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As you travel outward from the Sun, Mercury is the closest planet. It orbits
the Sun at an average distance of 58 million km. Mercury is airless, and so
without any significant atmosphere to hold in the heat, it has dramatic
temperature differences. The side that faces the Sun experiences
temperatures as high as 420 C, and then the side in shadow goes down to
-173 C. Mercury is also the smallest planet in the Solar System,
measuring just 4879 km across at its equator.
Mercury has only been visited two times by spacecraft. The first was Mariner
10, back in the mid 1970s. It wasnt until 2008 that another spacecraft from
Earth made a close flyby of Mercury, taking new images of its surface.

Venus is the second planet in the Solar System, and its an almost virtual
twin of Earth in terms of size and mass. Venus orbits at an average distance
of 108 million km, and completes an orbit around the Sun every 224 days.
Apart from the size, though, Venus is very different from Earth. It has an
extremely thick atmosphere made almost entirely of carbon dioxide that
cloaks the planet and helps heat it up to 460 C. If you could stand on the
surface of Venus, you would experience 92 times the pressure of Earths
atmosphere, with incredibly high temperatures, and poisonous clouds of
carbon dioxide and sulfuric acid rain.
Several spacecraft have visited Venus, and a few landers have actually made
it down to the surface to send back images of its hellish landscape. Even
though there were made of metal, these landers only survived a few hours
at best.

Earth is our home; the third planet from the Sun. It orbits the Sun at an
average distance of 150 million km. Earth is the only planet in the Solar
System known to support life. This is because our atmosphere keeps the
planet warm from the vacuum of space, but its not so thick that we have a
runaway greenhouse effect. The Earth has a solid core of iron surrounded by
a liquid outer core that generates a magnetic field that also helps protect life
on Earth from the radiation of space.
No planet in the Solar System has been studied as well as Earth, both on the
ground and from space. Thousands of spacecraft have been launched to
study the planet, measuring its atmosphere, land masses, vegetation, water,
and human impact. Earth has only a single moon the Moon.

The 4th planet from the Sun is Mars, the second smallest planet in the Solar
System. It orbits the Sun at an distance of 228 million km. You might think
Mars is large, but its a tiny world, with about half the diameter of Earth, and
just 1/10th the Mass. If you could stand on the surface of Mars, youd
experience about 1/3rd Earths gravity. Mars has almost no atmosphere to
help trap heat from the Sun, and so temperatures can plunge below -140
C in the Martian winter. Even at the height of summer, temperatures can
get up to 20 C in the day just barely shirt sleeve weather.
Mars has been heavily studied by spacecraft. There are rovers and landers
on the surface, and orbiters flying overhead. Its probably the likeliest place
to search for life in the Solar System.
Mars has two tiny asteroid-sized moons: Phobos and Deimos.

Mighty Jupiter is the biggest planet in our Solar System. Its so large, in fact,
that it has 2.5 times the mass of all the rest of the planets in the Solar
System combined. Jupiter orbits from the Sun at an average distance of 779
million km. Its diameter at the equator is 142,984 km across; you could fit
11 Earths side by side and still have a little room. Jupiter is almost entirely
made up of hydrogen and helium, with trace amounts of other elements.
Jupiter has been visited by several spacecraft, including NASAs Pioneer and
Voyager spacecraft; Cassini and New Horizons arrived more recently. Only
the Galileo spacecraft has ever gone into orbit around Jupiter, and it was
crashed into the planet in 2003 to prevent it from contaminating one of
Jupiters icy moons.
Jupiter has the most moons in the Solar System it has 63 moons at last

Saturn is the 6th planet from the Sun, and the 2nd largest planet in the
Solar System. It orbits the Sun at an average distance of 1.4 billion km.
Saturn measures 120,000 km across; only a little less than Jupiter. But
Saturn has much less mass, and do it has a low density. In fact, if you had a
pool large enough, Saturn would float!
Of course, the most amazing feature of Saturn is its rings. These are made
of particles of ice ranging in size from a grains of sand to the size of a car.
Some scientists think the rings are only a few hundred million years old,
while others think they could be as old as the Solar System itself.
Saturn has been visited by spacecraft 4 times: Pioneer 11, Voyager 1 and 2
were just flybys, but Cassini has actually gone into orbit around Saturn and
has captured thousands of images of the planet and its moons.And speaking
of moons, Saturn has a total of 60 moons discovered (so far).

Uranus the 7th planet from the Sun. It orbits the Sun at an average distance
of 2.9 billion km. Uranus measures 51,000 km across, and is the 3rd largest
planet in the Solar System. While all of the planets are tilted on their axes,
Uranus is tilted over almost on its side. It has an axial tilt of 98. Uranus
was the first planet to be discovered with a telescope; it was first recognized
as a planet in 1781 by William Herschel.
Only one spacecraft, Voyager 2, has ever visited Uranus up close. It passed
by the planet in 1986, and captured the first close images.
Uranus has 27 known moons.

Neptune is the 8th and final planet in the Solar System, orbiting at an
average distance of 4.5 billion km from the Sun. Its the 4th largest planet,
measuring about 49,000 km across. It might not be as big as Jupiter, but its
still 3.8 times larger than Earth you could fit 57 Earths inside Neptune.
Neptune is the second planet discovered in modern times. It was discovered
at the same time by both Urbain Le Verrier and John Couch Adams.
Neptune has only ever been visited by one spacecraft, Voyager 2, which
made a fly by in August, 1989.
Neptune has 13 known moons.
And those are the planets in the Solar System. Unfortunately, Pluto isnt a
planet any more.

Pluto was discovered in 1930 by an astronomer from the United States. An
astronomer is a person who studies stars and other objects in space.Pluto
was known as the smallest planet in the solar system and the ninth planet
from the sun.
Today, Pluto is called a "dwarf planet." A dwarf planet orbits the sun just like
other planets, but it is smaller. A dwarf planet is so small it cannot clear
other objects out of its path.
In 2003, an astronomer saw a new object beyond Pluto. The astronomer
thought he had found a new planet. The object he saw was larger than
Pluto. He named the object Eris (EER-is).
Finding Eris caused other astronomers to talk about what makes a planet a
"planet." There is a group of astronomers that names objects in space. This
group decided that Pluto was not really a planet because of its size and
location in space. So Pluto and objects like it are now called dwarf planets.
Pluto is also called a plutoid. A plutoid is a dwarf planet that is farther out in
space than the planet Neptune. The three known plutoids are Pluto, Eris and
Makemake (MAH-kee-MAH-kee). Astronomers use telescopes to discover
new objects like plutoids.

Mercury Shows Its True Colors Venus, the jewel of the sky

Earth Mars

Jupiter Saturn

Uranus Neptune

Project in Science

Submitted by:

Francine Jabriel J. Vidal
Grade 6