In our cosmic neighborhood, the planets in our solar system would be our family. These two sets of roman and greek god named 4 rocky planets and 4 gaseous giants make up our solar system, each with its own unique characteristics. Below is the list of planets in our solar system, in order from away the sun, along with a unique characteristic:
1. Mercury: The planet, named after the most clever of the Greek gods, has wrinkles. Yes! You read that right, a planet with wrinkles. Now you might be flipping off thinking, "Oh boy, this blog is all hocus!", but hold on for a minute. Features on Mercury's surface known as Scarps were formed due to the cooling of Mercury's large iron core. As we know, a metal as it cools down becomes smaller in size. In a similar way, as the large metal core cooled down over the years, it started to contract, forming what we know see as wrinkles.
2. Venus: This scorching, vacation gone too wild of a planet, experiences acid rain regularly and has the highest surface temperature of any place in the Solar System. Scientists believe that Venus was once a habitable planet but experienced a runaway greenhouse effect about 700 million years ago. A runaway greenhouse effect is similar to a greenhouse effect, but a significant difference is, in a normal greenhouse effect, we still have the chance to stop it, but in a runaway one, the planet's doom is set in destiny.
3. Earth: Our home, is the place, as we know of so far, in the entire Universe, with a photosynthetic biosphere. In a sense, it means Earth is the only place that has the ability to harbor life, with an environment that has a light supply such that photosynthesis can occur and the solvent of life, water!
4. Mars: The Roman God of war, has over the years had 6 rovers successfully operate on it. From NASA's Sojourner (1997) to China's Zhurong (2021), we humans have had many attempts to land on this red world, out of which only 6 were successful. Namely NASA's Sojourner (1997), Opportunity (2004), Spirit (2004), Curiosity (2012), Perseverance (2021), and China's Zhurong (2021).
5. Jupiter: The largest planet in our solar system, can be called Earth's Guardian Angel. For billions of years, Jupiter has protected Earth from potential asteroid collisions. Due to Jupiter's large gravitational and electromagnetic field, it creates a sphere around Earth, such that it stops asteroids from crossing paths with the Earth.
6. Saturn: This strikingly beautiful planet, yet being so massive (more than 700 Earths can fit inside Saturn) has a density of 0.687 g/cm3, which means that it has less density than water. So hypothetically if we were to have a bath tube larger than Saturn and fill it with water and put Saturn inside the bath tube, it would float!
7. Uranus: No! I am not talking about the human body part, I am talking about the planet Uranus. This is the coldest planet in the Solar System, and each season on this planet lasts 42 years!
8. Neptune: Only visited by two spacecraft so far (Voyager 2 and New Horizons), this yet-to-be-discovered icy world is full of mysteries. For example, Neptune emits more radiation than what it gets from the Sun. From where can this extra heat be coming from? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below!