You must have studied the solar system while you were in your 4th grade, but we bet the following facts about the planets are unknown to you. It’s strange that not only do we have neighbors, but our planet Earth also has its neighbors- the rest of the planets of the solar system which surround the same sun. The following facts about the planets will help you know more about the universe. Let’s get started
Despite being the closest planet to the sun, mercury has ice
Mercury is a planet whose facts were not much known by scientists. After the arrival of NASA’s space ship, some facts about the planet came to light. Mercury has craters on its surface. The most surprising fact about mercury is despite being the closest planet to the sun, mercury holds water ice and according to the scientists, these ices are hiding permanently in the shadowed regions of the mercury.
Mercury is the smallest planet and its shrinking
You know that mercury is the smallest planet. The unknown fact is that this small planet is shrinking every single day. Though the process of shrinking is much slower, mercury is shrinking in its size and is getting smaller day by day. It has been estimated that mercury has shrunk and become 9 miles smaller than the planet was 4 billion years back (a very slow process indeed).
The temperature on mercury is extremely cold
Believe it or not, despite being close to the sun, mercury is not the hottest planet in the solar system. The side of the planet that faces the sun is hottest with a temperature of 800 degrees Fahrenheit whereas the surface facing the opposite of the sun gets down to minus 290 degrees Fahrenheit.
A day on Venus is longer than a year on Earth
The days of Venus are longer than a year. The planet takes 243 Earth days to rotate on its axis and 224 days to rotate around the sun. Imagine Earth taking so long to cover an entire day.
Despite being away from the sun, Venus is hotter than mercury
Isn’t it strange, that when mercury is closest to the sun, Venus wins the race when it comes to hotness? Yes, the second planet of the solar system is the hottest planet in the solar system. The temperature of Venus remains approximately 470-degree Celsius round the year. The reason behind this is the density of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Venus is the naturally brightest object after the moon.
The brightness of Venus comes from the reflection made by the Sulphur clouds of the atmosphere around the planet. Venus is so bright that it can also be seen during the day. Because of its brightness, the planet has been named Venus- the Greek Goddess.
Earth is an unusual planet
Among the other solar system planets, Earth is the only planet that has liquid water. It’s also the only planet with known life form. Earth is the only planet that has not been named after the Roman God. Earth comes from a Germanic name that means ground.
Days of the Earth are getting longer
You will be surprised to hear that 4.5 billion years back a day on Earth would be 6 hours long. The daytime of Earth has increased to 21.9 hours in 620 million years. A day today is 24 hours long, however, the duration is increasing by 1.5 milliseconds every century. This increasing time won’t make a huge difference to your schedule.
The shape of the Earth is not round
Everyone has learned in their books that Earth is sphere-shaped. In fact from the 6th century BCE to the modern era, this was the consensus in the scientific world. Thanks to the modern space travels, which made the scientists understand that the shape of the Earth is a flattened sphere and is not a perfect sphere.
Jupiter is a huge planet
We know that it’s not an unknown fact that Jupiter is the biggest planet in the solar system, as you have read this in your 5th grade, but what you might not know is that the mass of the planet is 318 times as that of Earth. You shall also be surprised to know that the size of Jupiter is 2.5 times larger than the rest of the planets combined. If you happen to come across a galaxy art painting somewhere, now you will connect the dots about our beautiful universe.
Despite its hefty size, Jupiter is the fastest spinning planet
Another surprising fact about Jupiter it is capable of moving rapidly on its axis. In around 9 hours and 55 minutes, Jupiter completes its rotation. Do you want to know its velocity? 45, 300 km per hour, now that’s a mind-blowing one right?
The great red spot in Jupiter
The red spot in Jupiter was identified by an Italian astronomer Giovanni in the year 1665. Later on, in the 20th-century astronomers concluded that this red spot is a cyclonic storm and it is persistent even today.
Saturn pours diamond storms and rain
It would blow your mind when you come to know that Saturn showers diamond rain. This diamond is produced because of the chemical composition and environmental conditions of Saturn. Saturn is a planet that holds immense gaseous mass. The gas along with its chemical composition produces a diamond shower. Imagine a trip to Saturn can make you the a rich person.
Saturn doesn’t have any density
The density of Saturn is lesser than water. If compared with water, Saturn has a density of 1gm/cm3 , and because of its less density, Saturn floats like an apple. Saturn does not have a solid surface because it lacks density.
Age of the rings of Saturn is unknown
The rings of Saturn are made of ice and can be around 4.50 billion years old or it can also be new compared to the planet Saturn.
Other interesting facts about the planets
Some more facts about the planets are given below
- Uranus is the coldest planet despite being closer to the sun than Neptune.
- There are 7 dwarf planets along with Pluto
- It’s the orbit that keeps the planets in order
- Saturn has a maximum number of moons.
The planets in our solar system have more mysteries that are yet to be revealed. Astronomers are working hard to know more about the mysteries of the planets.