Planets and Solar System Essay example

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Planets and Solar System

"A planet is a celestial body that revolves around a central star and does not shine by its own light " (Grolier, 1992). The only planetary system that is known to man is our solar system. It is made up of nine planets which range in size and make-up. The nine major planets in our solar system are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. There are also many other minor planets which are also in our solar system, but they are unimportant compared to the nine major planets. In this paper I will discuss the planets and how they are each unique.

Mercury which is the planet that is closest to the sun is the first planet I will discuss. Mercury is the smallest of the inner
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It is called this because it closely resembles the Earth's mass, density and diameter. The only thing different is that Venus " is shrouded in thick clouds that completely hide the surface of the planet " (Grolier, 1992). The surface temperature is also much warmer than that of Earth.

Venus completes one revolution around the sun in 224.7 days.

This makes the Venusian day equal to 117 earth days. It is thought that this slow rotation may be the reason why Venus has no magnetic field.

The atmosphere of Venus made up of 98% carbon dioxide and 2% Nitrogen. This atmosphere also has the presence of helium, neon and argon. This is yet another thing which makes Venus different from Earth.

The surface of Venus is quite a bit like that of the Earth.

The surface has volcanoes and smooth plains. " Much of the volcanic activity on Venus takes the form of Basaltic eruptions that inundate large ares, much as the mare volcanism flooded the impacted basins on the near side of the moon " (Morrison, 93,
1993). One thing that differs from Earth is that there is no water liquid on the Venusian surface.

Some of the scientific data that follows was taken out of Cattermole's book. The mean distance from the sun is 108.20 Km.

The equatorial diameter is 12,012 Km and the equatorial rotation is 243 days. Finally the mass of Venus is 4.87*10^24 (Cattermole, 63, 1993). Venus, although different than Earth, is still our sister planet.

Mars is

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