Posts Tagged ‘life’

Jupiter – The Big Gas Giant.

March 28, 2011

Jupiter is next in line, being the 5th planet from the Sun. But before we arrive at Jupiter we have to travel through a big asteroid belt. Sigh.
Only one of these asteroids, Vesta, is ever visible to the naked eye, and it’s not got the largest diameter! That would belong to Ceres, which is as much as 900 kilometers (560 miles) wide.

You’re VERY unlikely to get hit by an asteroid if you were to travel through an asteroid belt though…

Well that’ll do, they can get pretty boring when all the excitement of Jupiter awaits.


What a beast. He/She/It ‘s (Jupiter is named after the King of the Gods from Greek Mythology) 142 984 kilometers in diameter across the equator and 43128×1015 km3 in volume. (That’s 1321.3 Earths!) And if that’s not enough, he’s
2.5 times the mass of all the other planets in our solar system!

He’s got 63 moons! But only 4 of these are large enough to be commonly sighted.

Jupiter is primarily composed of hydrogen with a quarter of its mass being helium; it may also have a rocky core of heavier elements.

NASA are planning on sending out a spacecraft to orbit Jupiter in August 2011.
For more information:

Oo ‘ello, what have we here then?

Jupiter has a giant red spot, if you haven’t noticed already…

It’s basically a high pressure equivalent of a hurricane on Earth, it’s said to have been going for at least 300 years.

Jupiter orbits the sun at 13km per second.
It’s mean surface temperature is -150 degrees Celsius.

Everybody’s favourite planet (apart from probably Mercury) – Earth!

March 23, 2011

Earth… perhaps the most unknown planet in our solar system. So what is there to know about this obscure planet?

What makes Earth special is that it is in something called the ‘Goldilocks zone’. This means that it is just the right distance from the sun to be neither too hot nor too cold, allowing it to support liquid water. This is essential for life, and is partially why Earth is the only planet we know of to date to support life.

The element most present in the Earth’s composition, by mass is in fact Iron, making up 34.6% of Earth, followed by Oxygen and then Silicon.

Earth is the only planet in our solar system not named after Greek or Roman mythology- instead Earth’s name has its roots in Old English and Germanic dialects.

Most of the mass of the earth is in the viscous liquid mantle, followed by the semi-fluid outer core and solid iron inner core. The crust only makes up a very small portion of the Earth as a whole.

Earth differs from other terrestrial planets in the solar system in the way its crust floats as plates on top of the mantle.

The Earth’s crust is mainly made up of quartz.

The Earth’s core can reach temperatures of 7500K in the centre, exceeding those on the surface of the sun.

The Earth is denser than any other major body in the solar system.

In fairly short periods of time (only about 500000000 years or so) the Earth’s surface will actually be completely destroyed and recreated, so no traces of the early earth are left on the surface today. 

Without life on Earth Oxygen probably wouldn’t exist, due to its reactivity. As it is it makes up about 21% of the Earth’s atmosphere, Nitrogen being the most abundant gas at 77%

And, just for you Ieuan-

            Socialists live on Earth.

Feeling Hot?

March 21, 2011

I like Venus, But I feel it gets a bad rep, it’s always left out in exploration voyages and in sci-fi it’s never populated by people, even when Mars and Mercury are.

There is a reason for this; Venus is the hottest planet in the whole solar system (around 460 degrees Celsius), despite being further away from the Sun and having a remarkably similar composition to Earth.

This is because it has a load of super reflective gas clouds on its surface made form none other than our good friend H2SO4 (sulphuric acid).

You can see the cloud formations on Venus' surface.


Fun facts:
It has the densest atmosphere of any planet in the solar system, composed mainly of Carbon Dioxide.

It’s also roughly the same size as Earth.

It’s named after the Roman Goddess of love and beauty.

Scientists think it used to have Earth-like seas before it got too hot.