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Solar System

Geography and Science Themes

Scale of the Universe
Scroll in and out to see the relative size
of objects in the Universe

10 Cool Facts about our Solar System

1. All eight planets can be seen with a small telescope; or binoculars.

2. Venus is the brightest planet and can be seen without a telescope.

3. The earth has more water than it has land.

4. Mars is the home to the largest volcano in our solar system. It is almost 17 miles high.

5. Jupiter is the largest planet. All of the other planets could fit inside Jupiter. The red spot on Jupiter is the most violent storm in the Universe.

6. Saturn is the lightest of all the planets. Is also the second largest.

7. One year on Neptune lasts 165 Earth years!

8. Uranus orbits while lying on its side, because its axis is at 97 degrees.

9. Mercury and Venus have no moons. The Earth has 1 moon. Mars has 2 moons. Neptune has 14 moons. Uranus has 27 moons. Saturn has 62 moons (although only 13 of them are over 50km in diameter). Jupiter has 67 moons.

10. All of the outer planets, (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Uranus) have rings.


Mercury is the closest planet to the sun. A normal oven in a kitchen reaches 200 Degrees Celsius but Mercury can reach 400 Degrees Celsius !!


Venus is the closest planet to the Earth. Although it looks very beautiful from far away, its atmosphere is full of poisonous gases that trap the sun's heat. Venus is the brightest planet in our sky and can sometimes be seen with the naked eye if you know where to look. It is the solar system's brightest planet -- yellow clouds of sulfuric acid reflect the sun's light brightly.


Earth has more exposed water than land. Three quarters of the Earth is covered by water ! This is our lovely big house ! It is the only planet in the solar system that has life on it (that we know of !!)


Mars is known as the Red Planet. It is the home of "Olympus Mons", the largest volcano found in the solar system. It stands about 27 kilometers high with a crater 81 kilometers wide.

Asteroid Belt

This is a cluster of rocks that orbit the sun also. Scientists believe that they are left over from when the solar system was formed.


Jupiter is so big that you could fit all the other planets in the solar system inside it. Jupiter is the biggest of all the planets. It is made up of several types of gas. Its beautiful colours are made by constant wind and storms. The giant 'Red Eye' is a massive storm that has been raging for millions of years !! That red eye is at least three times the size of earth !


Saturn is the second biggest planet, but it's also the lightest planet. If there was a bathtub big enough to hold Saturn, it would float in the water ! The ring that surrounds Saturn could be the remnants of a moon that was shattered by Saturn's gravity. Saturn is similar to Jupiter; it is not solid, it is made up of gas.


Uranus is bluey-green in colour. Like Saturn, it has rings, which rotate around it. Uranus' axis is at a 97 degree angle, meaning that it orbits lying on its side! Talk about a lazy planet.


Neptune was discovered in 1846 (over 150 years ago). Since that time it has still yet to make a complete orbit around the sun, because one Neptune year lasts 165 Earth years ! Like Jupiter, Neptune has a dark spot caused by a storm. Neptune's spot is smaller than Jupiter's -- it is only about the size of the planet earth. Neptune is named after the Roman God of the Sea because of its sea-blue colour. Neptune is a gas planet too.

Trans-Neptunian Objects

Trans-Neptunian Objects are Planetoids / Dwarf Planets that are further from the sun than Neptune. These objects orbit the sun too. The biggest of these objects is Pluto, which is now considered by scientists to be a Dwarf Planet rather than a Planet.

Lots more info about
Trans-Neptunian Objects

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