Mars is the fourth planet in the solar system and is considered to be the planet that most resembles Earth. It has many of the same topographical features of Earth and shares a similar rotation and cycles of seasons. Due to its location, it is one of the most frequently studied planets in the solar system. Due to its red appearance, Mars is known as the “Red Planet,” but have you ever wondered why it is red? Continue reading to discover the answer.
Venus and Mercury are the two closest planets to the Sun, so it stands to reason that they are also the hottest planets in the solar system. However, even though Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun, it is actually cooler than Venus. Most people find this to be an amazing fact, but the reason for this is actually quite easy to explain. Read on to find out the answer.
Our Sun provides us with all the warmth and light we need. It is essential for life and, if it could be harnessed, produces enough energy to power the whole planet. The Earth is the only planet in the solar system that supports life and part of the reason for this is the distance of the Sun from the Earth. If we were too close to the sun the Earth would become too hot for life and if we were further away from the sun the Earth would be too cold.
Observing a comet streak through the night sky is an unforgettable event. Although many comets are visible from Earth, it is the Great Comets that attract the most attention. These are relatively rare and usually only occur once in a decade. Unlike most comets, they can easily be seen by the naked eye and are observed by many people. For a comet to be seen with the naked eye the comet must have a large nucleus, and take a close approach to the Earth and Sun. Some of the reason that comets are visible is also due to their composition.
The sun is the star at the center of our solar system. It is the largest stellar body in our solar system with a diameter of about 1,392,000 km. It is approximately 149.6 million km from Earth. It is classified as a yellow dwarf star, due to the fact that the light received from it is in the yellow-green visual range. The sun is approximately 5,500°C at the surface and the Sun’s outer visible layer is called the photosphere and has a temperature of 6,000°C. Amazingly, the atmosphere can reach temperatures of 100,000°C and the sun’s corona can reach an amazing 1 million degrees Celsius! The sun is the closest star to the earth and it is approximately 109 times the size of the earth. The sun sustains life on earth by giving the planet heat and light. But, what exactly is this important star made of?
Even though we don’t feel it happening, the Earth is rotates completely once every day. If the Earth didn’t rotate there wouldn’t be night and day as we know it. There would be a sunny and dark side of the Earth, which would only change once a year. The sunny side would get very hot, while the dark side would be very cold. It is for this reason that the rotation of the Earth is considered to be an important ingredient for sustaining life. Have you ever wondered what makes the Earth rotate? Read on to find out the answer.
Asteroids are classified as small metallic, rocky bodies that orbit around the sun. They do not have atmospheres and are too small to be called planets. The main collection of asteroids in our solar system is in the aptly named asteroid belt. This belt is found between Mars and Jupiter and contains millions of asteroids. Asteroids range from the very large (1000km diameter) to the size of pebbles. Giuseppe Piazzi is credited with discovering the first asteroid when he discovered the dwarf planet he named Ceres in 1801. The composition of the asteroids was not known until much later and even today it is not well understood.
Saturn is the second largest planet in our solar system and is the sixth planet from the sun (after Jupiter and before Uranus). It is famous for having the most extensive planetary ring system in the solar system. Due to the fact that it is clearly visible in the night sky with the naked it has been known since prehistoric times as it is. However, it wasn’t until 1610 that a famous scientist named Galileo discovered that Saturn had rings. He didn’t know what the rings were or what they were made of and he theorized that they were two moons on Saturn’s sides. Christiaan Huygens was the first astronomer to propose that Saturn was surrounded a ring. It wasn’t until much later that scientists discovered what the rings were made of.
Since the very first humans walked the earth the moon has been an object of fascination. This is probably due to the fact that it appears to be the largest object in the night sky and it changes position and shape each day. Many ancient cultures of Earth revered the moon and believed it to be a very special object in the sky. Some cultures used it for measuring the passage of time and many early calendars were based on the phases of the moon. This fascination with the moon was one of the reasons that it was the target of the space race. One question about that moon constantly comes up – why does it have craters?
Mars is the fourth planet from the sun in the solar system. Often called the Red planet, Mars’ surface is covered in red iron oxide, or rust, which makes it appear red. Mars has a thin atmosphere and is orbited by two irregular shaped moons named Phobos and Deimos. It has characteristics similar to Earth and also shares similarities with our moon. Mars can be seen from earth with the naked eye and is one of the brightest objects in the night sky.