15 Incredible Facts About Our Solar System
Our universe is one big amazing place that is yet waiting to be fully explored. In fact, new discoveries are made almost every day. Let’s have a look at a few these mind-blowing discoveries in our own neighborhood – our solar system.
1. Slower than a one-legged dog on tranquilizers.
Pluto takes 248 years to complete one lap around the sun.
2. Not the hottest in the neighborhood.
As Mercury is closest to the sun, we simply assume that it would be the hottest planet. This, however, is not the case. Mercury doesn’t have an atmosphere and no means of holding high temperatures. The neighborhood’s hottest hottie is Venus. Due to the thick atmosphere, its surface temperatures scan rise up to 863°F.
3. Every climber’s wet dream.
Forget about Mount Everest – Olympus Mons on planet Mars has the tallest peak in our solar system, nearly three times higher than Mount Everest. It’d about three times rougher to reach its peak as well.
4. Moons for everyone!
Moderation is a word that Saturn has simply never heard of. The planet doesn’t only have one moon satellite, but 150!
5. Enough time to call your mom.
Sunlight takes about eight minutes to reach Earth. Consequently, if the sun eventually explodes, we will have eight minutes to say our goodbyes.
6. It is still waiting in line for becoming a planet.
Ganymede, Jupiter’s moon, is the largest moon in our solar system. In fact, it is larger than Mercury, which is an actual planet. In Jupiter’s shadow, the envious Ganymede will wait until the time has come to claim its right.
7. Here comes the sun.
Although we do know many things about our sun, we often forget how massive it really is. In case you need to know for the next drunk debate about our universe: the sun accounts for 99.8% of our solar system’s mass.
8. Little dwarfs.
Together with Pluto, which is not a planet anymore, our system has five so-called dwarf planets. Where are the fairies and unicorns?
9. Odd one out.
Being a little diva planet, Venus couldn’t just do what all the other planets did. Instead of spinning clockwise, Venus had to be an individualist and spins counter-clockwise.
10. Unique Uranus.
While all planets rotate on an axis, they can be tilted to different degrees. Only Uranus rotates on a tilt of 98 degrees. Compared to the other planets, this means that it is basically rotating sideways.
11. Nothing but thin air.
Being the least dense of the solar system’s planets, Saturn’s density is even lower than water.
12. Out of shape.
We’ve come a long way from thinking that the Earth was flat. However, it is not completely round either. It’s actually called an oblate spheroid, meaning that top and bottom are slightly squeezed together, making it larger at the sides. So don’t worry – even Earth has muffin tops.
13. Mars is not the only one.
Mars is not the only planet or asteroid that could potentially host living organisms. Jupiter’s moon Europa (don’t get confused here) is covered in ice. What is more, scientists suspect that the layers of ice might be concealing an ocean.
14. Water, acid, diamonds.
On Earth, it rains water. On Venus, it rains acid. On Uranus and Neptune, however, it might just rain diamonds – due to a high concentration of carbon.
15. Oh mighty pizza moon!
Jupiter’s largest moon does not only look like delicious cheesy pizza but also has the most volcanoes in our solar system. Doesn’t sound very edible after all.