Of all the planets in our solar system which is the largest? Saturn Earth Neptune Jupiter and Uranus all have different sizes and mass. So how do you know which is the largest? The answer is a combination of factors but in general the largest planet is the Earth. In this article we will cover the size and mass of the other eight planets and their orbits.
The largest of the nine planets Jupiter is a giant gas globe composed mostly of hydrogen and helium gas. Jupiter has continual storms and one such storm is called the Great Red Spot. This storm is at least 3.5 times the size of Earth and it has been raging for at least 185 years. Jupiter is also covered in four rings which are made up of small dust particles.
In ancient times astronomers named Jupiter after the Roman god of the heavens and gods. Its mass is more than twice that of all other planets combined but is only one-thousandth that of the Sun. Ancient cultures and modern humans have studied Jupiter and it is now one of our most fascinating planets. In fact scientists believe that Jupiter may have the ability to protect Earth from dangerous impacts from comets. Jupiter also has many moons with four of the largest being named after Galileo Galilei the astronomer who discovered the first known moons.
The planet’s mass is roughly one-fourth that of Earth and its surface is devoid of a solid surface. The continuous contraction of the planet’s interior causes more heat to be generated than it receives from the Sun. Jupiter has a slight bulge at its equator and an oblate spheroid shape. Its outer atmosphere is a series of bands called latituinal and latitunian which are characterized by storms and turbulence.
Though it is the largest planet in our solar system Jupiter has no solid surface. It is mostly made of gas and liquid and is 11 times wider than Earth. It orbits the sun once every twelve years rotating rapidly in nine hours and 19 minutes. It is composed of mostly hydrogen and its surface is so dense that you could easily sink into it. Its interior is likely made of either a metallic hydrogen or a rock core. Jupiter’s outermost gaseous layers are broken into bands of varying color and are surrounded by four rings largely composed of dust.
Saturn is the sixth planet from the sun and it is about nine times the size of Earth. It rotates once every 10.5 hours and is made up primarily of ice and rock. The outer layer of Saturn is composed mostly of a mixture of hydrogen and helium with traces of water and other gases. Saturn is the most dense planet in our solar system. Its atmosphere is composed mostly of hydrogen but is occasionally mixed with a little ammonia.
There are seven major moons orbiting Saturn. Titan was discovered in 1655 by Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens. Titan is Saturn’s largest moon. It has a diameter of 3.199 mi (5.514 km) which is more than twice that of Earth’s moon. It is so massive that it is almost the size of the state of Canada! Its icy surface is covered in craters and other features.
The moon of Saturn Europa is almost entirely covered in fresh ice making it one of the most reflective bodies in the Solar System. The surface temperature of Europa is 198 degC (-322.4 degrees Fahrenheit) at noon. There are more than 100 geysers and water-rich plumes on the moon of Saturn. The moon also provides most of the material used to build Saturn’s E Ring system.
Saturn has a diameter of 120660 kilometers or 9.5 Earths across. Its mass is about 95 times Earth’s. Although its surface is mostly ice Saturn has a ring of dust and ice around it. These rings reflect the intense heat and cold of Saturn. This makes it the most massive planet in our solar system. So how do we know which one is the largest? Read on to learn more about our solar system’s most fascinating objects!
According to the traditional scientific view the nine planets orbiting our sun are in the order of their distance from the sun. Although there are also some skeptics who believe that there are eight planets in our solar system we are aware of nine. Pluto was once considered the farthest planet but is now classified as a dwarf planet or Plutoid. It has a diameter of around 4850 kilometers and is composed mainly of oxygen and nitrogen.
The Earth is the fifth largest planet in our solar system with a diameter of 12756 kilometers. It is also the densest planet with a dense mantle of rock. Earth has one moon which is similar to earth. Earth is also the largest inner rocky planet. Mars is slightly larger than Earth but both planets have similar characteristics. Earth is the only planet known to have life and is the only planet in the solar system that harbors it.
When it comes to the size of the nine planets Earth is the largest. But that doesn’t mean it’s the biggest. In fact the largest planet is Mercury with a volume of 1.3 x 1023 km3. At the outermost reaches of our solar system there are massive gas giants. However in the innermost reaches of the solar system Earth dwarfs them.
Venus is our nearest neighbor and is about the same size as Earth. It is made of sulphuric acid and CO2 which makes its atmosphere toxic for human life. It also has a dense atmosphere making it the warmest planet in the solar system and is often referred to as the ‘evil twin’ of Earth. The surface of Venus reaches temperatures that could melt the earth making it the hottest planet in our solar system. Venus is also the second most dense planet with a density three times that of Mercury.
Pluto the smallest of the nine planets is about half the size of the moon and consists largely of frozen gases. Pluto orbits the sun in 28 years and rotates once every 6.4 days. The icy moon is nicknamed the Roman god of outer darkness because of its dark blue color. Neptune crosses its orbit every 1.6 years. Pluto has a very close orbit to Jupiter which gives it the nickname ‘the dwarf planet.’
Although the Sun is the nearest planet to Neptune the distance between the two is quite large. Neptune’s magnetic field is slightly offset from the Earth’s magnetic field. This is due to its electrically conducting mantle which deflects the magnetic field away from the planet’s core. The Sun is also about nine times fainter than Neptune’s surface. Despite its large size life could not exist on Neptune.
Pluto is twice the size of Neptune. Its elliptical orbit means that it sometimes gets closer to the Sun than Neptune. And Mercury is the most cratered planet in our solar system. Some people believe that Jupiter and Saturn came close to each other once. But there is no direct evidence for this theory. Saturn emits eerie radio emissions that are similar to the ones produced by other planets.
Neptune is the eighth planet from the sun. It is smaller than Uranus but much larger than the planets Mercury Mars and Venus but it is seventeen times bigger. It orbits the sun once every 165 years. The two planets share many similarities. They both have large storm systems a rocky core and five rings surrounding it. These characteristics are similar to that of earth. And they also share the same structure. Neptune is the Roman god of the sea.
If you are looking for a fun fact about the Solar System look no further than Pluto. For 76 years the ninth planet was beloved with its half-sized moon and oval-shaped orbit. It was also an oddball and children and adults alike identified with its existence as a misfit. However fifteen years ago Pluto was demoted to dwarf planet status a reclassification which was opposed by many scientists.
The surface of Pluto is surprisingly diverse – some regions are bright as snow while others appear dark as charcoal. This was revealed by using colour imaging and composition spectroscopy to identify the different types of ices covering its surface. These included nitrogen carbon monoxide water and methane. Radiolysis on Pluto has also revealed the presence of chemical byproducts of this process. While some surfaces of Pluto are largely devoid of visible craters other regions are heavily cratered.
In addition to Charon Pluto has five known moons. The largest is Charon with a diameter half that of Pluto. Pluto is also sometimes thought of as a binary system with the moons orbiting each other at their barycenters. This system of moons was first identified by James Christy in 1978 and its moons orbit each other in a circular pattern. These moons have a similar orbital period as Pluto and Charon.
The discovery of Pluto in 1930 was made possible by Clyde Tombaugh. While studying the night sky at Lowell Observatory in Arizona he noticed a tiny speck of light moving in front of the stars. He later named it Planet X after the Roman god of the underworld Pluto. The discovery of Pluto was officially announced on March 13 1930. And its name has since become famous. And what’s more it’s one of the most mysterious planets of our Solar System.