Friday, December 15, 2006

Know Your Planets!


Confused about your own Solar System? No need to be! Here's a handy guide to the new order of planets. The first thing to remember is that there are still eight of them- they've just changed a bit. Also, I've included the dwarf planets, including poor old Pluto, to let you know where they are. Here we go, moving away from the Sun:

1. Mercury: 3,032 miles in diameter. It takes about 56 earth days to rotate once on its axis.

2. Venus: 7,521 miles in diameter. It takes 243 earth days to rotate once on its axis.

3. Earth: You are here. 7,926 miles in diameter. It takes 23.9 hours to rotate on its axis.

4. Mars: So far, so good. Mars is 4,266 miles in diameter & takes a day to rotate on its axis.

Ceres (dwarf planet): 602 miles in diameter, and takes 9 hours to rotate on its axis.

5. Jupiter: Big Mamma- 88,846 miles in diameter, making it the largest planet in our soular system, and it takes 11.9 hours to rotate on its axis.

6. Saturn: Also big- 74,898 miles in diameter. Its day is 10.7 hours and it has 56 moons. Its distinctive rings may be shattered ice or remnants of moons brought into its orbit.

7. Uranus: 31,764 miles in diameter and takes 17.2 hours to rotate on its axis. It is blue because of the methane in its atmosphere. (I will refrain from making the obvious joke here)

8. Neptune: 30,766 miles in diameter, and its day is 16.1 hours. Like other giant planets, with the exception of Uranus, it generates great internal heat. This internal heat generates intense weather, including storms whose winds top out at 900 miles/hour.

Pluto (dwarf planet)

Eris (dwarf planet)

3 comments:

The Pagan Temple said...

It takes Jupiter close to twelve years to orbit the sun, Saturn 29 and a half years . Uranus it takes 83-84 years, or thereabouts, Neptune something like 163-164 years. Pluto takes about 248 years. I think you're getting their orbits around the sun confused with how long it takes them to make a complete rotation on their axis.

Also, you left out Chiron, which is a dwarf planet between Saturn and Uranus, at least I think it's as large as Ceres, or better.

Rufus said...

Yes! That makes more sense. Okay, I've fixed that. Chiron isn't on the chart I'm using, which might be wrong. It's from National Geographic.

The Pagan Temple said...

I wouldn't dispute National Geographic, but then again it depends on when the issue was put out. Chiron might very well be viewed as a mere asteroid, and it might not be as large as Ceres-which itself also used to be viewed as an asteroid.

But since they've monkeyed around with the designations over the last few months, they might very well have changed that designation like they did Pluto.