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10 facts about our solar system you don't know

By Edited Apr 22, 2015 0 3

Every night people look up at the night sky and see the stars but do they truly see everything? Here are some awesome facts you probably never knew about our solar system before now.

  1. Our solar system is over 5 billion years old! Our solar system is made up of eight planets (including Earth), some dwarf-planets, lots of dust, gas, and asteroids and comets all of which are rotating around our Sun.

  2. The Sun is about 333,000 times bigger than the Earth and makes up about 99.8% of ALL of the mass in the solar system (that is definitely one giant ball). The length of a day on the Sun would be 609 hours and 7 minutes.

  3. Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun and during it's days has a surface temperature of 801 degrees fahrenheit. But interestingly enough, while you'd think it'd be just as hot during the night, since Mercury has no atmosphere the temperature drops to -279 degrees (which would definitely nippy enough for a coat to be worn).

  4. Venus is the closest planet to Earth and due to the clouds in it's atmosphere reflecting light, it is the brightest planet in our night sky. Because of those clouds, we haven't been able to see the surface of Venus until 1991 - 1992 when the Magellan took detailed photos using radar.

  5. Circling around Earth there are over 8000 man-made objects. About 2500 of those objects are working (and broken) satellites and the rest are parts from space ships like hatch covers, parts of rockets, and other metallic garbage.

  6. Mars is home to the largest volcano in the solar system, Olympus Mons. Olympus Mons is so 550 km in diameter and over 27 km tall. In comparison, Mt. Everest is 3 times smaller than Olympus Mons. Also, if Olympus Mons was on Earth, normal airplanes couldn't fly over it since most everyday commercial airliners only fly about 13.5 km high.

  7. There are over 90 thousand asteroids in the asteroid belt in between Mars and Jupiter (yup, scientists actually counted every one of them).

  8. Because of how Saturn is tilted, when its rings are facing Earth edge-on they disappear from our view. We now know this happens every 14 years or so, but 16th-century scientist Galileo questioned his sanity when they "disappeared" and then "reappeared" a few years later. —NASA

  9. Uranus has 11 rings and has the brightest clouds in the solar system. It also has a wacky axis where instead of spinning like most of the planets (horizontally like Earth), it's rotation is more like a yo-yo rolling on the floor pointed at the Sun. Scientists think it may have to do with an impact with a large object earlier in its history.

  10. Neptune was discovered through math and not through observation with a telescope. Thought be a star originally by Galileo in 1612, it wasn't until 1846 when Johann Gottfried Galle at the Berlin Observatory found the planet after the French mathematician, Urbain Joseph Le Verrier, sent his predictions to him.



Jul 26, 2009 3:30am
Great article, and thanks for the facts :)
Jul 27, 2009 2:34am
There used to be another planet, called Pluto, which has recently been degraded from its planet qualification by astronomy specialists. It seems like it was too small to matter.
Aug 3, 2009 8:45pm

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Just a heads up. :) The Solar System is under five billion years old as the molecular cloud that collapsed to create it is currently estimated to have done so 4.6 billion years ago. The Sun itself is currently estimated to be 4.57 billion years old.
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