A Full Documentary : The Solar System Explained
A Full Documentary : The Solar System Explained
|The solar system is around 8 billion years old and the sun is about 5 billion years old.|
The Solar System comprises of 8 Planets, 5 + 1 new (Goblin Planet ) Dwarf planets, 173 Natural Satellites and other small bodies like asteroids, comets, meteorides. Previously Our Solar system was thought to comprise of 9 planets, until Pluto was removed from the status of a planet to a Dwarf Planet in the year 1996. But according to various Space agencies and Scott shepard,a cosmologist activities in the Transneptune zone are probably indicating the presence of a planet Nine. Planet Nine is thought to be a super Earth, having masses of about 10 Earths.
|The Sun is a yellow type star which burns hydrogen at its core to form helium, in order to produce heat and light.|
Sun is the primary and the only star supporting the Solar System. It is the most important part of the Solar System, as it sits at the centre with planets orbiting around it. Its nothing but a hot ball of burning gas performing nuclear fusion at its core. Its the only source of light and heat to the entire Solar System. Life on Earth would never had formed without the Sun.
The Inner Four Planets Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars are known as Terrestrial Planets. The reason behind it is that all the four planets like Earth have rocky, solid surface.
The Outer Four planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are known as Jovian Planets (Jupiter like planets). These planets are considerably larger than The Terrestrial Planets. The first two after Mars - Jupiter and Saturn are referred to as gas giants with no surface (though some astronomers and cosmologists believe that both have a solid core) and the two following them Uranus and Neptune are referred to as icy giants. All the planets falling under this zone are mostly composed of hydrogen and helium.
|Pluto is the most recent addition to the group of Dwarf planets.|
According to AIU,
a Planet is referred to as a body orbiting the Sun without being a satellite to any other body, large enough to have its own gravity around it and which has a clear neighbourhood from other bodies.So we are quite certain that Dwarf Planets are the one's not following these guidelines. For instance, Pluto was considered a planet back in 20th century but was demoted to a Dwarf Planet in the early 21st century. The problem with Pluto other than its size and indifferent orbital path was its space being shared with its hectic neighbourhood such as The Kuiper Belt. But still the demotion of Pluto as a Dwarf Planet is considered a controversial affair.
Other than Pluto various other dwarf planets have been discovered till date namely Eris, Haumea and Makemake. The recent inclusion has been "The Goblin Planet" found while looking for Planet X or Planet Nine.
The Terrestrial Planets
The Terrestrial planets as stated earlier are the first four planets from Sun, namely Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars.
|Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun is the smallest among all planets.|
Mercury is the smallest and the closest planet to the Sun. Its size is roughly to that of our Moon. Due to its closeness to the Sun, the side facing it reaches scorching temperatures of about 840 degree fahrenheit (450 degree celcius) but the dark side,.i.e the night side temperatures reach about 100 degrees below the freezing point. Mercury has no atmosphere to absorb meteor impacts thus it has a lot of craters on its surface, just like the Moon. Its orbital period is about 88 Earth Days and a full day is equivalent to 58.6 Earth days. No oxygen, No water, and No atmosphere !
|Venus is nothing short of hell. Its atmosphere is so poisonous and hot that even probes cannot make much time in its surface.|
Venus is the second planet to the Sun and is the hottest planet in the entire Solar System even more than Mercury ! It is because of the presence of a toxic atmosphere which traps heat and acid. Its size is similar to that of Earth. The pressure at its surface is so intense that it will crush and kill you. The presence of greenhouse gases in abundance indicates that Venus may be a runaway greenhouse planet. No water is found in Venus due to its extreme temperatures. It rains acid in Venus due to its toxic atmosphere !
Diameter : 12,104 kms
Orbit : 225 Earth days
Day : 241 Earth days
Another astonishing fact about Venus is that it spins slowly in the opposite spin direction in comparison to other planets.
|The only wonder among the eight planets, Earth is mostly a watery planet and the only place known to harbour life.|
The third planet in the terrestrial zone is The Earth. The Earth is mostly a water world holding about 70% of its area in water. Its the only place known to harbour life as its atmospheres have essential nitrogen and oxygen in it. Just like other planets Earth also spins in its own axis but with an tilted 23.5 degree angle because of which we experience seasons.
Diameter : 12,760 kms
Orbit : 365.24 days
Day : 23 hours and 56 minutes
|Astronomers and planetary experts believe that conditions on Mars today could exactly be the scenario for future Earth.|
Mars is the final planet in the list of terretrials and is the fourth planet to the Sun. Its cold and dusty due to its very thin atmosphere. It is also known as the "Red Planet" due to its reddish appearance. The reddish appearance is due to presence of dusty iron oxides. The only other place known where we have water in the Solar System except Earth but only in the solid state i.e "Ice". The gravity is too weak to hold surface liquid water. From continous speculations scientists believe that Mars which is now cold and deserty may have had the conditions before to harbour life in it. Mars continues to promise us to be the next Earth which could support life.
Diameter : 6,787 kms
Orbit : 687 Earth days
Day : 24 hours and 37 minutes
ALSO READ - Why everybody is talking about Mars ?
|The interplanetary belt asteroids in between the solar system are great sites for asteroid mining.|
The vast majority of asteroids in the Solar System are found beyond Mars and together they form The Asteroid Belt. The four largest asteroids in the belt are Ceres, Vesta, Pallas and Hygiea. These asteroid constitute about half the mass of the entire belt. Other than these four others are numerous smaller bodies. There is a theory that if all the asteroids in the belt are combined together will form the fifth missing Rocky Planet.
The asteroid belt is located in a area of space between the orbit of Mars and the orbit of Jupiter, which places it in between 2.2 to 3.2 A.U. The belt is about 1 A.U thick. The average distance between the asteroids is pretty large, standing on an asteroid and looking for the other would seem quite far to be seen.
|The giant Red Spot on Jupiter's map is the most extragavent spot ever seen and it has been there since its discovery.|
Jupiter the first planet of the Jovian Club and the fifth planet to the Sun, and is the largest planet of the Solar System. Nothing conclusive is known till date which proves the possibility of a solid surface in Jupiter. Thus Jupiter is a gas giant with poisonous and viscous gases in its atmospheres. Jupiter is known for its strong winds, storms and hurricanes and tornadoes with magnitudes to that of the size of the Earth ! The great Red Spot visible on Jupiter's planet indicates of a strong storm raging from over three centuries or so. Jupiter is so enormous in size that it can hold upto 1,000 Earths inside it. No man made probes have made it more than a hour inside Jupiter's atmosphere till date.
Diameter : 139,882 kms
Orbit : 11.9 Earth years
Day : 9.8 Earth hours
ALSO READ - Jupiter taboos you should break !
|Saturn's rings make it the most observable thing in the Solar system.|
The sixth planet from the Sun, Saturn is another gas giant and is known for its astonishing rings. Galileo Galilie in 1600s thought of Saturn as an object with three parts. Saturn mostly consists of gases hydrogen and helium. Like Jupiter, Saturn's atmospheres are windy and stormy. The rings outside Saturn are composed of ice and rock, but how they came upto origin is not known yet.
Diameter : 120,500 kms
Orbit : 29.5 Earth years
Day : about 10.5 Earth hours
|Uranus is a bizzare windy planet and the most weirdest planet in the entire solar system.|
Uranus, the seventh planet to the Sun is as the same size of Neptune. Methane is found in abundance in its atmospheres which gives its green colour. It's the only giant planet which orbits on its side. Scientists believe that a planet sized object may have hit Uranus, causing this tilt. The sideways orbit of Uranus causes bizzare seasons which lasts for about 20 Earth years. It has numerous moons and also a ring ! But a faint one.
Diameter : 51, 120 kms
Orbit : 84 Earth years
Day : 18 Earth hours
|Uranus is the most dangerous planet of all with speeds of winds more than that of the speed of sound.|
Neptune the eighth and the farthest planet to the Sun, is known for its strong winds and hurricanes, sometimes more than the speed of sound. It has a solid core. Neptune was the first planet to detected via mathematic calculations before it was detected. German astronomer, Johann Galle used calculations to find Neptune. Neptune is a giant, about 17 times the size of that of the Earth.
Diameter : 49,530 kms
Orbit : 165 Earth years
Day : 18 Earth Hours
PLUTO (DWARF PLANET)
|Once the ninth planet, Pluto is billions of kms far away from the Sun, which makes it cold and rocky.|
Pluto, once the ninth planet of the Solar System was demoted to a dwarf planet in the year 2006. Pluto is so far from the Sun that it takes a full 228 years to orbit around it. It's a cold, rocky world. Its size is roughly of that of the Moon.
|Kuiper Belt just like the Asteroid Belt is a huge space of asteroids which may be the remains of a former planet.|
Soon after the discovery of Pluto in the year 1930, Explorers theorised that Pluto is not the end of the Solar System and there may be many other small bodies present out there. Thus the Kuiper Belt was discovered even before it was detected. The Kuiper Belt consists of asteroid bodies like the asteroid belt. But the difference between the two is that the Kuiper Belt exceeds in twice the space of that of the asteroid belt, extending from the orbit of Neptune 30 A.U to 50 A.U.
ALSO READ - A new planet named Goblin found !
Planet Nine orbits the Sun at an average distance of 20 times more than that of Neptune's orbit ( Neptune at its closest point to the Sun is 2.7 billion miles away ). Scientists have not seen Planet Nine directly but its gravitational effects on the Kuiper belt and objects beyond Neptune are conclusive enough to prove its existence.
According to you which planet or its moon has more promise to support life in future ? Tell us in the comments section !