Our planets bare many secrets and fun facts that aren’t shared as much as the ones about Earth. After all, it seems to be the only one in use for now. Or well, where humans live 😉 Anyway, I say we start reading into those fun facts. Who inspired me to write this post? Oh, you know. Maybe someone named Ellie 😉 I too am really into space.
1. How to remember the solar system
My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nice Pizzas.
- My = Mercury
- Very = Venus
- Educated = Earth
- Mother = Mars
- Just = Jupiter
- Served = Saturn
- Us = Uranus
- Nice = Neptune
- Pizzas = Pluto
2. Mercury is hot, but not too hot for ice
It’s indeed the closest planet to the sun. And it also does have ice on its surface. The ice is found in permanently shadowed craters. What that means? The ones that never see any sunlight. People think comets may have delivered this ice to Mercury. It’s still way too hot and airless for life, but it does show how those elements are distributed across the Solar System.
3. Venus doesn’t have any moons
To add a little bit more to the Mercury one, both Mercury and Venus have no moons. Saturn has over 60, for example. And some moons are captured asteroids, which may have been what happened with the two moons that were linked to Mars. No one’s entirely sure why Venus doesn’t have any moons. Though some researches show that it could have had one in the past.
4. Mars used to have a thicker atmosphere
The Solar System has a bunch of contrasts: practically atmosphere-less Mercury, a greenhouse effect happening in the thick atmosphere of Venus, temperate conditions on almost every spot on Earth and then a thin atmosphere on Mars. When you look at the planet, however, you’ll see gullies carved in the past from probable water. For water to appear, there needs to be more atmosphere. So, Mars had more in the past. A bunch of scientists believe the Sun’s energy pushed the lighter molecules out of its atmosphere. That happened over millions of years, decreasing the thickness over time. Slowly, but surely.
5. Jupiter is a wonderful comet catcher
Jupiter is the most massive planet in our Solar System. At 318 times the mass of Earth, you can imagine that any passing asteroid or comet going near Jupiter should have a big chance of getting caught or diverted. So, who says Jupiter isn’t partly to blame for the great bombardment of small bodies peppering our young Solar System. It may be why we see scars on the Moon. In 1994, astronomers worldwide saw a comet, Shoemaker-Levy 9 breaking under Jupiter’s gravity and slamming into the atmosphere.
6. Saturn’s rings are old, but how old?
A field of ice and rock debris is circling around Saturn from afar, to which they look like rings. There’s a chain of small bodies encircling the gas giant. It’s possible that a single moon tore apart under the strong gravity of Saturn, and produced the rings. Or who knows, they could’ve been around for the last billion years, unable to coalesce into a larger body. However, resistant enough to not break up.
7. Uranus appears to be more stormy than we expected
Scientists saw a featureless blue ball when Voyager 2 flew by Uranus in the 1980s. It was assumed that there wasn’t much activity going on on the planet itself. However, there has been some interesting movement happening in the southern hemisphere. Additionally, the planet drew closer to the Sun in 2007. Telescope probing shows storms going on, as seen in more recent years. What’s causing all this is difficult to say.
8. Neptune has supersonic winds
On Earth, we’re concerned about hurricanes. However, the strength of those storms is nowhere near what you’d find on Neptune. At its highest altitudes, winds blow at more than 1100 miles per hour. That’s faster than the speed of sound on Earth at sea level. Why this is happening is quite a mystery. Even more so, considering the Sun’s heat is so little at its distance.
9. You can see Earth’s magnetic field during light shows
We’ve a magnetic field surrounding our planet, protecting us from radiation blasts and particles the Sun sends our way. Such flare-ups could otherwise prove deadly to unprotected people. When you see auroras in the sky, it’s the particles from the Sun flowing along the magnetic field lines, interacting with Earth’s upper atmosphere.
Which other fun facts do you have about our planets?
Love, Deem ❤
Images source: Pexels