W HAT P LANETS A RE I N T HE S OLAR S YSTEM ? By : Amanda Bermo
M ERCURY Mercury was named for the swift Roman messenger god who wore winged sandals. Mercury is a planet of extreme temperatures. Craters on Mercury were caused when comets and asteroids struck the surface billions of years ago.
V ENUS Venus was named for the Roman goddess of love and beauty. The Chinese name for Venus means “Beautiful White One”. Sometimes people refer to Venus as Earth ’s SISTER because it is the closets planet to Earth.
E ARTH Earth is the only planet able to support life. Earth is able to support life because of the food, water, and the atmosphere. 75% [3/4] of Earth is covered with water.
M ARS Mars was named for the Roman God of war. It is often called the “Red Planet ” because of its reddish appearance when seen from space. It is usually very cold on Mars.
J UPITER Jupiter is twice as large as the other eight planets put together. Jupiter has 17 known moons. A thin ring of rocks orbits Jupiter.
S ATURN Because of Saturn’s extreme cold,the gases have frozen and formed crystals, making them visible. From space, it looks like a shining golden globe. The series of rings that surround Saturn give the planet its unusual appearance.
U RANUS Uranus ’s light green appearance is caused by the presence of methane gas clouds. Uranus rotates in the opposite direction of the other four outer planets. Uranus has 5 large moons and 10 small moons.
N EPTUNE Neptune has 4 more rings which are very narrow and difficult to see. The rings are made of tiny dust particles revolving around the planet. From a distance, Neptune appears blue and seems to have a red rim around it.
P LUTO The surface of Pluto is probably made up of frozen nitrogen. Pluto has one moon, Choran, which is nearly as large as the planet itself. Pluto is sometimes called a double planet system.