Interesting Questions, Facts, and Information
Our Solar System
|If the Sun were reduced in size to 10 feet (3 meters) in diameter, approximately how far away would Pluto be, on average?||The Solar System
7 miles (11 km). By comparison, the Earth would be an average of 1,075 feet (328 meters) away. Pluto is not always the most distant planet. Because of its eccentric orbit, between 1979 and 1999 it was actually closer to the sun than Neptune.
1,300 mph (2,100 kph). Neptune is the windiest place in the solar system. Saturn comes in second with winds attaining speeds of 1,050 mph (1,700 kph).
|What is the measure of the tilt of Uranus' axis of rotation to its orbital plane?||The Solar System
84 degrees. Uranus is actually a rather odd planet. The axis of its magnetic field is tilted at 55 degrees from its axis of rotation, giving the field a corkscrew-shaped tail in the solar wind. Uranus is also the only planet in the solar system that spins toward the west.
|Who was the first person to determine that Saturn had a ring system?||The Solar System
Christiaan Huygens. In 1610 Galileo saw what he called 'handles' surrounding Saturn. In 1659, Huygens (the Dutch mathematician, astronomer, and physicist who founded the wave theory of light) used an improved telescope and determined that it was actually a ring structure. However, he mistakenly presumed it to be solid and very thick.
True . Jupiter's ring system, which is less than one kilometer in thickness, was not discovered until 1979 by the Voyager spacecraft.
Lake Baikal. Lake Baikal, located in Eastern Siberia, is also the deepest continental body of water, having a maximum depth of 5,315 feet (1,620 meters), and contains one-fifth of the Earth's freshwater.
243 days. Venus takes 225 Earth days to make a complete revolution around the sun. So it holds the distinction of being the only planet in the solar system whose day is longer than its year.
True . Because it is so close to the sun, Mercury's atmosphere is very thin, about one trillionth as thick as the Earth's, and contains small amounts helium, hydrogen, sodium, potassium, and oxygen.
15 million Kelvins. The extreme temperature and pressure at the sun's core permit the fusion of hydrogen nuclei into helium nuclei. In a single second, the sun will fuse 700 billion tons of hydrogen into helium.
Venus. Venus shines at -4 magnitude at its brightest.
Saturn. Saturn's density is less than the density of water, therefore it would float!
Mars. Olympus Mons is the largest volcano known in the Solar System. It is about the size of Arizona!
One. The Moon is the Earth's only natural satellite. The asteroid 3753 Cruithne is a near Earth asteroid in resonance with the Earth. There are three other known asteroids; 54509 200PH; 85770 1998UP; and 2002AA that share a resonance with the Earth as well.
Mercury. The Caloris Basin is a large impact basin, similar to ones seen on the Moon.
Earth. Canyon Diablo, also known as Meteor Crater is in Arizona. It is an meteorite impact site estimated to be about 50,000 years old.
Mars. Mariner Valley is a canyon some 16 miles deep and longer than the United States is wide.
Asteroid Eros. The Saddle was the name given to a certain area of the asteroid Eros as taken by the NEAR-Shoemaker mission.
Moon. Montes Alpes is located on the near side of the Moon, and is visible as early as the first quarter Moon.
Earth. North America is one of the seven continents (as if you didn't know).
Neptune. The Great Dark Spot was a storm on Neptune. When the Hubble space telescope looked at Neptune in 1994, the spot had disappeared, only to be replaced by another one in the northern hemisphere.
Moon. The straight wall is a geologic fault on the Moon.
Venus. Crater Mead is a large impact crater on Venus.
Mars. Olympus Mons is the largest known volcano in the Solar System.
|When a superior planet's elongation angle is 90 degrees in relation to the Sun as viewed from the Earth, it is said to be at?||Interesting Planetary Data
wanderer. Since the planets wandered across the sky, and the stars remained 'fixed', the word wanderer was applied to the planets.
The planet is on the same side of the Sun and closest to the Earth.. Opposition is usually the best time to observe the superior planets.
Conjunction. A superior planet cannot be viewed from the Earth when it is at conjunction.
a superior planet. Mars and all the outer planets are superior planets because they are farther from the Sun than the Earth.
an inferior planet. Only Mercury and Venus are inferior planets, in other words, they are closer to the Sun than the Earth.
|Which planet shares an orbit with two groups of asteroids, known as the Trojan Asteroids?||Solar system questions
Jupiter. Trojan asteroids are co-orbital with Jupiter, held in place with Jupiters high gravity.