88 Mind-Boggling Facts about Planets and their Moons

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76Black spot on Jupiter

Black spot on Jupiter

In 2009, a new black spot about the size of the Pacific Ocean appeared in Jupiter’s southern hemisphere.

77. It might rain liquid neon on Jupiter

78. In 2011, a 14-year-old amateur astronomer named Laurent V. Joli-Coeur from Canada proved that Jupiter is bright enough to cast shadows on Earth.

79. An exoplanet known as J1407 is a planet with a ring system so huge that it is 200x larger than Saturn’s. If it took the place of Saturn in our solar system, its rings would be brighter and more prominent than the moon in the Earth’s sky.

80. Because Jupiter is so heavy and far away, that the Sun also orbits Jupiter. And Jupiter orbits a point outside of the sun itself. This is called the 'Barycenter'.

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81Cassini spacecraft

Cassini spacecraft

When the spacecraft Cassini sent a probe to Saturn's moon Titan, the European Space Agency forgot to turn on a receiver and thus missed half of the images.

82. Uranus is the coldest planet in our solar system, even though Neptune is farther from the sun.

83. "Triton", Neptune's largest moon, has geysers that shoot ice 5 miles high and may be geologically active.

84. Triton will one day be destroyed by the gravitational forces of Neptune and the resulting debris will give Neptune a ring system similar to Saturn.

85. The Voyager missions were timed to take advantage of a unique planetary arrangement that allowed flight time to Neptune to be reduced from 30 years to 12. This alignment occurs once every 175 years.

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86Haumea dwarf planet

Haumea dwarf planet

There exists a dwarf planet, Haumea, past the orbit of Neptune that is the fastest spinning planet or dwarf planet in our Solar System by far. Haumea is a third of the mass of Pluto but spins once every 3.5 hours on its axis. This speed puts a lot of stress on the dwarf planet and makes it look like an ellipsoid. It is spinning so fast that Haumea is twice as long as it is wide (like a lentil).

87. The surface gravities of Venus, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are all quite similar (within 15%) to Earth's. Thus, the majority of planets in our solar system actually have Earth-like surface gravity.

88. Neptune has only completed one orbit of the Sun since its discovery in 1846.

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