and must ‘clear the neighbourhood’ of other orbiting objects. The problem with Pluto is its small size and its odd orbit when compared with the other planets in our solar system. Most importantly, Pluto’s orbit shares space with other object belonging to the Kuiper Belt that lies beyond Neptune. Other dwarf planets are Eris, Makemake, Sedna and Haumea from the Kuiper Belt and Ceres from the Asteroid Belt that lies between Jupiter and Mars.

Comets

Comets are comprised of primarily rock and ice. They follow very long orbits that bring them closer to the sun at certain points. Some short-period comets are thought to originate from the Kuiper belt and complete their orbits within 200 years. Long period comets take more than 200 years to complete their orbits and they are believed to have originated from the Oort Cloud. When comets come very close to the sun, some of the ice in their central nucleus evaporates into gas which is carried outward, giving it a characteristic ‘tail’.

The Kuiper belt is long suspected to exist beyond Neptune and is estimated to house more than a trillion comets and some hundreds of thousands of icy bodies.  Beyond this lie the Oort Cloud, Heliosphere and Heliopause.