A tour of our solar system: Exploring the planets
Welcome to a tour of our amazing solar system! We’ll be exploring the eight planets in our solar system and learning about each one's unique features. From Mercury, closest to the sun, to Neptune, farthest from the sun, this is your chance to explore our cosmic neighborhood like never before.
Mercury – Closest to the sun: Mercury is the smallest planet in our solar system and it orbits very close to the sun. It is covered in craters and has no atmosphere. It also has extreme temperatures, ranging from 430 degrees Celsius during the day and -180 degrees Celsius at night!
Venus – Brightest planet in our solar system: The second planet from the sun is Venus. This planet is known for its beautiful brightness in our night sky. Venus is similar to Earth because it also has an atmosphere made up mostly of carbon dioxide. But don’t be fooled - the surface temperature on Venus can reach 860 degrees Fahrenheit!
Earth – Home sweet home: Third from the sun comes Earth - our home planet! Earth is special because it is capable of sustaining life due to its oxygen-rich atmosphere and liquid water on its surface. Although there are many other planets that have been discovered since Earth was first explored, nothing compares to home sweet home!
Mars – The Red Planet: Mars is the fourth planet from the sun and it gets its nickname “The Red Planet” because of its red dust covering much of its surface. Scientists believe that Mars used to have water on its surface but now most of it has evaporated away or frozen over time. There are still some interesting things about Mars though; for example, did you know that two moons orbit around Mars? They are named Phobos and Deimos!
Jupiter – The gas giant: Jupiter comes next in line after Mars as fifth from the sun. Jupiter is considered a gas giant because it does not have a solid surface like Earth or Mars do; instead, it consists mostly of hydrogen gas with a few other gases mixed in too. Jupiter also has four large moons called Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto - which were discovered by Galileo Galilei back in 1610!
Saturn – Known for its rings: Saturn follows Jupiter as sixth from the sun and it’s famous for its rings that circle around this gaseous planet made up mostly of helium and hydrogen. Saturn also has several moons orbiting around it such as Titan (which looks similar to Earth) and Enceladus (which shoots out jets of icy particles).
Uranus – Its axis lies almost completely horizontal!: Uranus lies seventh from the sun. What makes this planet unique compared to others is that, unlike all other planets which rotate almost upright relative to their orbit around the sun (with only 1-3 degrees tilt), Uranus has a 98 degree tilt. This means that its axis lies almost completely horizontal! Because of this, seasons on Uranus last for years at a time instead of months like on Earth, or on Mercury, which doesn't have seasons at all!
Neptune – Last but certainly not least: Neptune is the eighth planet from the sun. Although Neptune shares similarities with other gas giants such as Jupiter or Saturn (like having rings too!), what sets Neptune apart are storms occurring constantly throughout different parts of this cold blue planet. One example would be ‘The Great Dark Spot’ located near Neptune’s equator, which lasted for six years before disappearing in 1995!
We hope you enjoyed your tour through our solar system learning about each unique planet along with their fascinating features! Now you can explore further into space knowing more than ever before about each planet - maybe even enough knowledge so you could teach your friends, too! Thank you for joining us on this journey through outer space!
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Sunday, March 5, 2023
Exploring our solar system
Posted by Staff at 2:05 PM
Labels: Middle school science, Planets, Solar system
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