Planets and Solar System

Powerful Essays
Planets and Solar System

"A planet is a celestial body that revolves around a central star and does not shine by its own light " (Grolier, 1992). The only planetary system that is known to man is our

solar system. It is made up of nine planets which range in size and make-up. The nine major planets in our solar system are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. There are also many other minor planets which are also in

our solar system, but they are unimportant compared to the nine major planets. In this paper I will discuss the planets and how they are each unique.

Mercury which is the planet that is closest to the sun is the first planet I will discuss. Mercury is the smallest of the inner planets. It is speculated that the heat from the sun made it impossible for the gases present to become part of the

planetary formation. The surface of Mercury is extremely hot.

It is approximately 470 degrees celsius on the surface and is thought to be even hotter at the two " hot spots." These " hot spots " are on opposite ends of the equator. It is the heat of the surface that makes it impossible for Mercury to have any type

of atmosphere.

Mercury orbits the sun once every 88 days and has a true rotation period of 58.6 days. " It is the closest planet to the sun and therefore orbits faster than any other planet "

(Thompson/Turk, 542, 1993). It is said that Mercury rotates three times for every two trips around the sun, so that during every alternate perihelon passage the same face points directly at the sun. " Geologically, the most remarkable features of

Mercury are compressional cliffs or faults, just the sort of wrinkles that might form in the crust if the interior of the planet shrank slightly " (Morrison, 74, 1993). It is speculated that it was the solidification of Mercury's metallic core that

caused this global shrinkage. Mercury is also " . . . enriched in metal or depleted of rock " (Morrison, 74, 1993). It is also believed that some of the inner core of Mercury is still in a fluid state.

Scientists also believe that Mercury's surface is made partially of silicate rock. The best way to describe Mercury is, " . . . small, heavily cratered and airless " (Morrison, 71, 1993).

Venus is the second closest planet to the sun and is said to " . . . most closely resemble Earth in size, density, and...

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...n see the planets of most importance are the ones closest to the sun and Earth.

Little is known about the far off planets therefore it is hard to give them full recognition. Much is known about Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.

The other three planets are not as well known as these six are.

Whether more planetary systems exist doesn't really matter.

There are still plenty of things we don't understand about our own solar system. Scientists will have their work cut out for them in the future. Each and every planet has distinct differences and that helps show us how truly great God is. The

planets will never fully be understood and will always be a great topic of discussion.

Works Sited

Cattermole, P. (1995). Earth and Other Planets. New York: Oxford University Press.

Grolier Electronic Publishing, Inc. (1992).

Hunt, G. & Moore, P. (1983). Atlas of the Solar System.

Chicago: Rand Mc Nally & Company.

Morrison, D. (1993). Exploring Planetary Worlds. New York: Scientific American Library.

Thompson, G. & Turk, J. (1993). Earth Science and the Environment. New York: Saunders College Publishing & Harcourt Brace College Publishers.
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