100 Interesting Facts About Planets and their Moons

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516 Russian probes

6 Russian probes

From 1975-82, Russia had six probes land on the surface of Venus, surviving temperatures of 855 °F and successfully taking photos.

52. The Mariner 1 probe, which was meant to orbit Venus, failed because of a missing hyphen in a line of code, making it the most expensive typo in the history.

53. The Soviet Venera landings revealed that the surface of Venus is essentially basaltic in composition based on geochemical measurements and morphology of volcanic flows.

54. In 2012, a sleepy Air Canada pilot mistook the planet Venus for an oncoming plane and sent his Air Canada jet into a steep dive that bounced passengers off the ceiling, injuring 16, and nearly caused a collision with a real plane flying 1,000 feet lower.

55. Venus spins on its axis so slowly (4 mph) that the average human could easily outwalk it.

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56USSR space program

USSR space program

The USSR were to first to launch a satellite into orbit, launch a man into space, launch a woman into space, the first spacewalk, put the first man-made object on the moon, made the first soft landing on the moon, the first landing on another planet, had several probes transmitting from Venus, had the first space station and the first long-duration space station. For a country that supposedly lost the space race those are a lot of firsts.

57. In 2013, India’s army watched “Chinese spy drones” violating its airspace for six months. They later found out they were actually watching Jupiter and Venus.

58. The planet Venus is nearly identical in size to Earth. Their radius’ differ in size by only 201 miles, with Earth being the larger.

59. There is a giant tornado the size of Europe, with two separate and independently-moving eyes at different altitudes, over the south pole of Venus.

60. Astronomer Percival Lowell believed that he was the first person to observe canals on Venus, but because of a faulty adjustment of the eyepiece of his telescope, he was, in fact, looking at the blood vessels in his own eye.

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61Mapping of Alaska

Mapping of Alaska

Alaska has finally been mapped as precisely as Mars.

62. The asteroid impact that killed the dinosaurs was powerful enough to send Earth rocks to Mars and even Europa. As a result, if we ever find life on those worlds it may actually have originated on our own planet.

63. In 1997, 3 men from Yemen tried to sue NASA for invading Mars, claiming they had inherited it from their ancestors 3,000 years ago.

64. One of Mars's moons, Phobos, appears to rise in the west and set in the east twice each Martian day (because it orbits Mars faster than Mars rotates) and it will eventually either collide with the planet or break apart to form planetary rings.

65. Scientists believe that if all of the ice on the polar caps of Mars were to be melted, it would cover the entire planet with water to a height of 30 meters,

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66Practice of extreme isolation

Practice of extreme isolation

Researchers are practicing for a human mission to Mars by living in the heart of Antarctica to see the effects of extreme isolation.

67. The Mars Rover "Spirit" has several times been hit by dust devils on the surface of Mars. Each time it is left unharmed and its solar panels are actually cleaned by the storm and this event is known as the "Cleaning Event".

68. Mars' smallest moon, Deimos, has an escape velocity of 5.2M/S, meaning that if you took a running jump while on it, you will launch off like a slow rocket.

69. The Mars One project is seeking to colonize Mars by 2023. The astronaut/colonists will spend the rest of their lives on the red planet.

70. Meteorites that fell to Earth in Morocco during a meteor shower in July of 2011 have been confirmed to be from Mars. It was likely ejected off the surface of the planet during an ancient asteroid impact.

71Smiley face crater

Smiley face crater

There is a giant smiley-face shaped crater on Mars.

72. The Mars Opportunity rover, whose mission was planned to go for approximately 91 days, is still traveling across the Red Planet, having surpassed its duration of activity by 9 years and 94 days.

73. There is a large hole 150 meters across on Mars, who bottom has not yet been seen.

74. Enceladus, Saturn's 6th moon, has a warm ocean at its southern pole with ongoing hydrothermal activity the first ever discovered outside of Earth. This is the most life-friendly habitat ever discovered outside of Earth.

75. Saturn's moon Titan has such a dense atmosphere(1.5Atm) and such a low gravity (0.138G) that if you strapped wings to your hands you could easily fly.


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