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The Planets

 
Mercury Venus Earth
Mars Jupiter Saturn
Uranus Neptune Pluto
 
For information on the number of known moons for each planet, click here.
 
Mercury
Mercury

The planet Mercury got its name from the Roman god of commerce and messenger of the gods. Mercury has no moons, and it is the planet closest to the Sun. The planet's distance from the Sun is 0.387 Astronomical Units (1 A.U. = 93,000,000 miles), or about 36 million miles away. It is much smaller than Earth, only a little bigger than 1/3rd the diameter of the Earth, and with a mass of only a fraction of that of the Earth's. It takes approximately 58.6 days to complete a rotation about its axis, and about three months to do a complete revolution around the Sun. Mercury's gravity is only about 40% of the Earth's gravity, so on Mercury, you'd weigh only 40% of what you weigh now.

 

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Venus
Venus

The planet Venus got its name from the Roman goddess of good fortune and femininity. Venus has no moons, and it is the second planet from the Sun, only Mercury is closer. It is 0.723 Astronomical Units (1 A.U. = 93,000,000 miles) away from the Sun, or about 67 million miles. It is approximately 95% the diameter of Earth, and has a mass equal to 80% of the Earth's. It takes about 225 days for one revolution around the Sun, and its period of rotation is about 8.2 months. The gravity on Venus is about 90% of the gravity of Earth.

 

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Earth
Earth

Earth is the planet we live on. Its name comes from the Anglo Saxon term for the home of the human species. It is the third planet from the Sun, and is about 93 million miles from the Sun. It has only one moon that takes 27.3 days to complete one revolution around the Earth. The Earth's rotation takes 24 hours, and it makes one complete revolution around the Sun every 12 months.

 

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Mars

Mars gets its name from the Roman god of war, and it is the fourth planet from the Sun and has two moons. It is 1.524 Astronomical Units (1 A.U. = 93 million miles), or 142 million miles away from the Sun. It is about half the diameter of Earth, and has a mass of approximately one tenth of the Earth's. It takes about 24.6 hours to make one full rotation, and almost two years to make one trip around the Sun. The gravity on Mars is about 40% of the gravity on Earth, so on Mars you'd only weigh 40% of what you weigh now.

 

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Jupiter
Jupiter

Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun, and its name comes from the supreme Roman god also known as Jove. Jupiter has at least 61 moons and is 5.203 Astronomical Units (1 A.U. = 93 million miles), or 490 million miles from the Sun. It is 11 times the diameter of Earth and has a mass 318 times that of Earth's. It takes about 10 hours for Jupiter to make one rotation and about 12 years for it to make its trip around the Sun. The gravity on Jupiter is 2.5 times the pull of the Earth's, making walking, standing and other ordinarily easy tasks very difficult.

 

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Saturn
Saturn

Saturn was named after the Roman god of harvests and is the 6th planet from the Sun. Saturn has at least 30 moons and is 9.555 Astronomical Units (1 A.U. = 93 million miles) or 890 million miles away from the Sun. It is 9.5 times the diameter of the Earth and has a mass 95 times that of Earth. A day on Saturn would be only 10.7 hours long, and it takes 29.4 years to make one trip around the Sun. The gravity on Saturn is the same as that on Earth.

 

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Uranus
Uranus

Uranus was the Greek personification of heaven, or father of the Earth. It is the 7th planet from the Sun. It is 19.218 Astronomical Units (1 A.U. = 93 million miles) or 1.8 billion miles from the Sun. It is 4 times the diameter of Earth but its mass is 14.5 times as much. A day on Uranus lasts only 17 hours, and its trip around the Sun takes almost 84 years. Uranus has at least 20 moons, and the gravity there is just slightly less than Earth's gravity.

 

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Neptune
Neptune

Neptune was named after the Roman god of water, and it has at least 10 moons. It is the 8th planet from the Sun, and it is 30.11 Astronomical Units (1 A.U. = 93 million miles) or 2.8 billion miles from the Sun. It is almost 4 times the diameter of the Earth and its mass is 17.2 times as much. Its rotation period is only 16 hours, and its revolution around the Sun takes 164 years. Its gravity is just slightly higher than Earth's.

 

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Pluto
Pluto

Pluto is named after the Greek god of the underworld, also known as Hades. It is the farthest planet away from the Sun, over 39.5 Astronomical Units (1 A.U. = 93 million miles) or about 3.7 billion miles from the Sun. It is only about 20% of the diameter of Earth and its mass is only 0.25% as much. Its period of rotation takes 6.4 days, and it takes 248 years to make it around the Sun. Its gravity is just 8% that of Earth's and Pluto has 1 moon, named Charon.

 

Views of the Solar System