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The biggest planet in the solar system: where is Earth?

A large star named the Sun attracts all naturally created space objects, including the planets that orbit around it. A planet is a round-shaped celestial body that orbits the star. Its very shape is shaped by this rotation.

We know from our high school astronomy course that there are eight planets in the solar system. Some of them have satellites. Not everyone remembers which of them are the largest planets in the solar system. Let's refresh our memories and tell us some interesting facts.

A comparative table of the characteristics of the planets

There are two groups of planets in our system:

  • terrestrial (4 closest to the star);
  • gas (4 remote).

There are also dwarf planets, they are too small and weak, so other objects fall into the area of their orbits. Scientists clearly identify 5 dwarfs, but it is known for sure that there are more in our system.

Solar system

Planets of the solar system relative to the Sun and dwarf planets

The largest are the planets of the gas sector, the planets of the terrestrial group seem dwarfed in comparison.

It is noteworthy that scientists have now excluded Pluto from the category of planets. Today it is one of the dwarfs. Below we will tell you about it and its size.

Planet Radius, km To the sun, million km Consists of Compared to the Earth
Mercury 2440 57,91 From the iron core, which has a magnetic field, the surface is covered with craters 0.055 mass
Venus 6052 108 The surface is similar to Earth's, but the conditions are different: everything here is covered with lava 81.5% of Earth mass
Mars 3390 228 There are rocks and ice on the surface, there are large seas, the composition is not studied Half as much.
Earth 6371 149,6 Dense structure with a magnetic field. External structure is predominantly silicate
Saturn 58232 1,434*Е3 Hydrogen with an admixture of helium, methane, water forms the basis 9.4 times the size of the Earth
Uranus 25362 2,879*Е3 Iron core covered with ice gas of different types Four times the size
Jupiter 69911 778,5 Hydrogen, methane, water, and ammonia 11 times larger in size
Neptune 24622 4,503*Е3 Consists of gases Almost four times as much

A few words about Pluto: many remember it as the smallest planet, in 2006 it lost this status, because it did not meet the characteristic of size compared to other objects in the field of its orbit. Pluto was almost the smallest object in the Kuiper Belt. This decision, although scientifically confirmed, has caused a lot of ridicule towards the International Astronomical Union.


NASA probe photo of Pluto excluded from the list of planets

Pluto is 2,377 kilometers in diameter, about six times smaller than our planet's satellite and composed of rock and ice.

8th place - Mercury (d=4879 km)

The smallest planet in the solar system, this status only passed to Mercury in 2006 when Pluto was reclassified as another object. This planet looks very similar to the Moon: the surface is rocky and covered with craters.

Despite its small size, Mercury has a relatively large mass (3.3*1023 It is as close as possible to the brightest star in the system, the Sun, and has no satellites of its own.


Mercury's surface is riddled with craters and resembles the moon's

Man could not survive on it, because when it rotates, it is almost perpendicular to the Sun, there is no change of seasons. On one side, facing the light is hot to +430 ° C, on the other, the dark side, the cold reaches -190 ° C.

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7th place - Mars (d=6779 km)

You can easily see the red planet from our planet without a telescope. It has two satellites at once:

  • Deimos;
  • Phobos.

Scientists in the XX century studied the body well, made a detailed map, with the right telescope and a competent formula for observing Mars can see even an amateur.


Mount Olympus on Mars was formed about 3 billion years ago

It takes a little longer (2.7%) for a planet to wrap around the Sun than it does for ours. In this, they are similar. Since it additionally rotates around its axis at an inclination, the seasons change on its surface.

For humans, the temperature regime of Mars is acceptable: at the equator it is +25-35°C, towards the poles the temperature drops to -150°C. Scientists believe that in the future mankind could live on another planet, and it will be Mars. One unresolved issue - the radiation on its surface is too high.

6th place - Venus (d=12104 km)

Venus, like Mercury, Earth, Mars belong to the group of terrestrial planets. It is the second from our star. It differs from the other seven bodies in that it orbits itself in the opposite direction. In natural light, it is white and blue, so it is clearly visible from Earth. It was known to mankind since time immemorial.


Comparative sizes of the terrestrial planets (Venus is second from left)

Also, Venus is characterized by high pressure. On the surface, it would be as hard for a person as if he were at the depth of the ocean in a depression of about 1 km. It is the earliest object of interplanetary exploration.

The climate is characterized by high surface temperatures (over 400 degrees Celsius). There is a hypothesis that Mercury was once a satellite of Venus.

5th place - Earth (d=12742 km)

Our planet can be called the most beautiful planet in the solar system. It is covered with vegetation, it is inhabited by living organisms. Scientists do not know another such body even on the scale of the universe. The density of the planet is 5.51 g/cm3which is the maximum for the entire system.


Night Earth, view from the ISS

The Earth has only one satellite - the Moon, it is the size of a quarter of the Earth. the planet has an alternation of seasons, day and night. Yuri Gagarin first saw his own planet from space in 1961. satellites and space stations are used to observe and study the Earth from space.

4th place - Neptune (d=49244 km)

The heaviest and farthest from a star planet in our system, Neptune is large, blue, and cold. It is composed of gases of varying densities. Its inner core is hotter, which explains its average temperature of -221°C.


Wind gusts on the planet can reach 2,100 km/h

It is noticed that the planet is affected by weather changes, storms and winds are rampant. Wind gusts are the strongest in the solar system. Such activity is made possible by internal heating. Neptune has 14 satellites orbiting it. The largest is Triton. By the way, Neptune was discovered without a telescope, but by mathematical calculations.

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3rd place - Uranus (d=50724 km)

It has a similar gas composition to Neptune, with large amounts of ice of the following types present inside:

  • methane;
  • ammonia;
  • water.

Comparison of the size of the Earth and Uranus

The center of the planet is a rocky core. The ice is not dense, the inner heat of the core is not pronounced brightly, which allows us to call Uranus the coldest planet in the solar system. 27 satellites of the ice giant are known, which are not extremely large, such as the same Triton. Uranus has rings, like all gas planets.

2nd place - Saturn (d=116464 km)

Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are the farthest planets from the Sun. Saturn is known for its large rings, tilted at a 28° angle and composed of small particles orbiting the Sun.


The arrow shows Earth, a view of our planet from the Cassini station near Saturn

Saturn is a gas giant that orbits the Sun (makes a complete revolution in 29.5 years). It has a low density, less than water. The main gas is hydrogen. The planet has no dense body. The atmosphere of the gas giant consists of the same gases. 62 satellites have been discovered, the largest being Titan and Hyperion.

1st place - Jupiter (d=139822 km)

Jupiter, the largest planet in our system, is named after the ancient Roman god, similar to the ancient Greek Zeus.


Comparison of the size of the Earth and Jupiter

What is known about Jupiter

Jupiter's radius is equal to 11 Earth radii, all processes on it are several times greater than on Earth. For example, a giant storm is visible in the atmosphere as a red spot. It has existed for a long time and is twice as large as the Earth. Wind speed reaches 600 km/h. Jupiter is so large that a person can see the celestial body without a telescope from Earth.

A feature of the big planet is its stripes.


A 1979 photo of Jupiter taken from the Voyager 1 station

Jupiter Rings

All large gas planets have rings, which are composed of moving small particles. Jupiter's rings are poorly pronounced; only the Voyager spacecraft was able to distinguish them when it entered the atmosphere.

Jupiter's satellites

There are 79 known satellites:

  • Europe;
  • Eo;
  • Callisto;
  • Ganymede.

Scientists are interested in exploring Europe, where the ocean is found. Theories are being advanced about the existence of life on Europe.

Space is a world in which our planet is only a part. You can explore it with the help of machines, or you can just look at interesting objects in the sky.


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