The Solar System in brief

Sun Mercury Venus Earth Moon Mars Asteroid Belt Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Kuiper Belt Oort Cloud
Glossary On the Palm

Sun, THE star



A medium size, middle aged star
Has the 99.8% of the solar system mass, 70% hydrogen and 28% helium

Diameter: 1.39 e6 km
Mass: 1.99 e30 kg
Density: 1.41 g/cm
Age: 4.8 e9 years
Escape speed: 618 km/s
Typical surface temperature: 3800 K - 5800 K
Core temperature: 15.6 e6 K
Apparent magnitude: -26.8
Magnetic field: Strong
Equator rotation:  25 hours
Pole rotation:  36 hours
Planets: 8, 9 historically, 10 for others
1. Mercury, 2.Venus, 3. Earth, 4. Mars, 5. Jupiter, 6. Saturn, 7. Uranus, 8. Neptune, (9. Pluto), (10. 2003 UB313)

Mercury, the first planet



Looks like our Moon, has an high eccentric orbit and rotates slowly.

Polar radius: 2440 km
Equatorial radius: 2440 km
Mass:  3.3e23 kg
Density: 5.4 g/cm
Gravity:  3.7 m/s
Escape speed:  4.3 km/s
Typical surface temperature: 100 K - 700 K
Surface pressure:  0 bar
Magnetic field: faint
Axial tilt: 0 deg
Rotation: 1408 hours
Day:  4223 hours
Sun distance: 0.31 / 0.47 AU
Min Sun distance: 46e6 km
Max Sun distance: 70e6 km
Eccentricity: 0.21
Inclination:  7 deg
Revolution:  88 days
Albedo: 0.1
Apparent magnitude: -1.9
Rings: No
Satellites: 0

Venus, the second planet, the hot one



Has a similar size of Earth but with a dense carbon dioxide atmosphere with a pressure 92 times the Earth one. The rotation is very slow and retrograde.

Polar radius: 6052 km
Equatorial radius: 6052 km
Mass: 4.9 e24 kg
Density: 5.2 g/cm
Gravity:  8.9 m/s
Escape speed:  10.4 km/s
Typical surface temperature: 735 K (constant)
Surface pressure:  92 bar
Magnetic field: No
Axial tilt:  177 deg
Rotation: -5833 hours
Day:  2802 hours
Sun distance: 0.71 / 0.73 AU
Min Sun distance: 107 e6 km
Max Sun distance: 109 e6 km
Eccentricity: 0.0067
Inclination:  3.4 deg
Revolution:  225 days
Albedo: 0.7
Apparent magnitude: -4.6
Rings: No
Satellites: 0

Earth, the third planet, home



The planet with the greatest density.
The big moon is slowing down the rotation time by 17 microsec/year

Polar radius: 6357 km
Equatorial radius: 6378 km
Mass:  6 e24 kg
Density: 5.5 g/cm
Gravity: 9.8 m/s
Escape speed: 11.2 km/s
Typical surface temperature: 185 K - 331 K
Surface pressure: 1 bar
Magnetic field: Yes
Axial tilt: 23.45 deg
Rotation: 23.93 hours
Day: 24 hours
Sun distance: 0.98 / 1.01 AU
Min Sun distance: 147 e6 km
Max Sun distance: 152 e6 km
Eccentricity: 0.0167
Inclination: 0 deg
Revolution: 365.24 days
Albedo: 0.37
Rings: No
Satellites: 1
1. Moon

Moon, a piece of Earth ?



It's synchronous with the Earth showing always the same side.
Every year the distance from Earth increases by 4 cm

Polar radius: 1736 km
Equatorial radius: 1738 km
Mass: 7.3e22 kg
Density: 3.4 g/cm
Gravity:  1.6 m/s
Escape speed:  2.38 km/s
Typical surface temperature: 40 K - 396 K
Surface pressure:  0 bar
Magnetic field: No
Axial tilt:  6.7 deg
Min Earth distance: 363300 km
Max Earth distance: 405500 km
Eccentricity: 0.055
Inclination:  18 -29 deg
Revolution:  27.3 days
Albedo: 0.12
Apparent magnitude: -12.7
Rings: No
Satellites: 0

Mars, the forth planet, the red one



It has Olympus the taller mountain in the solar system, three times the Everest

Polar radius: 3375 km
Equatorial radius: 3397 km
Mass: 6.42 e23 kg
Density: 3.9 g/cm
Gravity:  3.7 m/s
Escape speed:  5.03 km/s
Typical surface temperature: 186 K - 268 K
Surface pressure:  6 mbar
Magnetic field: No
Axial tilt:  25.2 deg
Rotation:  24.6 hours
Day:  24.7 hours
Sun distance: 1.38 / 1.65 AU
Min Sun distance: 207 e6 km
Max Sun distance: 249 e6 km
Eccentricity: 0.0935
Inclination:  1.9 deg
Revolution: 687 days
Albedo: 0.15
Apparent magnitude: -2.9
Rings: No
Satellites: 2
1. Phobos, 2. Deimos

Asteroid Belt, a missed planet ?



A multitude of asteroids in a doughnut shaped zone at about 2 - 3.5 AU from Sun

The bigger three:
Ceres Pallas Vesta
Max diameter: 960 km
Mass: 8.7 e17 kg
Rotation: 9.1 hours
Min Sun distance:  2.54 AU
Max Sun distance: 2.99 AU
Eccentricity: 0.0789
Inclination:  10.6 deg
Revolution: 4.60 years
Max diameter: 570 km
Mass: 3.2 e17 kg
Rotation: 7.8 hours
Min Sun distance:  2.14 AU
Max Sun distance: 3.41 AU
Eccentricity: 0.2299
Inclination: 34.84 deg
Revolution: 4.61 years
Max diameter: 530 km
Mass: 3  e17 kg
Rotation: 5.3  hours
Min Sun distance:  2.15 AU
Max Sun distance: 2.57 AU
Eccentricity: 0.0895
Inclination: 7.14 deg
Revolution: 3.63 years

Jupiter, the fifth planet, the bigger



A gas giant, ~ 75% hydrogen and ~ 25% helium
The Great red spot on it is a tempest larger then the Earth and hundreds of years old.
It has the fastest rotation speed, a day is less that 10 hours.
The moon Io has the most active volcanoes.
The moon Europa could have an ocean under the ice
The moon Ganymede is the largest of the Solar System

Polar radius: 66854 km
Equatorial radius: 71492 km
Mass: 1.9 e27 kg
Density: 1.33 g/cm
Gravity: 24.8 m/s
Escape speed: 59.5 km/s
Typical temperature: 125 K
Magnetic field: Strong
Axial tilt:  3.1 deg
Rotation:  9.93 hours
Sun distance: 4.94 / 5.45 AU
Min Sun distance: 741 e6 km
Max Sun distance: 817 e6 km
Eccentricity: 0.0489
Inclination: 1.3 deg
Revolution: 11.86 years
Albedo: 0.52
Apparent magnitude: -2.9
Rings: Yes
Satellites: 63
1. Metis, 2. Adrastea, 3. Amalthea, 4. Thebe, 5. Io, 6. Europa, 7. Ganymede, 8. Callisto, 9. Themisto, 10. Leda, 11. Himalia, 12. Lysithea, 13. Elara, 14. S/2000 J11, 15. Iocaste, 16. Praxidike, 17. Harpalyke, 18. Ananke, 19. Isonoe, 20. Erinome, 21. Taygete, 22. Chaldene, 23. Carme, 24. Pasiphae, 25. S/2002 J1, 26. Kalyke,  27. Magaclite, 28. Sinope, 29. Callirrhoe, 30. Euporie, 31. Kale, 32. Orthosie, 33. Thyone, 34. Euanthe, 35. Hermippe, 36. Pasithee, 37. Eurydome, 38., Aitne, 39. Sponde, 40. Autonoe , 41. S/2003 J1, 42. S/2003 J2, 43. S/2003 J3, 44. S/2003 J4, 45. S/2003 J5, 46. S/2003 J6, 47. S/2003 J7, 48. S/2003, J8, 49. S/2003 J9, 50. S/2003 J10, 51. S/2003 J11, 52. S/2003 J12, 53. S/2003 J13, 54. S/2003 J14, 55. S/2003 J15, 56. S/2003 J16, 57. S/2003 J17, 58., S/2003 J18, 59. S/2003 J19, 60. S/2003 J20, 61. S/2003 J21, 62. S/2003 J22, 63. S/2003 J23

Saturn, the sixth planet, the lord of the rings



A gas giant, ~ 75% hydrogen and ~ 25% helium
It's the least dense planet, less that water.
The moon Titan has a dense nitrogen atmosphere

Polar radius: 54364 km
Equatorial radius: 60268 km
Mass: 5.68 e26 kg
Density: 0.69 g/cm
Gravity: 10.4 m/s
Escape speed: 35.5 km/s
Typical temperature: 95 K
Magnetic field: Yes
Axial tilt: 26.7 deg
Rotation: 10.66 hours
Sun distance: 9 / 10.1 AU
Min Sun distance: 1.35 e9 km
Max Sun distance: 1.51 e9 km
Eccentricity: 0.0565
Inclination: 2.49 deg
Revolution: 29.5 years
Albedo: 0.47
Apparent magnitude: 0.5
Rings: Yes
Satellites: 47
1. Albiorix, 2. Atlas, 3. Calypso, 4. Dione, 5. Enceladus, 6. Epimetheus, 7. Erriapo, 8. Helene, 9. Hyperion, 10. Iapetus, 11. Ijiraq, 12. Janus, 13. Kiviuq, 14., Mimas, 15. Methone, 16. Mundilfari, 17. Paaliaq, 18. Narvi, 19. Pan, 20. Pallene, 21. Pandora, 22. Phoebe, 23. Polydeuces, 24. Prometheus, 25. Rhea, 26., Siarnaq, 27. Skadi, 28. Suttung, 29. Tarvos, 30. Telesto, 31. Tethys, 32. Thrym, 33. Titan, 34. Ymir, 35. S/2004 S7, 36. S/2004 S8, 37. S/2004 S9, 38. S/2004, S10, 39. S/2004 S11, 40. S/2004 S12, 41. S/2004 S13, 42. S/2004 S14, 43. S/2004 S15, 44. S/2004 S16, 45. S/2004 S17, 46. S/2004 S18, 47. ?

Uranus, the seventh planet, the rolling one



The rotation axis is horizontal
It's mainly made of rock and ice with a ~ 15% hydrogen in mass.
The huge atmosphere is 83% hydrogen and 15% helium.

Polar radius: 24973 km
Equatorial radius: 25559 km
Mass: 8.7 e25 kg
Density: 1.27 g/cm
Gravity: 8.87 m/s
Escape speed: 21.3 km/s
Typical temperature: 57 K
Magnetic field: Yes
Axial tilt: 97.8 deg
Rotation: -17.24 hours
Sun distance: 18.3 / 20 AU
Min Sun distance: 2.74 e9 km
Max Sun distance: 3 e9 km
Eccentricity: 0.04717
Inclination: 0.77 deg
Revolution: 84 years
Albedo: 0.51
Apparent magnitude: 5.3
Rings: Yes
Satellites: 27
1. Cordelia, 2. Ophelia, 3. Bianca, 4. Cressida, 5. Desdemona, 6. Juliet, 7. Portia, 8. Rosalind, 9. S/2003 U2, 10. Belinda, 11. 1986 U10, 12. Puck, 13. S/2003, U1, 14. Miranda, 15. S/2001 U3, 16. Ariel, 17. Umbriel, 18. Titania, 19. Oberon, 20. Caliban, 21. Stephano, 22. Trinculo, 23. Sycorax, 24. S/2003 U3, 25., Prospero, 26. Setebos, 27. S/2001 U2

Neptune, the eight and last planet, the blue one



It's mainly made of rock and ice with a ~ 15% hydrogen in mass.
It has the fastest winds in the solar system

Polar radius: 24341 km
Equatorial radius: 24764 km
Mass: 1.02 e26 kg
Density: 1.64 g/cm
Gravity: 11.2 m/s
Escape speed: 23.5 km/s
Typical temperature: 59 K
Magnetic field: Yes
Axial tilt: 28.3 deg
Rotation: 16.1 hours
Sun distance: 29.6 / 30.3 AU
Min Sun distance: 4.44 e9 km
Max Sun distance: 4.55 e9 km
Eccentricity: 0.0113
Inclination: 1.77 deg
Revolution: 163.7 years
Albedo: 0.41
Apparent magnitude: 7.8
Rings: faint
Satellites: 13
1. Naiad, 2. Thalassa, 3. Despina, 4. Nereid, 5. Galatea, 6. Larissa, 7. Proteus, 8. Triton, 9. S/2002 N1, 10. S/2002 N2, 11. S/2002 N3, 12. S/2002 N4, 13. S/2003 N1

Kuiper Belt, Pluto's home



A large amount of planetoids, asteroids and short-period comets in a doughnut shaped zone at about 30-50 AU from Sun

Some inhabitant:

Pluto (historically considered a planet):
Diameter: 2390 km
Mass: 1.25 e22 kg
Density: 1.75 g/cm
Gravity: 0.58 m/s
Escape speed: 1.2 km/s
Typical surface temperature: 40 - 50 K
Axial tilt:  123 deg
Rotation:  153 hours
Sun distance: 29.6 / 49.2 AU
Min Sun distance: 4.44 e9 km
Max Sun distance: 7.38 e9 km
Eccentricity: 0.249
Inclination: 17.2 deg
Revolution:  247.7 years
Albedo: 0.6
Apparent magnitude: 14
Satellites: 3
Rings: No
Its moon Charon:
Diameter: 1250 km

Ixion:
Diameter: ~ 1050 km
Sun distance: 43 AU
Inclination: 20 deg

Quaoar:
Diameter: ~ 1250 km
Sun distance: 42 AU
Revolution: 285 years
Eccentricity: 0.04
Inclination: 8 deg

Varuna:
Diameter: ~ 900 km
Sun distance: 41-45 AU
Albedo: 0.07
Inclination: 20 deg

2002 AW197:
Diameter: ~ 900 km
Sun distance: 48 AU
Albedo: 0.1
Inclination: 20 deg

2003 EL61:
Diameter: ~ 1700 km
Sun distance: 35-52 AU
Revolution: 285 years
Albedo: 0.65
Inclination:  28 deg
Satellites: 2

2003 UB313: (the bigger ?)
Diameter: ~ 2400 km
Sun distance: 38-97 AU
Revolution: 560 years
Inclination:  44 deg
Satellites: 1

2004 DW Orcus:
Diameter: ~ 1600 km
Sun distance: 30-45 AU
Revolution: 248 years
Eccentricity: 0.22
Inclination:  21 deg

2005 FY9:
Diameter: ~ 1700 km
Sun distance: 39-52 AU
Revolution: 307 years
Inclination:  29 deg

Oort Cloud, the comet's home



A spherical shaped zone from 5000 AU to 100000 AU, or so, faraway from Sun
Long-period comets, asteroids and planetoids come from here
A scattered doughnut shaped zone extends from 50 AU to 5000 AU

Sedna: (in the scattered zone)
Diameter: ~ 1500 km
Sun distance: 75-900 AU
Revolution: 10500 years

Glossary:

Albedo: a misure for absolute luminosity; from zero black to one white

Apparent magnitude: how luminous seems from Earth, more negative more luminous

AU: Astronomical Unit  = 150 e6 km; 1 AU = mean Earth-Sun distance

Axial tilt: the inclination of the axis respect to the orbit

deg: degree, 360th of a circumference

e6: 1 000 000

e9: 1 000 000 000

Eccentricity: zero for circle, higher values for ellipse

Escape speed: velocity necessary to abandon the body from surface

Inclination: the inclination of the orbit

K: Kelvin, 273 K = 0 C

g/cm: grams per centimeter cube = kilograms per litre

Revolution: the time for a whole orbit

Rotation: time to rotate around its axis


Disclaimers:
THE AUTHOR PROVIDES THIS INFORMATION ON AN "AS-IS" BASIS.
THE AUTHOR MAKES NO WARRANTIES REGARDING THE INFORMATION PROVIDED, AND DISCLAIMS LIABILITY FOR DAMAGES RESULTING FROM ITS USE.

Credits:
Sun and planets images: "Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech."
Infos and images sources: NASA, Caltech, JPL, USGS

Web sources:
http://maps.jpl.nasa.gov
http://onearth.jpl.nasa.gov
http://solarsystem.nasa.gov
http://www.nineplanets.org
http://pds.jpl.nasa.gov/planets
http://www.gps.caltech.edu/~mbrown
http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/index.html
http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/planetfact.html
http://astrogeology.usgs.gov/Projects/Clementine/index.html


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Updated on 25 April 2006