• In order of distance from Sun— Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Pluto Jupiter: • First of the outer planets (5 th from the sun), beyond Mars • More than 11x Earth’s diameter (1000 times Earth’s volume). It is the largest planet of our solar system. • Composition more liquid than gaseous or solid • Atmospheric pressure more than a million times that of Earth’s • It rotates rapidly once every 10 hours • It has 28 moons. • Atmosphere is 32 % hydrogen, 17 % helium, 1 % methane, ammonia, and other molecules. • No definite surface as occurs on the inner rocky planets • Solid core of iron, nickel, and other minerals • Because of its thick atmospheric blanket, daytime and nighttime temperatures are about the same for equal altitudes above its “surface.” Saturn: • It is the 6 th farthest planet from the sun. • Twice as far from Earth as Jupiter (Basically, there is a big distance between Jupiter and Saturn) • Most remarkable for its easily seen ring • Diameter about ten times that of Earth, excluding the rings • Lowest density of all planets—could float in giant bathtub (density is less than that of water) • It has 24 moons beyond its rings. • Titan is Saturn’s largest moon (about 1.6 times larger than our moon. It is even larger than Mercury. • The rings surrounding Saturn are hypothesized to be bits of a moon never formed, or remnants of a moon torn apart by tidal forces.
• The inner part of rings, like any satellite, travels faster than outer part of the ring system • Rocks that make up the rings orbit independently of other rocks. Uranus: • It is the 7 th farthest planet from the sun. • Twice as far from Earth as Saturn is • Diameter about 4x that of Earth • °98 tilt to the orbital plane— most unusual feature • Faint ring system • Methane atmosphere • Very cold place -224 °C. (Jupiter and Saturn have internal sources of heat) • It has 28 moons. Neptune: • It is the 8 th planet from the sun. It lies beyond Uranus • Diameter almost 4x that of Earth (17x than Earth in mass), somewhat smaller than Uranus • Highly elongated 17x mass of Earth path about the Sun • Atmosphere mainly hydrogen and helium • It has 8 moons • It’s largest moon Triton has bright polar ice caps & geysers that emit liquid nitrogen Pluto: • Questionably a planet (IAU demoted Pluto from a planet in 2006) • Very unlike other planets in composition, size, and orbit • Highly elliptical orbit, like comets •
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- Spring '14
- Solar System, Planet, Pluto