What is a Planet? A planet can be defined as simply a body that orbits around a sun and is big enough to form the shape of a sphere by using its own gravity. There are many interesting facts about planets that many of us may not know and I have provided a list of them below for us all to enjoy!!
1. Venus is the hottest planet in the Solar System, not Mercury!
Mercury may be the closest planet to the sun, but it’s not the hottest. Venus’s thick atmosphere actually traps heat from the sun and is able to retain the heat. Venus can reach about 465°C. Now that’s hot!
2. There are two categories of Planets, a Terrestrial Planet or a Gas Giant
Terrestrial planets are composed of mainly rock and these include Mars, Earth, Venus and Mercury. Gas planets are of course made of gas and do not have solid surface crust.
3. The biggest planet in the solar system is Jupiter
You can actually fit all the planets in the solar system inside Jupiter. The red spot on Jupiter has the biggest storm in the universe. Just the red spot alone is 3 times bigger than Earth.
4. Is Pluto still considered a planet?
The quick answer to this is no. It is now known as a dwarf planet or planetoid. Given that Pluto does not dominate the neighborhood around its orbit, it is no longer considered a planet. In fact, Pluto’s largest moon Charon, is only about half the size of Pluto and planets should be far larger than their moons.
5. Earth is protected by a magnetic field
The magnetic field shields harmful radiation that is produced by the sun. This field it was allows life to exist on Earth. It is believed that the currents of the Earths liquid outercore is what has created this magnetic field.
6. There is ice on Mars
There is reason to believe that there is or was water on Mars. Not only are their canyons formed on Mars, there are also canals that were most likely created by flowing water. There has been what is known as water ice found on Mars.
7. Since Pluto is now considered a dwarf planet, Uranus is now the coldest planet
Not only is Uranus the second furthest from the sun it is also the coldest planet in the Solar System. The temperature on Uranus can drop to -224°C
8. A year on Neptune is equal to 165 Earth Years
Neptune was discovered in 1846 and since then it still hasn’t completed one full orbit around the sun.
9. Saturn’s rings can be seen from Earth with the unaided eye
Around every 15 years Saturn turns in a particular way which makes the rings so thin that they are almost invisible.
10. There are more than 40 known dwarf planets in the Solar System
Some of the largest known dwarf planets are Ceres and Eris. Eris is actually slightly larger than Pluto and takes about 550 Earth years to orbit the sun. Ceres was discovered in 1801 and is found between Jupiter and Mars.