Beyond Earth: 20 Remarkable Facts About Our Solar System

1Makemake

Makemake

Pluto is one of the five dwarf planets in our solar system, and the name of one dwarf planet is "Makemake."


2Pan

Pan

Not all moons are spherical. For example, Saturn has a moon named Pan that is shaped like a ravioli.


3Eris

Eris

Eris discovered in 2005, is more massive than Pluto and would have qualified as the 10th planet in the solar system until its discovery prompted the International Astronomical Union to formally define 'planet' with a size cutoff that also excluded Pluto.


44 Vesta

4 Vesta

4 Vesta is a minor planet located in the asteroid belt. It accounts for 9% of the total mass in the asteroid belt and has the tallest mountain in the solar system. Its Rheasilvia impact crater is 19 km (11.8 miles) deep with a central peak 23km (14.3 miles) above the surface of the crater.


5Earth

Earth

If Earth stopped spinning suddenly, the atmosphere would still be in motion with the Earth's original 1100 mile per hour rotation speed at the equator. All of the land masses would be scoured clean of anything not attached to bedrock.


6Uranus and Neptune

Uranus and Neptune

Uranus and Neptune are not "Gas Giants" as is commonly believed, but belong to a separate category of giant planets called "Ice Giants." This is because less than 20% of their mass is made up of hydrogen and helium. True gas giants like Jupiter and Saturn are over 90% hydrogen and helium.


7Venus

Venus

Venus is the second brightest object in the night sky, right after the moon. It is bright enough to be seen in the day, and cast a shadow at night.


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8Phobos

Phobos

Phobos orbits Mars fast enough that solar eclipses last about 30 seconds, and there can be two eclipses in a single day.


9Moon

Moon

The moon is moving away from earth at about the same rate as a human’s fingernails grow.


10Planets' sound

Planets' sound

Planets "emit sounds" by pulsing with radio waves, which can be picked up by radio antennae. The Earth's noise is sometimes referred to as Earth's "chorus" because it sounds a bit like birds chirping.

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