Venus is the second planet from the Sun, and one of the brightest objects in the sky. This is because a large portion of the Sun’s radiation hits Venus and then re-emits back into space.
The planet’s atmosphere, which is made up of elements like sulfuric acid and sulphur dioxide, reflects most of the sunlight it receives into space. This makes Venus appear bright in the night sky, and it is also one of the closest planets to Earth, so it can be seen during daylight if you know where to look.
Because of its orbital motion, Venus appears to change phase from month to month. The phases are similar to those of the Moon and Mercury, and can be easily observed in a high-powered binocular or a small telescope.
Another interesting fact about Venus is that it rotates very slowly compared to other planets in the solar system. It completes one rotation around its axis about every 243 Earth days.
This slow rotation makes Venus more nearly spherical than most other planets in our solar system. It is thought that this has helped Venus avoid the bulging and flattening distortions caused by the force of its rotation.
Venus also has an unusual wind structure – its upper atmosphere whips around it every 4 Earth days at hurricane-force winds of 224 mi/360 km per hour. This is believed to be caused by lightning storms in the atmosphere. Other indications that Venus is active include periodic rise and fall of sulfur dioxide concentrations, and localized infrared hot spots on the surface. These may indicate lava eruptions.
Jupiter is the largest and most luminous planet in our solar system. It takes nearly 12 Earth years to orbit the Sun and rotates once every 10 hours, twice as fast as Earth. It has a narrow system of rings and 92 known moons, one larger than Mercury and three larger than Earth’s Moon.
Jupiter’s rings are much fainter and smaller than those of Saturn, but they are still visible from a telescope or through the infra-red spectrum. Unlike Saturn’s, they have no ice and appear to be composed of small grains of rocky material.
The atmosphere of Jupiter is mostly hydrogen and helium, with trace amounts of methane, water vapor, ammonia, and other gasses. Through IR and UV measurements, it has also been shown to contain traces of benzene and other hydrocarbons.
A slush-like ocean might be beneath the surface of Jupiter’s icy moon Europa, but scientists aren’t sure how or where it’s found. Some astronomers believe that microbial life may have evolved on the moon.
As a result of Jupiter’s tidal forces, the Galilean satellites Io, Europa, and Ganymede have gradually slowed down, moving closer to Jupiter’s center and changing their orbits slowly over time. This tidal flexing caused by Jupiter’s gravity has also heated the cores of the moons and shaped their surfaces to the point where volcanic eruptions are common.
It is thought that the icy moons are not completely solid, but they might be made of a mixture of frozen ammonia crystals and ammonium hydrosulphide. This mixture is likely confined to an area about 30 miles wide by a few hundred miles in depth, pulled toward the surface by the intense gravitational field of Jupiter.
Saturn is a huge planet that is far away from the sun and moves slow. It is a malefic planet in astrology.
It is a cold and dry planet with a very problematic relationship with its father, the sun. It has a difficult time orbiting the sun because its rotational axis is tilted 26.7 degrees relative to the ecliptic, an imaginary plane that passes through the orbits of the Earth and the sun.
As Saturn spins, it bulges at its equator and flattens at its poles, making the planet’s diameter about 10 percent smaller in the poles than at its equator. This distortion makes it the least spherical of the solar system’s planets.
Like all the other planets, Saturn emits heat from its interior and radiates nearly twice as much energy as it receives from the sun. Its heat is probably the result of helium settling into its interior, forming droplets that sink toward the center and push against other matter to generate heat.
Scientists have discovered several small inner moons that orbit Saturn embedded within its ring system. The outermost, Phoebe, has a highly elongated orbit. These moons may have formed along with the planet about 4.6 billion years ago.
Another outer moon, Enceladus, is geologically active today. A hot spot near its south pole fuels geysers that spew water vapor and ice particles into the atmosphere. These icy particles form Saturn’s E ring, which extends from the planet’s poles to its equator.
The rings are made up of many different types of particles and are complex in structure. Some of them are clumped together into larger particles, called ejecta, while others are more finely distributed in the surrounding space. As the moons move around, they act as “shepherds” by distributing particles from the rings into narrow bands.
The planet Uranus is one of the six outermost solar system planets that are visible in the skies. It is also the coldest planet with a temperature of -224 degC (-371 degF).
It was discovered by Sir William Herschel in 1787 and is the largest of the six outermost planets. It has 27 moons and is named after the ancient Greek god of the skies, Uranus.
In astrology, Uranus is believed to represent creativity, revolt, discovery, difference, innovation, originality, and unpredictability. It also symbolizes shock value, the unexpected, and libido.
Unlike Jupiter and Saturn, which are mostly composed of gas, Uranus is mainly made up of ice and rocks. It has a mass of about 14.5 times that of the Earth, which makes it the fourth largest planet in the solar system.
Although this planet is essentially made of ice, it is very dense and has a large magnetic field. It is also surrounded by a cloud layer which helps to shield the planet from harmful cosmic radiation.
The atmosphere of Uranus is mainly made up of hydrogen and helium, with some methane in the mix. The icy planet is also known for its revolving rings that make it appear to move around the sun.
According to astrology, people born with Uranus in the sign of Pisces are secretive and interested in the hidden side of things. They can be very creative and innovative, as well as very loyal to their friends.
Uranus has a great influence on the zodiac signs Aquarius and Capricorn. It is the ruling planet of those signs. It also rules the water, and all things related to it. It is a good sign for people who love the sea, or those who work in a profession related to the sea.
Neptune is the fourth largest planet in our solar system. It has a mass of 1.02 x 1026 kg, or more than 17 times the mass of Earth.
Neptune has a dense atmosphere, composed of hydrogen and helium, with a small amount of methane, which makes the planet’s atmosphere blue in color. This is because methane absorbs the red light of sunlight and bounces it back into space.
As a result, the atmosphere of Neptune is cooler than that of Uranus, but it’s warmer than that of Jupiter or Saturn. Atmospheric temperatures vary with altitude, ranging from about 50 kelvins (K; -370 degF, -223 degC) at the one-bar level to about 7,000 K (12,000 degF, 6,700 degC) at the bottom of Neptune’s ice caps.
Winds on Neptune are similar to those on Jupiter, but much higher. They range from 100 metres per second (360 km [220 miles] per hour) in an easterly direction (prograde, or in the same direction as the planet’s spin) near latitude 70deg S to as high as 700 metres per second (2,520 km [1,570 miles] per hour) in a westerly direction (retrograde, or opposite to the planet’s spin) near latitude 20deg S.
The planet’s atmosphere contains a clumpy planetary ring system of unknown composition. It has an elongated shape and is very faint.
Neptune has 14 moons, of which the largest is Triton. It has a retrograde orbit and is thought to have been captured by Neptune.
Voyager 2 was the first spacecraft to visit Neptune. It passed 4900 kilometers (3000 miles) above the planet’s north pole on August 25, 1989. The spacecraft discovered six new Neptunian moons, including Proteus.