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Universe at a glance

Sun

  • The Sun is a star that is in the center of the Solar System.
  • The Sun is recognized as having the largest mass in our Solar System.
  • It has a diameter of about 1,392,684 km, about 109 times that of Earth.
  • In February 1974, Skylab was the first manned spacecraft to study the Sun.
  • Solar flares occur when magnetic fields of the Sun come together and cause huge explosions on the Sun’s surface.
  • Solar flares produce bursts of electromagnetic radiation, x-rays, ultraviolet radiation, visible light, and radio waves.
  • The sun is the closest star to Earth, at a mean distance from our planet of 149.60 million km.
  • Sun fuses 620 million metric tons of hydrogen each second.
  • At the core, the temperature is about 27 million degrees Fahrenheit. (15 million degrees Celsius)

Mercury

  • Mercury is the closest and second smallest in the Solar System.
  • Mercury is the second densest planet after Earth.
  • The only visit to Mercury was a flyby made by the Mariner 10 spacecraft in 1974.
  • Mercury speeds around the sun every 88 days, traveling through space at nearly 50 km (31 miles) per second.
  • Galileo first observed Mercury during the 17th century.

Venus

  • Venus is the second closest and sixth largest planet in the Solar System
  • It takes 244.7 days for Venus to rotate on its axis.
  • The first robotic space probe mission to Venus, and the first to any planet, began on 12 February 1961, with the launch of the Venera 1 probe.
  • The orbital speed of Venus is 35 km per second.
  • Venus is the hottest planet in the Solar System.
  • Venus appears to be the brightest planet in the sky.

Earth

  • Earth formed approximately 4.54 billion years ago, and life appeared on its surface within one billion years.
  • The Earth is the densest planet in the Solar System.
  • Earth is the fifth largest planet in the Solar System.
  • The Diameter of the Earth is 12,756 km (7,926 miles)
  • The earth’s orbital speed is 29.8 km per second.
  • Earth  atmosphere consists of 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen and 1 percent other ingredients..
  • Earth rotates about its own axis 366.26 times, creating 365.26 solar days.

Moon

  • The Moon is Earth’s lone natural satellite.
  • In 1610, Galileo Galilei is the first to use a telescope to make scientific observations of the Moon.
  • The Moon is the fifth largest satellite in our Solar System.
  • The Moon’s diameter is 2160 miles (3476 km)
  • Average distance between the Earth and the Moon is about 239,000 miles. Actual distance varies from 221,457 to 252,712 miles.
  • The Moon’s gravity is 1/6 that of Earth.
  • The Moon does not have an atmosphere; there is no wind on the Moon.
  • Apollo 11 was the American space mission to first reach and land on the moon.
  • The first human landing on the Moon was on 20 July 1969.
  • The Moon orbits around the Earth every 29 days.

Mars

  • Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second smallest planet in the Solar System.
  • iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish appearance, often described as “ Red Planet”
  • A Mars year is equal to 686.98 Earth Days.
  • A day in Mars is equal to 24.6 Earth Hours.
  • Like Earth, Mars experiences seasons because of the tilt of its rotational axis
  • Asaph Hall discovered both of Mars’ moons, Phobos and Deimos, in August 1877.
  • Mariner 4 – first successful flyby mission to Mars. Launched on November 28, 1964 and arrived at Mars on July 14, 1965.
  • Viking 1 – Successful orbit and landing on surface of Mars. Launched August 20, 1975 and arrived at Mars July 20, 1976.

Jupitar

  • Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, is 318 times larger than Earth.
  • The orbital speed of Jupiter is 13.1 km/sec
  • A year on Jupiter is equal to 11.9 Earth Years
  • Jupiter has 67 natural satellites.[105] Of these, 51 are less than 10 kilometres in diameter and have only been discovered since 1975.
  • Galileo Galilei  had discovered Jupiter's four largest moons, now called Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. These four moons are known today as the Galilean satellites.
  • In 1610, Galileo Galilei makes the first detailed observations of Jupiter.
  • Jupiter's moon Ganymede is the biggest satellite in solar system.
  • Jupiter has rings, the third planet discovered to have a ring system in our Solar System.
  • Jupiter’s rings are identified as: Halo ring, Main ring, Amalthea gossamer ring, and Thebe gossamer ring.
  • Jupiter’s rings were discovered by Voyager 1 in 1979.

Saturn

  • Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second largest.
  • Saturn has 62 known moons, fifty-three have been named. Most of them are small in size.
  • Names of some of Saturn’s moons: the largest is Titan, discovered in 1655; Tethys, Dione, Rhea, & Iapetus, discovered from 1671 to 1672; Mimas & Enceladus, discovered in 1789; and Hyperion, discovered in 1848.
  • A year on Saturn is equal to 29.5 Earth Years
  • Pioneer 11 is the first spacecraft to reach Saturn, in 1979
  • Saturn has a prominent ring system that consists of nine continuous main rings and three discontinuous arcs, composed mostly of ice particles with a smaller amount of rocky debris and dust.

Uranus

  • The orbital speed of Uranus is 6.6 km/sec.
  • Uranus takes 84 Earth years to complete one orbit.
  • Uranus is the third largest planet in the Solar System.
  • Voyager 2, the only spacecraft to visit Uranus,
  • A day on Uranus is equal to a little more than 17 hours on Earth.
  • Uranus has 27 known moons, named for characters from the works of William Shakespeare or Alexander Pope.
  • Uranus was discovered by Sir William Herschel in 1781.

Neptune

  • Neptune is the fourth largest planet and coolest planet in the Solar System.
  • Neptune was the first planet located through mathematical predictions rather than through regular observations of the sky.
  • Neptune was discovered by Urbain Le Verrier, John Couch Adams, and Johann Galle on September 23, 1846.
  • The only spacecraft ever to visit Neptune was Voyager 2 in 1989.
  • The magnetic field of Neptune is about 27 times more powerful than that of Earth.
  • One Neptune year is equal to 164.83 Earth Years.
  • Neptune has six known rings.
  • In 2011, Neptune completes its first 165-year orbit of the sun since its discovery in 1846.
  • Neptune has 13 moons, the largest of which is named Triton. The other moons are: Naiad, Thalassa, Despina, Galatea, Larissa, Proteus, Nereid, Halimede, Sao, Laomedeia, Neso, and Psamathe.

Pluto

  • Pluto is the smallest planet in the Solar System, now consider as dwarf planet.
  • Pluto’s journey around the Sun takes 248 Earth years.
  • Pluto is colder than Neptune.
  • Pluto is the second most contrast body in the Solar System.
  • Pluto has not yet been visited by a spacecraft.
  • Pluto has a satellite, Charon, which was discovered (in 1978). The distance between them is 19,640 km (12,200 miles).The other 3 are Nix, Hydra, and newly discovered S/2011 P 1 on July of 2011.
  • Pluto rotation (a Pluto day) takes 6.4 Earth days, meaning that it has the second slowest rotation in the Solar System after Venus.
  • Pluto was discovered by Tombaugh in 1930. 

 

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