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Solar System

system of nine planets, including Earth, and other objects that revolve around the Sun

Mercury

smallest planet, closest to the sun; Does not have a true atmosphere. Has a surface with many craters and high cliffs.

Venus

second planet from the Sun; has a thick atmosphere with high temperatures, a surface with craters, faultlike cracks, and volcanoes; sometimes called Earth's twin

Earth

third planet from the sun; has an atmosphere that protects life and surface temperatures that allow water to exist as a solid, liquid, and gas

Jupiter

largest and fifth planet from the Sun; contains more mass than all the other planets combined, has continuous storms of high-pressure gas, and an atmosphere mostly of hydrogen and helium

Great Red Spot

giant, high-pressure storm in Jupiter's atmosphere

Saturn

second-largest and sixth planet from the Sun; has a complex ring system, at least 31 moons, and a thick atmosphere made mostly of hydrogen and helium

Uranus

seventh planet from the Sun; is large and gaseous, has a distinct bluish-green color, and rotates on an axis nearly parallel to the plane of its orbit

Neptune

usually the eighth planet from the Sun; is large and gaseous, has rings that vary in thickness, and is bluish-green in color

Pluto

considered to be the ninth planet from the Sun; has a solid icy-rock surface and a single moon, Charon

Comet

space object made of dust and rock particles mixed with frozen water, methane, and ammonia that forms a bright coma as it approaches the Sun

Meteor

a meteoroid that burns up in Earth's atmosphere

Meteorite

a meteoroid that strikes the surface of a moon or planet

Asteroid

a piece of rock or metal made up of material similar to that which formed the planets; mostly found in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter

Who proposed a Sun centered solar system?

Nicholas Copernicus in 1543

What is the shape of planetary orbits?

Elliptical; in 1600's German mathmatician Kepler studied the orbits of the planets discovering that the orbits were oval shaped and the Sun is no at the Center of the orbits but is slightly offset.

Which planet has extreme temperatures because it has no atmosphere?

Mercury; Because of it's low gravitational pull and high daytime temperatures, most atmospheric gaes escape into space.

Where is the largest volcano in the solar system?

Mars, "Olympus Mons"

Which planet has a complex ring system consisting of thousands of ringlets?

Saturn; Saturn has several broad rings. Each large ring is composed of thousands of thin ringlets. The rings are composed of countless ice and rock particles.

In what direction do comet tails point?

Away from the Sun

Which planet has the highest temperature because of the greenhouse effect?

Venus; Clouds on Venus are so dense that only a small amount of sunlight reaches the planets surface. The sunlight that does get through warms the surface, which gives off heat to the atmosphere. Most of this heat is absorbed by carbon dioxide gas in Venus's atmosphere, causing the Greenhouse Effect.

List the order of the planets...

Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto

What is the name of Pluto's moon?

Charon

Which object's gravity holds the planets in their orbits?

The Suns

Which of the following occurs in a cycle?

Sunspot Maxima and Minima

By what process does the Sun produce energy?

Nuclear fusion

Which planet likely will be visited by humans in the future?

Mars

Between which two planets' orbits does the asteroid belt occur?

Between Mars and Jupiter

Who discovered that planets have elliptical orbits?

German Mathmatician Kepler

What gives Mars its Red Color?

Iron oxide in soil on its surface gives it a reddish color.

What oocurs when atoms combine to form heavier atoms?

Fusion

What is Jupitors core?

Rocky

Which of Jupitor's moon is the most volcanically active?

Io

What do scientists think caused Uranus to become tilted on its side?

Collision with another object

What happened to the dust and gas that did not contribute to forming the Sun?

It created planets

What is Jupitor's Red Spot?

A tremendous storm

What is one of the main differences between the inner and outer planers?

The inner planets are terrestrial

What happened to Mercury to cause the formation of large cliffs?

It shank

What do Earth and Mars have in common?

Iron Rich Core

What caused the dense cloud scientists hypothesize created our solar system to increase in temperature as it condensed?

Increasing friction

Why do planets closer to the Sun orbit the Sun faster than planets farther away do?

Because of the Sun's gravity

Why does Mercury have such a thin atmosphere?

Because of its small size and gravitational pull

One astronomical unit is equal to?

Distance from Earth to the Sun

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