The most

What is a solar system?


The inner planets of the earth group include:

The sizes of the radii of the planets of our solar system in descending order:

  1. Jupiter - 69 911 km (1120% of the Earth).
  2. Saturn - 58,232 km (945%).
  3. Uranus - 25,362 km (400%).
  4. Neptune - 24,622 km (388%).
  5. Land - 6,371 km.
  6. Venus - 6,052 km (95%).
  7. Mars - 3,390 km (53%).
  8. Mercury - 2,440 km (38%).

Jupiter is the largest planet in the entire system. Its powerful gravity influenced the movement of other planets of the inner group and the distribution of mass during their formation. In addition, its gravitational force can repel or attract comets and asteroids to the Earth.

Saturn differs from other planets in its rings, which encircled it. They consist of fragments of asteroids, comets, stardust, etc.

Uranus and Neptune are ice giants.

The largest planet - Jupiter

Jupiter is the largest gas planet in size. In its distance from the Sun, it acts as the fifth planet, and its orbit is located just behind the asteroid belt of Mars.

In its composition, it resembles the Sun: 89% of its atmosphere is hydrogen, and 11% is helium.

According to scientists, Jupiter has a solid core, which is 1.5 times the diameter of the Earth. However, it is at least 20 times denser. Even if a solid surface existed on Jupiter, it would be impossible to descend on it due to atmospheric pressure.

Due to its strong magnetosphere, Jupiter has many satellites, of which only 70 were discovered. All of them have different sizes.

The largest of them:

Galileo Galilei discovered all of them in 1610.

There is no change in the seasons, since the axis of its rotation is perpendicular to the orbit. It is characterized by the fastest rotation around its axis, the period of which at the equator is almost 10 hours.

Striking dimensions

Its diameter at the equator is 143,000 km (terrestrial - 12,742 km). The second largest planet, Saturn, is also a gas giant. Its diameter is 120,000 km.

The mass of Jupiter is 1.9 × 10 ^ 27 kg. This is the third largest and heaviest planet of all studied in the universe. The largest planet is considered NATR-R-32b, which was discovered in 2011. It is located in the constellation Andromeda, like Tres-4b, the second largest after NATR-R-32b.

Jupiter is 318 Earth masses. For comparison, the Sun weighs like 1050 Jupiters.

The area of ​​this gas giant is 122 times larger than the earth. It should be borne in mind that its surface consists of gases, which, when approaching the core, become denser, passing into a liquid state, and then into a metal.

Ephemeral surface

Jupiter has the most powerful atmosphere and magnetosphere, which is 20,000 times larger than Earth.

Its atmosphere consists of helium and hydrogen.

It contains in small quantities elements such as:

This planet has no solid surface. You can go down deep into this gas ball for a long time, while the pressure will constantly increase.

Gas gradually changes from one state to another:

  • turns into fog
  • goes into an intermediate semi-liquid state,
  • becomes liquid hydrogen
  • compacted to a metallic state.

But there are no clear boundaries for the transition from one state to another, because there are many intermediate stages between them. The atmosphere of Jupiter extends over a height of 5,000 km (reference is made from a conventional surface where hydrogen has a liquid consistency).

Planets of the solar system

In simple terms (for children), the solar system is the Sun and everything that revolves around it.

About the sun itself (the central star of the system), you can read the link above or briefly read the information on it at the bottom of this article. Of interesting facts, we can add that the mass of the sun is 99.86% of the mass of the entire solar system, which indicates its undeniable importance.

How many planets in the solar system and their order

The next largest bodies after the Sun are planets. How many planets in the solar system? Until recently, it was believed that 9 planets revolve around our star:

  1. Mercury.
  2. Venus.
  3. Land.
  4. Mars. This and the three previous planets belong to the earth group.
  5. Jupiter.
  6. Saturn.
  7. Uranus.
  8. Neptune. This and the three previous planets are called gas giants.
  9. Pluto.

For children there are special models or drawings of the solar system that help them understand what rotation around the Sun means, such as the model shown above.

Is Pluto a planet or not?

Pluto recognized as the smallest planet in the solar system. Recently, however, there have been many questions about whether Pluto is considered a planet. Why? Here are a few facts that gave reason to doubt whether this object can be called a planet:

  1. The mass of Pluto is less than the mass of the Moon - the satellite of the Earth. It is not enough for Pluto to clear space in orbit from other bodies. The orbit of Pluto is populated by many objects that have the same composition.
  2. The discovery of a body with a large mass and diameter beyond the orbit of Pluto. This object is called Eris.
  3. The center of mass of the Pluto-Charon system (Charon is the satellite) lies outside these two bodies.

A lot became clear after detailed studies of the Kuiper belt. It consists of many ice objects with a diameter of 100 km. Pluto itself has a diameter of 2400 km.

After a series of similar discoveries, astronomers faced the task of redefining the concept of the planet.

One of the requirements was that the planet must be able to clear the space around your orbit. This is precisely what caused Pluto to be excluded from the list of planets and to give it the name of a dwarf planet.

Earth group planets including the smallest

The planets of the solar system rotate in orbits. The first 4 planets of the solar system are summarized as an earth group:

  1. Mercury - this is the smallest and the planet closest to the sun. The period of its rotation around the star takes 88 days.
  2. Venus. It rotates around its axis in the opposite direction relative to the movement in orbit. Another such planet is Uranus. Venus is the hottest planet. The temperature of the atmosphere reaches + 470 ° C.
  3. Earth is the third solar system planet in order from the Sun. It has the largest density and diameter in its group. There is free oxygen in the atmosphere. Earth has one natural satellite - the moon.
  4. Mars. The atmosphere of the fourth planet consists of carbon dioxide. Due to the presence of iron oxide in the soil, the planet has a reddish tint.

What is the name of the largest planet in the universe?

Tres-4 - is a gas giant and the largest planet in the universe. It is not strange, this object was discovered only in 2006. This is a huge planet, which is many times larger than the size of Jupiter. It revolves around a star, just like the Earth around the Sun. The planet is painted in orange-brown color, because the temperature on its surface is more than 1200 degrees. Therefore, there is no solid surface on it, it is mainly a boiling mass, consisting mainly of helium and hydrogen.

Due to the constant origin of chemical reactions, the planet is very hot, radiates heat. The strangest thing is the density of the planet, it is very high for such a mass. Therefore, scientists are not sure that it consists only of gas.


What is the name of the largest planet in the solar system?

One of the largest planets in the universe is Jupiter. This is one of the giant planets that are predominantly gas. The composition is also very similar to the Sun, mainly composed of hydrogen. The speed of rotation of the planet is very high. Because of this, strong winds form around it, which provoke the appearance of colored clouds. Due to the huge size of the planet and the speed of its movement, it is characterized by a strong magnetic field, which attracts many celestial bodies.

This is due to the large number of satellites of the planet. One of the largest is Ganymede. Despite this, in recent years, scientists have become very interested in Jupiter’s satellite - Europe. They believe that the planet, which is covered with a crust of ice, inside has an ocean, with a possible simple life. Which makes it possible to assume the existence of living beings.


The biggest stars in the universe

  • Vy. Until recently, it was considered the largest star, it was discovered back in 1800. Size about 1420 times the radius of the Sun. But at the same time, the mass is only 40 times more. This is due to the low density of the star. The most interesting thing is that over the past few centuries, the star has been actively losing its size and mass. This is due to the passage of thermonuclear reactions on its surface. Thus, as a result, a possible explosion of this star with the formation of a black hole or a neutron star is possible.
  • But in 2010, the NASA Space Shuttle discovered another huge star that is outside the solar system. They gave her a name R136a1. This star is 250 times larger than the Sun and shines much brighter. If we compare how bright the Sun shines, then the star’s glow was similar to the radiance of the Sun and Moon. Only in this case the Sun will shine much less, and more likely looks like the Moon than a huge gigantic space object. This confirms that almost all stars age and lose their brightness. This is due to the presence on the surface of a huge amount of active gases, which constantly enter into chemical reactions, decay. Since the discovery, the star has lost a quarter of its mass, precisely due to chemical reactions.

The universe is not well understood. This is due to the fact that arriving at planets that are at a distance of a huge number of light years is simply impossible physically. Therefore, scientists are studying these planets using modern equipment, telescopes.

Vy big dog

Top 10 largest space objects and phenomena

There are a huge number of cosmic bodies and objects that amaze with their size. Below are the TOP 10 of the largest objects and phenomena in space.

    Jupiter - the largest planet in the solar system. Its volume is 70% of the total volume of the system itself. Moreover, more than 20% falls on the Sun, and 10% are distributed between other planets and objects. The most interesting thing is that there are many satellites around this celestial body.

Jupiter The sun. We believe that the Sun is a huge star. In fact, it is nothing more than a yellow dwarf star. And our planet is only a small part of what revolves around this star. The sun is constantly decreasing. This is due to the fact that hydrogen is synthesized into helium during micro-explosions. The star is painted in a bright color, and heats our planet thanks to an exothermic reaction with the release of heat.

Our sun solar system. Its size is 15 x 10 12 degrees kilometers. It consists of 1 star and 9 planets that move around this bright object along certain trajectories called orbits.

solar system Vy - This is a star located in the constellation Canis Major. It is a red super giant, its size is the largest in the universe. In comparison, it is about 2000 times larger in diameter than our Sun and the entire system. The intensity of the glow is higher.

Vy Huge reserves of water. This is nothing more than a giant cloud, inside of which there is a huge amount of water vapor. Their number is approximately 143 times greater than the volume of the earth's ocean. Scientists nicknamed the object "The Giant Cosmic Ocean."

Giant space ocean Huge black hole NGC 4889. This hole is at a great distance from our Earth. It is nothing more than a funnel-shaped abyss around which there are stars, as well as planets. This phenomenon is located in the constellation Veronica Hair, its size is 12 times larger than our entire solar system.

Black hole Milky Way. Eit is nothing more than a spiral galaxy, which consists of a multitude of stars around which planets, satellites can revolve. Accordingly, the Milky Way can contain a huge number of planets on which life is possible. Because they have the likelihood that there are conditions favorable for the origin of life.

Milky Way El Gordo. This is a huge cluster of galaxies that are distinguished by a bright glow. This is due to the fact that such a cluster of only 1% consists of stars. The rest is hot gas. Due to this, a glow occurs. It was in this bright light that scientists discovered this cluster. Researchers suggest that this object appeared as a result of the merger of two galaxies. The photo shows the glow of this merger.

El gordo Superblob. This is something like a huge cosmic bubble, which is filled inside with stars, dust and planets. It is a cluster of galaxies. There is a hypothesis that it is from this gas that new galaxies form.

Super bubble Space web. This is something strange, like a maze. This is precisely the cluster of all galaxies. Scientists believe that it is formed not by chance, but according to a certain pattern.

Space web

The universe has been studied very little, so over time, new record holders may appear and will be called the most huge objects.

Record Beaten - Tres-4b

Until recently, the world record holder was the planet Tres-4b, located in the constellation Hercules. From 2006 to 2011, it was the largest planet in the universe. It is 1.706 times larger than Jupiter, almost twice. Curiously, this planet is located in a binary system, and other similar ones are not yet known, because in such systems the gravitational forces of two stars act, which interfere with the formation of planets and stable orbits.

The planet Tres-4b is a gas giant similar to Jupiter, and is located very close to its star - only 4.5 million kilometers. For comparison, the distance from the Sun to Mercury, the hottest planet in our system, is 58 million kilometers, and to the Earth - 150 million!

Tres-4b completes a full orbit in just 3.5 days, and this gas ball is very hot - its temperature exceeds 1700 degrees. Hot gas has a tendency to expand, so this planet is "loose", its density is very low, on average, like polystyrene or balsa wood. This is very small.

Although Tres-4b is a large planet, its mass is slightly less than that of Jupiter, therefore, its gravity is less. This hot gas planet with a large size and low gravity is not able to hold its substance, so it constantly loses it from its atmosphere. This gas trail reaches the planet like a comet tail.

This planet is a mystery to scientists. With such a gigantic size and disproportionately small mass, it simply should not exist. Yes, now she is losing weight, but how was she able to form under such conditions? Maybe once it was not so hot, and therefore it was smaller and denser than Jupiter? Then in the past it was much further from the star or was completely captured by the star somewhere along the way.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to see this planet live in the foreseeable future - the distance to it is unimaginably large, 1600 light years.

This huge planet was discovered by the transit method back in 2006, and the results were published a year later.

The research program is called TrES - Trans-Atlantic Exoplanet Survey, or Transatlantic Exoplanetary Survey. Three small 10-cm telescopes from different observatories equipped with Schmidt cameras and auto-search participate in it.In total, five exoplanets, including Tres-4b, were discovered under this program.

The largest planet in the solar system

Jupiter became the source of a real revolution in the scientific knowledge of the Universe, when in 1610 the great Galileo was able to discover four huge giant companions - Io, Europe, Ganymede and Callisto. This is the first time in history when large celestial bodies were seen rotating around an object other than Earth. This fact became the basis of the theory of Copernicus that the Earth is not the center of the universe.

Although seemingly serene, if you look at it from our relatively safe world, Jupiter is a chaotic and bustling place. The spots and turbulences of the gas giant are due to strong storms that disperse the prevailing winds at a speed of 540 km / h at the equator - faster than any hurricanes known on Earth.

Planets of the Solar System

But in the atmosphere of the giant there is also something mysterious - the Big Red Spot, which is a strong hurricane storm called an anticyclone. Our native planet has never seen anything comparable to such power: it rotates in the omnipresent oval, which is larger than the entire Earth, although it is constantly decreasing, starting from the very first days of observing it.

Such an interesting planet, this Jupiter. Now let's take a closer look.

The largest planet in the universe - HAT-P-32b

In 2011, the new largest planet in the Universe was discovered, which turned out to be larger than Tres-4b. It is located in the constellation Andromeda, at a distance of 1044 light years from us.

This planet is 2.037 times larger than Jupiter in radius, that is, it is slightly larger than Tres-4b. But its mass is about the same, and slightly less than Jupiterian. Otherwise, the HAT-P-32b is very similar to the Tres-4b.

This planet is also a hot gas ball, even hotter. Its temperature reaches 1888 degrees. This planet is also located close to the star - at a distance of about 5 million kilometers, and due to the huge temperature, its gas also expands and is lost. Therefore, its density is also small.

Scientists are constantly discovering new planets from other stars, and it is possible that this record will be broken, and soon we will learn about the other largest planet in the Universe.

Clouds and spots

The stripes that are visible on it from space are created thanks to clusters of clouds. They are twisted into spirals under the influence of powerful winds (belts) moving in different directions.

The composition of the clouds includes such chemical components:

  • ammonium sulfide,
  • water,
  • crystallized ammonia.

Thanks to this composition, they acquire various shades. In addition, they are located at different heights in the atmosphere. Between these clouds pass powerful lightning strikes, which cannot be compared in strength to earthly ones.

Composition structure of jupiter

Jupiter is a huge, supermassive gas ball into which all other planets of the solar system can be placed twice. If Jupiter was only 80 times larger, it would become a real star. The clouds of the raging giant consist of ammonia and water vapor, drifting in an atmosphere of hydrogen and helium. Probably the special chemical composition of the clouds is behind the pastel variety of the colors of Jupiter, but in reality, scientists still have not been able to give a full explanation of such an interesting appearance of the planet.

Composition structure of jupiter

The atmosphere of Jupiter is similar to the solar, consisting mainly of hydrogen and helium. Colorful light and dark stripes are created by the strongest wind flows from east to west in the upper atmosphere. White clouds in bright areas consist of crystals of frozen ammonia, and clouds are slightly darker from other chemicals. Due to the randomness of all processes occurring in the atmosphere of a giant, Jupiter’s appearance is constantly changing. Sometimes the sky is filled with real rains of pure diamonds.

Below the upper gas layers, the pressure and temperature increase so much that the hydrogen atoms eventually compress into a liquid. Jupiter has a dense core of uncertain composition, surrounded by a helium-rich layer of liquid metallic hydrogen, which occupies up to 80-90% of the planet’s diameter.

The pressure rises so high that hydrogen loses its electrons, and in a chaotic disorder of intricate liquids an electric charge can appear, just like in metals. The incredibly fast rotation of the giant around its axis - Jupiter makes one revolution in 10 Earth hours - causes electric discharges that can affect and create the planet's magnetic field. It is 16 to 54 times more powerful than Earth.

Great Red Spot on Jupiter

Perhaps the most interesting place on the surface of Jupiter is the Great Red Spot, which is a huge storm-storm that has been going on for more than 300 years. The speed of rotation of air flows in it reaches 680 km / h. The color varies from brick red to slightly brown - this is probably due to the small amount of phosphorus and sulfur in the ammonia crystals in the clouds.


The atmosphere of Jupiter is radically different from the earth. It mainly consists of hydrogen (about 89%) and helium (about 11%). But there are small impurities of methane, ammonia, acetylene and water vapor. If you look at the planet through the lenses of the telescope, you will see that its atmosphere is a combination of parallel stripes of various colors - red, white, yellow, blue. Dark belts and light zones are colored clouds in the upper atmospheric layers.

The main feature of Jupiter

In addition, the atmosphere of this giant is quite aggressive: whirlwinds and hurricanes of various scales are rampant on it. The largest hurricane in the entire solar system is called the Eye of Jupiter, or the Great Red Spot. Its size allows you to see it even in a medium power telescope (amateur). It has been active for several centuries, but in the last period there has been a slight decline in its activity. Its size is 15 × 30 thousand km, which is 2 times the size of the Earth.

Scientists explain the reddish-orange tint of this spot by the presence of phosphorus and other chemical compounds in it.


A distinctive feature of Jupiter is the presence of spots. It has been established that these are gigantic eddies that can last for weeks, months, and years. One of these spots is 15,000 kilometers across. The most famous is the Great Red Spot. It was noticed back in 1664 by the French astronomer Cassini. Over these hundreds of years, it practically did not move and almost did not change in shape and size.

The characteristics of the Great Red Spot are impressive: 12,000 kilometers per 48,000 kilometers. It is believed that this is a giant vortex or a huge cloud. There is also a hypothesis that the spot is the result of a collision of a planet with some large object. Allegedly, this object knocked out planetary matter, which came off and flew into space.

Comparison table of planetary characteristics

Diameter, mass, length of day, and orbital radius are relative to the Earth.

PlanetDiameterWeightOrbital radius, a. e.Circulation period, Earth yearsDayDensity, kg / m³Satellites

Planets giants including the largest

The four planets of the earth group are followed by the planets giants of the solar system:

  1. Jupiter - the largest planet. Its mass is 318 times greater than the mass of our planet. It consists of H (hydrogen) and He (helium), has many satellites, one of which is even larger in size than even Mercury.
  2. Saturn. He is known to us for his rings. The planet has many satellites.
  3. Uranus. This planet has the smallest mass among giants. It differs in that the angle of inclination of its axis to the plane is almost 100 °. Therefore, we can say about this planet that it is not so much spinning as it is rolling in its orbit.
  4. Neptune. The rotation period is 248 years. She is the last planet, but far from the last body in the solar system.

The planets of the solar system and the actual ratio of their sizes are shown in the photo above.

9. Pluto, diameter ~ 2370 km

Pluto is the second largest dwarf planet in the solar system after Ceres. Even when he was one of the full-fledged planets, he was far from the largest of them, since its mass is 1/6 of the mass of the moon. Pluto has a diameter of 2370 km and consists of stone and ice. It is not surprising that on its surface it is quite cold - minus 230 ° C

8. Mercury ∼ 4,879 km

A tiny world with a mass of almost twenty times less than the mass of the Earth, and a diameter of 2 ½ less than the earth. In fact, Mercury is closer in size to the Moon than to the Earth and today it is considered the smallest of the planets of the Solar system. Mercury has a rocky surface dotted with craters. Recently, the Messenger spacecraft confirmed that there is icy water in the deep craters on that side of Mercury, which is forever shrouded in shadow.


These are small bodies that make a revolution around our body. Most often they do not have a spherical shape, but look like stone blocks. They have no atmosphere (what is it?). Asteroids can have satellites. They are not included in the solar system model.

After the orbit of the fourth planet is the asteroid belt. It ends before the orbit of the fifth planet - Jupiter. Asteroids are the most common small bodies in the solar system. Their sizes can vary from several meters to hundreds of kilometers. Although they are much smaller than planets, such bodies can have satellites.

In addition to the asteroid belt, there are other asteroids. The paths of some of these bodies intersect with the orbit of our planet. However, we can not worry that the movement of the asteroid will disrupt the location of the planets in the solar system.

7. Mars ∼ 6,792 km

Mars is about half the size of Earth and has a diameter of 6.792 km. However, its mass is only a tenth of the earth. This not too big planet of the Solar system, the fourth closest to the Sun, has an inclination of the axis of rotation of 25.1 degrees. Due to this, there is a change of seasons, as on Earth. And the day (salt) on Mars is 24 hours and 40 minutes. In the southern hemisphere, summers are hot and winters are cold, while there are no such sharp contrasts in the northern hemisphere, both summers and winters are mild. We can say ideal conditions for building a greenhouse and growing potatoes.

6. Venus ∼ 12 100 km

In sixth place in the ranking of the largest and smallest planets is the celestial body, named after the goddess of beauty. It is so close to the Sun that the first appears in the evening and the last disappears in the morning. Therefore, Venus has long been known as the “evening star” and “morning star”. It has a diameter of 12,100 km, which is almost comparable to the size of the Earth (1,000 km less), and 80% of the mass of the Earth.

The surface of Venus mainly consists of large plains of volcanic origin, the rest of it consists of gigantic mountains. The atmosphere consists of carbon dioxide, with thick clouds of sulfur dioxide. This atmosphere has the strongest greenhouse effect known in the solar system, and the temperature on Venus is at around 460 degrees.

5. Earth ∼ 12 742 km

The third planet in proximity to the Sun. Earth is the only planet in the solar system to have life on. It has an axis tilt of 23.4 degrees, its diameter is 12 742 km, and its mass is 5.972 septillion kg.

The age of our planet is very respectable - 4.54 billion years. And most of this time she is accompanied by a natural satellite - the moon. It is believed that the Moon was formed when a large celestial body, namely Mars, acted on the Earth, causing an ejection of enough material so that the Moon could form. The moon had a stabilizing effect on the tilt of the Earth’s axis and is a source of tides of the oceans.

“It is inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is obvious that it is the Ocean” - Arthur Clark.

4. Neptune ∼ 49,000 km

The gas giant planet of the solar system is the eighth closest body to the sun. The diameter of Neptune is 49,000 km, and the mass is 17 times greater than the earth. He has powerful cloud bands (they, along with storms and cyclones, were photographed by Voyager 2). The wind speed on Neptune reaches 600 m / s. Due to its great distance from the Sun, the planet is one of the coldest, the temperature in the upper atmosphere reaches minus 220 degrees Celsius.

3. Uranus ∼ 50 000 km

On the third line of the list of the largest planets in the solar system is the seventh closest to the Sun, the third largest and fourth heaviest of the worlds. The diameter of Uranus (50,000 km) is four times the size of the earth, and its mass is 14 times the mass of our planet.

Uranus has 27 known moons with sizes ranging from more than 1,500 km to less than 20 km in diameter. Satellites of the planet are made up of ice, rocks and other trace elements. Uranus itself has a rocky core surrounded by a cover of water, ammonia and methane. The atmosphere consists of hydrogen, helium and methane with an upper layer of clouds.

2. Saturn ∼ 116,400 km

The second of the largest planets in the solar system is known for its ring system. She was first spotted by Galileo Galilei in 1610. Galileo believed that Saturn is accompanied by two other planets that are on either side of it. In 1655, Christian Huygens with the help of an advanced telescope was able to see Saturn in sufficient detail to suggest that there are rings around it. They extend from 7,000 km to 120,000 km above the surface of Saturn, which itself has a radius of 9 times that of the Earth (57,000 km) and a mass of 95 times that of the Earth.

1. Jupiter ∼ 142 974 km

The first number is the winner of the planetary heavyweight charts, Jupiter is the largest planet, bearing the name of the Roman king of the gods. One of the five planets visible to the naked eye. It is so massive that it would contain the rest of the worlds of the solar system, minus the sun. The total diameter of Jupiter is 142.984 km. Given its size, Jupiter rotates very quickly, making one turn every 10 hours. At its equator, there is a rather large centrifugal force, because of which the planet has a pronounced hump. That is, the diameter of the equator of Jupiter is 9,000 km larger than the diameter measured at the poles. As expected of the king, Jupiter has many satellites (more than 60), but most of them are quite small (less than 10 km in diameter). The four largest moons, discovered in 1610 by Galileo Galilei, are named after the favorites of Zeus - the Greek analogue of Jupiter.

Distance from the Sun of Jupiter and Orbit

Average distance from the sun: 778,412,020 km. For comparison: 5.203 times more than Earth.
Perihelion (closest to the sun): 740,742,600 km. For comparison: 5.036 times more than Earth.

Afelion (farthest from the sun): 816,081,400 km. For comparison: 5.366 times more than Earth.

The second largest planet in the solar system - Saturn

Saturn is the sixth most remote planet from the sun and the second largest planet in our solar system. It got its name from the name of God in Ancient Rome, who patronized agriculture.

They, together with Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune, are combined into 1 group and are gas giants.

Saturn differs from the rest not only in the presence of rings, but also in the smallest density (2 times less than the density of water). It has more than 53 satellites (of those that were discovered). The largest of them, Titan, is the second largest in our solar system.

In addition, there is a change of seasons. One season here lasts 7 Earth years, and a year - almost 30.

The planet has a super-powerful magnetic field that extends over more than 1 million km. It does not have a solid surface, like other gas giants. The wind speed here may exceed 1700 km / h.

On Saturn, the Northern Lights were discovered, as well as clouds of unknown origin, shaped like a hexagon.

Scientists suggest that one of Saturn’s moons, Enceladus, may exist under the surface of the ice.

Saturn, like Jupiter, consists of helium and hydrogen. It has the highest speed of rotation around its axis relative to other planets of our system.

Its shape differs from spherical, because the rotation speed promotes flattening at the poles.

And now scientists cannot come to a unified version of the appearance of rings around Saturn.

The trajectory of rotation of the rings coincides with the equator of Saturn. The size of the particles rotating in the rings varies from a few centimeters to tens of meters. They include water ice, as well as various impurities and dust. The thickness of one ring can range from several tens of meters to 1 km, and a length of 7-80 thousand km along the equator. The total weight of the materials is supposedly 3 × 10² ° kg.


Like Saturn and Uranus, Jupiter acquired rings. But his ring system is rather weak. They consist mainly of dust and gas. The ring system has four components. A thick torus of small particles. A bright, very thin “Main Ring” and two wider, “spider rings”. The color of the rings in the visible part of the spectrum is reddish, and the first is blue.

What is known about Jupiter

Before the invention of the telescope, planets were considered as objects wandering in the sky. Therefore, the word "planet" from Greek is translated as "wanderer". Our solar system has 8 known planets, although initially 9 celestial objects were recognized as planets. In the 1990s, Pluto was “demoted” from the status of a true planet to the status of a dwarf planet. A the largest planet in the solar system is called Jupiter.

Dimensions of Jupiter Compared to Other Planets of the Solar System

The radius of the planet is 69,911 km. That is, all the largest planets in the solar system could fit inside Jupiter (see photo). And if we take only our Earth, then 1300 of these planets will fit inside the body of Jupiter.

This is the fifth planet from the sun. It is named after the Roman god.

The atmosphere of Jupiter consists of gases, mainly helium and hydrogen, which is why it is also called the gas giant of the solar system. The surface of Jupiter consists of an ocean of liquid hydrogen.

Jupiter has the strongest magnetosphere of all other planets, 20 thousand times stronger than the Earth’s magnetosphere.

The largest planet in the solar system rotates around its axis faster than all "neighbors". One full revolution takes just under 10 hours (Earth takes 24 hours). Because of this rapid rotation, Jupiter is convex at the equator and flattened at the poles. The planet is 7 percent wider at the equator than at the poles.

The largest celestial body of the solar system revolves around the Sun once in 11.86 Earth years.

Jupiter broadcasts radio waves so strong that they can be detected from Earth. They come in two forms:

  1. strong bursts that occur when Io, the closest of the large moons of Jupiter, passes through certain regions of the planet’s magnetic field,
  2. continuous radiation from the surface and high energy particles of Jupiter in its radiation belts. These radio waves can help scientists explore the oceans on the satellites of the space giant.

The most unusual feature of Jupiter

Big red spot

Undoubtedly, the main feature of Jupiter is the Big Red Spot - a giant hurricane that has been raging for more than 300 years.

  • The diameter of the Great Red Spot is three times the diameter of the Earth, and its edge rotates around the center and counterclockwise at a tremendous speed (360 km per hour).
  • The color of the storm, which usually varies from brick red to light brown, may be due to the presence of small amounts of sulfur and phosphorus.
  • The spot then increases, then decreases over time. One hundred years ago, education was twice as much as it is now and significantly brighter.

There are many other spots on Jupiter, but for some reason they only exist in the Southern Hemisphere for a long time.


This is a celestial luminous object with a pronounced head and tail. The brightness of a comet depends on its distance to the Sun.

The comet consists of the following parts:

  1. Core. It contains almost the entire weight of the comet.
  2. Coma - a misty shell located around the core.
  3. Tail. It is located in the opposite direction from the Sun.

One of the famous comets is Halley's comet. It is either approaching the Sun, or moving away from it. The head of a comet consists of frozen water, metal particles and various compounds. The diameter of the nucleus of this comet is 10 km. The period of passage of the orbit (ellipse) is about 75 years.

A point in orbit in which the body is as close to the Star as possible is called perihelion, and the opposite (farthest) is called aphelion.

Jupiter's moons

Jupiter has 53 confirmed moons revolving around it, and another 14 unconfirmed moons.

The four largest moons of Jupiter - they are called Galilean satellites - are Io, Ganymede, Europe and Callisto. The honor of their discovery belongs to Galileo Galilei, and this was in 1610. They are named after the close ones of Zeus (whose Roman counterpart is Jupiter).

Volcanoes are raging on Io, there is an icy ocean in Europe and possibly life in it, Ganymede is the largest of the satellites in the solar system, and has its own magnetosphere, and Callisto has the lowest reflectivity of the four Galilean satellites. There is a version that the surface of this moon consists of a dark, colorless rock.

Internal structure

Since Jupiter is a gas planet, it has no surface, as we understand it. It is likely that in the center of the gas giant there is a very dense core. It is compressed under tremendous pressure of 30-100 million atmospheres. And the core temperature is also impressive - about 30,000 ° C.

At a hundred-kilometer depth is the ocean of this liquid hydrogen. And below 17,000 kilometers, hydrogen is compressed with such force that it acquires the properties of a metal. This state allows hydrogen to conduct electricity, creating a magnetic field around the planet. The dimensions of the magnetic field are huge, it stretches over 650 million kilometers and slightly captures the orbit of Saturn. The field has an elongated shape, and towards the Sun it is 40 times smaller.

Rotation around its axis

Jupiter has the highest rotation speed around its in the solar system.. This space giant makes one revolution in less than ten hours. Such an outrageous speed greatly affects the shape of the gas planet, creating a huge bulge in the region of the equator. It can be seen even using the simplest amateur telescope.

  • Diameter around the equator: 142,984 km.
  • Jupiter mass: 1.900e27 kg

It is worth noting that Jupiter is a gas giant that has no solid surface, so the answer to the question regarding the speed of rotation of this mysterious celestial body around its axis cannot be given in the same categories as, for example, this with the earth.

Jupiter rotation speed calculation systems

The movements of atmospheric flows vary greatly depending on the latitude of their location. So the speed of rotation of streams located on the polar parts of the planet is as much as 5 minutes less than those located at the equator. Because of these differences, scientists had to develop three different systems for calculating the speed of rotation.

So the first of them applies to flows located in the region from 10 ° north latitude to 10 °, where the rotation speed is 9 hours 50 minutes and 30 seconds, the second - to all latitudes located outside these boundaries, here the speed is 9 hours 55 minutes and 40 seconds. The third system tried to combine the two approaches, proposing to calculate the speed of rotation on the magnetic sphere of the planet.

Interesting facts about the planet

  • Once a NASA Voyager probe detected some sounds made by the planet. They were very similar to speech, and were called electromagnetic voices. So the planet is "talking"? Who would translate this conversation.
  • Another oddity is the properties of shadows. As you know, in the shade it is always cooler than outside. Not on Jupiter! It's the opposite here. In the shade, the temperature is higher than in the open. And here only one explanation begs. It turns out that this planet, unlike others, reflects more heat than it receives from the Sun.
  • No wonder the planet bears the name of the main Roman god. She is the richest. Scientists have calculated that it is quite possible diamond hail. Lightning converts methane to carbon, which falls and under pressure degenerates into graphite. Dropping even lower, graphite becomes a diamond. Although, at the very end of the fall, diamonds are likely to become liquid.
  • The solar wind, crashing into the atmosphere of Jupiter, creates a kind of "sounds". If you translate them into the range of sound waves heard by a person, you get the following melody: Jupiter is scary "sings"


These are relatively small bodies that fall on the surface of other celestial objects of a larger size. Meteorites (what is this?) Can be iron, stone or iron-stone. About 2,000 tons of meteorites per year fall on the surface of our planet. Some have a mass of several grams, while others are several tens of tons. For example, the Tunguska meteorite that fell to Earth in 1908 threw hundreds of hectares (how much?) Of forest.

Research into our solar system will continue for many more years, so for sure in the future we will become aware of new facts and information about planets, comets, asteroids and other cosmic bodies.

Comet catcher

If it were not for Jupiter, we would hardly read these lines now. For billions of years, with his gigantic gravitational field, he catches or knocks comets and asteroids from the trajectory, flying towards the sun. The last case occurred recently, in 1994, when this planetary defender covered us with his chest from another potential danger. Jupiter’s gravity shattered comet Shoemaker-Levy like a brittle pebble like a hammer.

Explosions from the fall of the largest fragments exceeded the explosion power of a 100-megaton hydrogen bomb 10,000 times. But it was not possible to see this, all events occurred on the night side of the planet.

Journey to Jupiter

We had some free years, and we decided to fly to Jupiter. Of course, it is best to spend the flight time in a dream, because it is boring to observe a monotonous cosmic landscape for two or three years.

And so we covered 778 million kilometers, and our ship entered the giant’s orbit. It’s good that the planet is equipped with powerful heaters, because you can’t get warm on the surface of Jupiter. True, for lovers of cryogenic baths a temperature of 130 ° C is suitable, and the pressure here is almost terrestrial. The main thing is not to delay the session or go down.

After 130 kilometers, the temperature rises sharply to + 150 ° C, and then it's time to cook barbecue. Although, a pressure of 24 atmospheres will make a paste of it. But we will not sink into the hydrogen bowels of the planet - it is unlikely that we will be able to find even a hint of any life. Better fly around the space colossus.

Moving at a speed of 600 km / h - these are the average speeds of local winds - we begin to fly around the planet. And immediately a magnificent sight strikes the eye. Jupiter’s auroras are incomparably more intense than earthly ones, but all their beauty is best observed in the ultraviolet range.

But lightnings, thousands of times greater than the power of those that we are used to watching on our planet, seem like fiery rivers. These rivers cut through dense belts of clouds that do not change over the years, moving around the planet at a speed of 500 km / h.

Ice giants

Uranus and Neptune are 2 planets belonging to the Ice Giants. They are called twin brothers, because they are similar to each other in many ways.

It was first discovered in 1781 by William Herschel. The scientist at first thought it was a comet. The axis of the planet is very offset. Thus, Uranus rotates lying. The year here lasts 84 years.

Like other gas planets, helium and hydrogen prevail in the composition of uranium. But under the gas shell is a mantle of ice, and in the center is a stone core.

The atmospheric layers around the ice giant consist of the following chemicals:

  • water,
  • ammonia
  • crystals of ice methane.

The temperature of the surface layers is -224 ° C, due to which it is considered the coldest planet in the system. In certain periods, the surface of Neptune cools to lower temperatures. However, most of the time Uranus is the planet with the lowest temperature. The upper atmosphere is hidden behind a haze of methane and other particles through which no storms are visible.

Uranus rings are made up of small particles. In total, there are 2 inner and 11 outer rings formed during the explosion of ancient satellites.

One mission was sent to Uranus in 1986.

Neptune is the eighth planet that belongs to the external system. It was first discovered not so long ago - in 1846, it was given the name in honor of the god of the seas - Neptune. It quickly rotates around its axis - a complete revolution occurs in 18 hours. It is smaller than Uranus in size, but surpasses it in mass. Neptune is the farthest planet from the Sun.

Under its heavy atmosphere are hydrogen layers, methane gases and helium. In addition, there are ammonia, water and methane ice. Under the mantle is a rocky core.

Strong winds and powerful storms blow here. Around the giant rings spinning, consisting of particles of ice mixed with dust and carbon substances. Gravity around its surface is equated to Earth.

Neptune has 14 satellites. The attention of scientists was attracted by one of them - Triton - which is an icy desert. Particles of dust and nitrogen constantly come out of its surface.

One space mission was sent here in 1989.

Research missions

Since Galileo first laid eyes on Jupiter, scientists have continued to study it, both from the surface of the Earth and from space. The first mission was accomplished with the help of Voyager 1, which gave scientists more than 10,000 images of the planet as it flew by.

Jupiter and Europe through the eyes of Voyager 1

And when NASA's Juno spacecraft began spinning around Jupiter in 2016, it quickly began to send breathtaking images. Stunning paintings showed that the planet is even more wild than we once thought. Juno was able to provide startling data on which real flocks of cyclones were discovered rotating on the surface of a giant, the roots of which probably go deep beneath the upper bands of clouds.

Snapshot of Jupiter by Juno probe

More than one mission was sent to Jupiter, and there are at least two more plans to send: NASA’s Europe Clipper (which will start in the 2020s) and the European Moon Agency’s space agency, which will start in 2022 and will arrive into the Jupiter system in 2030 to study Ganymede, Callisto, and Europe.

“Pioneer 10” was able to reveal to us all the danger of the radiation belt of Jupiter, which exceeds the death threshold for humans by 1,000 times, and his follower, “Pioneer 11” allowed us to dive deeper into the secrets of the Great Red Spot. Other “brothers” “Voyagers” 1 and 2 were able to create extensive and detailed maps of the moons of Jupiter, showed us invisible rings, and also presented data on the nature of Io, whose surface is covered with volcanoes spewing sulfur, creating strong magnetic fluxes that have a significant effect on Jupiter . And “New Horizons” gave us a completely different look at the seething beauty of the gas giant.

The sun is the star of the solar system

The sun is a star located in the center of our system and is the basis of the layout of the solar system. Its mass is 1, 989 ∙ 10 30 kg, which occupies 99.86% of the mass of the system. The diameter of the star is 1.391 million km.It is a fireball. Thanks to the processes taking place in the core, a huge amount of energy is released.

The sun belongs to a number of stars called “yellow dwarfs”. Yellow are stars whose surface temperatures range from 5,000 to 7,500 K.

Sun structure

Considering the structure of the solar system, it is worth starting from its center, namely from the center of the sun. The luminary can be divided into several layers:

  1. Core. Hydrogen atoms break in the bowels, which is accompanied by the release of enormous energy. There also occurs the fusion of protons and neutrons into the nuclei of helium atoms. In the core, the temperature reaches 15 million K, which is 2.5 times higher than on the surface. The core extends 173 thousand km from the center of the sun, which is about 20% of the radius (what?) Of the star.
  2. Radiation area. In it, photons emitted by the nucleus wander about 200 thousand years and lose their energy due to collisions with plasma particles.
  3. Convection zone. It is similar to a boiling mass in which particles constantly rise to the surface located at the boundary of the radiation and convection zones. Here, the path of particles to the surface of the star takes much less time than the duration of the processes in the radiation zone. The convective zone extends from 70% and almost to the surface of the body.
  4. Photosphere. It has an extremely small thickness - only 100 km (compared with the size of the Sun - it really is a little). This is the visible surface of the star.
  5. The chromosphere is the inhomogeneous layer of the solar atmosphere, which is located directly above the photosphere. Here the temperature rises from 6,000 K to 20,000 K.
  6. The corona is the outer layer of the atmosphere. Due to the fact that its brilliance is much less than that of a star, the crown is not visible to the naked eye (without additional equipment, it is visible only during eclipses). The temperature here is the highest in the entire solar system - 1,000,000 K.


Watch the video: Solar System 101. National Geographic (March 2020).