The Solar System Essay Research Paper Assignment — страница 2

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weight is made up of a heavy material, probably iron. This is concentrated in Mercury’s large core. The outer layer is made of sillicate rock similar to the Earth’s mantle. Venus Venus is named after the Roman goddess of love. It is the second planet from the Sun and the brightest object in the sky other than the Sun and the Moon. It was once believed that life could exist in Venus but that has been proved wrong by various probes. In fact, Venus has the most hostile environment in the entire Solar System. The surface temperature is fiercely hot and the atmospheric pressure is crushing. One of the more apparent things that separate Venus from all the other planets in our solar system is that it rotates from east to west (all the other planets rotate from west to east). Because

of this, Venus is said to be almost upside down. Conditions may have been better in the past. In the early stages of the Solar System, the Sun was not as bright as it is now and so Venus and the Earth would have formed similarly. When the Sun became brighter, the Earth was far enough away to escape serious damage but Venus was not. The surface temperature rose and the oceans dried up. Earth The Earth, the third planet (rock) from the Sun, is the largest of the inner planets and also has the highest density. It is the only planet in the Solar System to be covered largely with water, the only planet with an atmosphere made up chiefly of nitrogen and oxygen and the only body that has a temperature suitable for life of the type that we know. It is also the only inner planet with a

large moon – Mercury and Venus have none and the Martian moons are small. If the conditions on the Earth changed even slightly, the life as we know it could die out. The Earth’s rotation period is not constant. It is slowly lengthening due to tidal friction between the oceans and the sea floor. This is caused by the influence of the Moon. Our Moon The Moon has fascinated mankind throughout the ages. By simply viewing with the naked eye, one can discern two major types of terrain: relatively bright highlands and darker plains. Current knowledge of the Moon is greater than for any other solar system object except Earth. This lends to a greater understanding of geologic processes and further appreciation of the complexity of terrestrial planets. The relatively bright, heavily

cratered highlands are called terrae. The craters and basins in the highlands are formed by meteorite. Mars Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the seventh largest. Mars is sometimes referred to as the Red Planet. The name of the month March derives from Mars. Mars has been known since prehistoric times. Except for Earth, Mars has the most highly varied and interesting terrain of any of the terrestrial planets. One being Olympus Mons, the largest mountain in the Solar System rising 24 km (78,000 ft.) above the surrounding plain. Like Mercury and the Moon, Mars appears to lack active plate tectonics at present; there is no evidence of recent horizontal motion of the surface such as the folded mountains so common on Earth. Jupiter Jupiter is named after the king of the Roman

gods. It is the largest planet in the Solar System, the fifth planet from the Sun and the first of the outer planets Jupiter has had a dominant effect on a large part of the Solar System. It is likely that Jupiter’s huge gravity has prevented a planet from forming in the area now occupied by the Asteroid Belt. Jupiter has a magnetic field 20,000 times stronger than that of the Earth’s, having a devastating effect on its moons. Saturn Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second largest: In Roman mythology, Saturn is the god of agriculture and has been known since prehistoric times. Galileo was the first to observe it with a telescope in 1610; he noted its odd appearance but was confused by it. Early observations of Saturn were complicated by the fact that the Earth

passes through the plane of Saturn’s rings every few years as Saturn moves in its orbit Like Jupiter, Saturn is about 75% hydrogen and 25% helium with traces of water, methane, ammonia and “rock”, similar to the composition of the primordial Solar Nebula from which the solar system was formed. Uranus Uranus is the forth largest planet in the Solar System and the seventh from the Sun. Named after the father of Saturn, Uranus is a blue-green colour due to the methane in its atmosphere. Its magnetic axis is at 60 degrees to its axis of rotation. The unusual axial tilt may have been caused by a collision by a large body early in Uranus’ life. Scientists must await a new space mission. Uranus is composed primarily of rock and various ices, with only about 15% hydrogen and a