The solar system has eight planets which revolve around the Sun. The planets are categorized into inner planets and outer planets. The inner planets are namely Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars. They are closer to the Sun and are smaller in size when compared to the outer planets. They are also called the Terrestrial planets. On the other hand, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are known as outer planets. They are also called Giant planets owing to their massive size.
Mercury is the smallest planet in the solar system, it lies closest to the Sun. The geological features of Mercury include lobed ridges and impact craters. Due to the close proximity to the Sun, the planet’s temperature sores extremely high in the daytime. The temperature can go as high as 450 degree Celsius, but interestingly the nights are freezing cold. It has a diameter of 4,878 km. Unlike Earth, the planet does not have any natural satellites.
It is the hottest planet in the solar system. Venus has a toxic atmosphere which traps heat. It is also the brightest planet and is visible to our naked eye. Just like Earth, the planet has a thick silicate layer around an iron core. Astronomers have noticed internal geological activity on the planet. Venus is just like Mars, it has a diameter of 12,104 km. Even Venus does not have any natural satellites.
It is the largest inner planet. Two-third of Earth is covered with water. Earth is the only planet in our solar system where life is possible. The presence of nitrogen and oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere makes it fit for the survival of various species of flora and fauna. However human activities are adversely impacting its atmosphere. With a diameter of 12,760 km, Earth has only one natural satellite which is called the moon.
Often described as the Red Planet, Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun. It has a reddish appeal due to the presence of iron oxide. Mars is a cold planet and has geological features similar to that of Earth. It has always captured the interest of astronomers. Traces of frozen ice have been discovered on the planet. The planet with a diameter of 6,787 km has two natural satellites as well.
Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system. It has a strong magnetic field. The planet largely consists of helium and hydrogen. The planet has a Great Red Spot and cloud bands. It is believed that the planet experienced giant storms for over hundreds of years. With a diameter of 139,822 km, Jupiter has as many as 79 natural satellites!
It is the sixth planet from the Sun. Saturn is known for its ring system. They are made of tiny particles of ice and rock. The atmosphere of the planet is largely composed of hydrogen and helium. Saturn has 62 natural satellites which are mainly composed of ice.
It is the 7th planet from the Sun. Uranus has the distinction of being the lightest of all the giant and outer planets. Uranus has a blue tint! Thanks to the presence of Methane in its atmosphere. Its core is colder than that of other giant planets. With a diameter of 51,120 km, Uranus has 27 natural satellites orbiting around it.
Being the last planet in our solar system, it is also the coldest among all the planets. The planet is much more massive and dense when compared to Uranus. Neptune experiences extremely strong winds, and its atmosphere is composed of helium, hydrogen, methane, and ammonia. It is the only planet in our solar system to be discovered by mathematical prediction. The planet has a diameter of 49,530 and has 14 natural satellites.
Scientists and astronomers in the world have been studying the solar system for over centuries. Every planet in the solar system has its own unique geological features.