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Planets and Solar System

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 06:29 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 68.5 
  • Words: 1981
  • Essay Grade: 3,00 /5 (2 Graders)
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"A planet is a celestial body that revolves around a

central star and does not shine by its own light " (Grolier,

1992).   The only planetary system that is known to man is our

solar system.   It is made up of nine planets which range in size

and make-up.   The nine major planets in our solar system are

Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and

Pluto.   There are also many other minor planets which are also in

our solar system, but they are unimportant compared to the nine

major planets.   In this paper I will discuss the planets and how

they are each unique.

    Mercury which is the planet that is closest to the sun is

the first planet I will discuss.   Mercury is the smallest of the

inner planets.   It is speculated that the heat from the sun made

it impossible for the gases present to become part of the

planetary formation.   The surface of Mercury is extremely hot.

It is approximately 470 degrees celsius on the surface and is

thought to be even hotter at the two " hot spots."   These " hot

spots " are on opposite ends of the equator.   It is the heat of

the surface that makes it impossible for Mercury to have any type

of atmosphere.

    Mercury orbits the sun once every 88 days and has a true

rotation period of 58.6 days.   " It is the closest planet to the

sun and therefore orbits faster than any other planet "

(Thompson/Turk, 542, 1993).   It is said that Mercury rotates

three times for every two trips around the sun, so that during

                                                              Planets   3

every alternate perihelon passage the same face points directly

at the sun.   " Geologically, the most remarkable features of

Mercury are compressional cliffs or faults, just the sort...


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