The Solar System

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The Sun, like other stars in the universe, is three parts hydrogen to one part helium and other elements. Though it spins east to west at a 7.25-degree axial tilt, the sun is much different from either a terrestrial planet or gas giant since it’s plasma composition more closely resembles molten metal. As a result, it rotates faster at the equator than at it’s north or south poles …

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The Terrestrial Planets

Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars

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Mercury is the smallest planet in the solar system and is often compared to earth’s moon because of its level planes and deep impact craters …

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Despite being only 38 million kilometers from earth, Venus is the least explored of the terrestrial planets …

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The Earth was a mass of molten rock and metal for about a billion years. Heat from the iron core convected through a surrounding layer of molten rock where it interacted with metals in the earth’s crust, creating a magnetic field that spans from pole to pole …

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The fourth planet from the sun is about half the size of Earth, and its rocky terrain encompasses some extreme heights and depths. A light dusting of iron oxide on the surface causes Mars to appear fiery red in contrast to the bright white stars in it’s pathway on the ecliptic …

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The Gas Giants

Saturn and Jupiter

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The bright rings of Saturn make the planet the most recognizable in the solar system. They revolve at high speeds around Saturn’s equator, expanding 200,000 kilometers in width yet only 90 meters in height …

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The ever-changing surface of Jupiter appears divided as storms swirl within “belts” or “zones” parallel to the equator. The “great red spot” is a cyclonic storm that has been raging for possibly hundreds of years …

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The Ice Giants

Uranus and Neptune

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The “ice giant” planets, Uranus and Neptune, have much in common. Their distance from earth makes them difficult to explore, but with viewing equipment they can be seen orbiting across the ecliptic with the terrestrial and “gas giant” planets …

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2017-10-20T14:21:16+00:00