On their tour through the solar system, the Voyager 1 & 2 probes both crossed into interstellar space around 11 billion miles from the sun. Within that distance lies the 8 planets we all know and love. Here are some fun facts about each of them!
- On average, Mercury is the closest neighbor to all other planets in our solar system!
- Venus rotates clockwise around its axis, which makes it ‘backwards’ from Earth’s counterclockwise rotation.
- Ocean tides are stay in one place, gravitationally locked to the moon. The solid earth rotates into these ‘bulges’, giving the illusion of a high tide or low tide.
- The largest volcano in the solar system, Olympus Mons, is on Mars and it is roughly the size of Arizona!
- Jupiter acts as the ‘Bouncer’ of the solar system, influencing which asteroids and rogue planets make it into the inner solar system.
- Saturn is the least dense planet in the solar system. If you had a pool big enough, it would float!
- Uranus acts like a wheel and rotates on its side, with a tilt of 98 degrees on its axis.
- Neptune was not first discovered by telescope, but predicted to be there by precise calculations be based on the movement of other objects. This was later confirmed by telescope in 1846.
Click on the links below to learn more about each of the planets and more!
Voyager – Interstellar Mission
Venus is not Earth’s Closest neighbor
Ocean’s Tides Explained (YouTube)
NASA’s Mars Exploration Program – Olympus Mons
Hubble’s Grand Tour of the Outer Solar System
Simulations Sort Though How Jupiter And Saturn Influence What Gets To Stay In Our Solar System
Solar System Exploration – Uranus
IMG CREDIT: NASA, JPL-Caltech, SSI, ESA, SwRI, JHUAPI, Mattias Malmer, Kevin M. Gill