Mercury takes only 88 Earth-days to make one orbit around the Sun. During the day, temperatures can reach over 800° F. The craters were caused when comets and asteroids struck the surface billions of years ago.
Although it is farther from the Sun than Mercury, Venus is even hotter. Venus is surrounded by thick clouds that reflect the light from the Sun. Venus and Earth are about the same size.
Earth is not too hot and not too cold. As far as we know, it is the only planet with air we can breathe. It is the only planet with plants and animals.
Mars is often called the ‘’Red Planet’’ because of its reddish appearance when seen from space. The atmosphere of Mars is only 1/100 as thick as Earth’ s. It is usually very cold on Mars.
Jupiter is twice as large as the other eight planets put together. Jupiter is the largest planet in our Solar System. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are called the gas giants.
It is the second largest planet in our Solar System, nearly ten times as wide as Earth. From space, it looks like a shining golden globe. The clouds appear as bands of light gold, beige, and white, and are made up mostly of poisonous gases, like ammonia and methane.
It’s light blue-green appearance is caused by the presence of methane gas clouds. Uranus rotates in the opposite direction of the other four outer planets. Uranus lies on its side with the north pole facing the Sun.
Neptune has four more rings which are very narrow and difficult to see. The rings are made up of tiny dust particles revolving around the planet. From a distance, Neptune appears blue and seems to have a red rim around it.
Pluto is the smallest of all planets and Pluto is much different than other outer planets. Pluto is an icy ball smaller than Earth’s moon. The surface of Pluto is probably made up of frozen nitrogen.