Rock Planets

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Hi reader of this post,

In our solar system, there are 4 rocky planets that are close to the sun. The rocky planet make up the planets of the inner solar system.

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The first of rocky planet is Mercury. Mercury is named after the roman god of communication and message. It is due to Mercury’s revolving around the Sun so quickly, leading to it being named after the messenger of the Roman Gods, who was fast. Mercury is famous for being the smallest and closest planet to the sun. Mercury is so small,that it is even smaller than some of the moons in the solar system such as Ganymde and Titan .Mercury has no atmosphere because it is too small and its gravity is not strong enough to hold an atmosphere together. It is also very close to the sun so the solar wind from the sun is very strong and can easily blow away any atmosphere on mercury.Without an atmosphere to retain heat, Mercury’s temperature ranges from 430°C in the day to -185°C at nightIt Mercury 3 days ( 1 days = time it takes for the planet to revolve once) for Mercury to revolve around the sun twice( 2 Mercury year). 1 Mercury day is 88 earth day wow that is long.Picture3

Cool fact about the orbit of Mercury is that it is not a circle but more of an oval.  Mercury has the most eccentric orbit out of all the planets. Eccentric is how uneven or unbalanced the orbit . Cool fact, furthest distance of  Mercury from the sun is 1.5 times the distance of Mercury when it is closest to the sun. this is proof of how unbalanced the orbit is.

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Second is the bright and beautiful Venus. Named after the roman goddess of love and beauty, it is by far the hottest planet in the solar system with temperatures reaching 430°C. It is mainly due to it’s thick atmosphere made up of mostly carbon dioxide that traps the heat.The symbol of Venus came from the hand mirror as Venus is seen as the goddess of love.Venus is also famously know as Earth’s twin as it slightly smaller in terms of size as compare to earth. Venus is by far one of the most inhospitable planets in the solar system as it rains acid rain.

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Venus is famously known as the morning or evening star as it can only be observed in the morning or the evening. When viewing Venus through a telescope, it is possible to view that the planet has phases on it like the moon. It would be closer to us if there is a crescent moon, making the object look bigger. However, it is difficult to observe Venus surface as it is covered by a thick layer of clouds.Picture6

 

Up next is the most awesome rocky planet of all, our one and onlyhome, Earth. It is the largest and most dense rocky planet  in the solar system. However, the earth is not a perfect sphere as it is thicker at the equator like an apple bulging at it’s side. 70 % of the Earth is covered in Water which is quite surprising as it the water did not come from earth but from comets filled with water hitting Earth. It is actually quite weird for the earth’s moon to be dis proportionally huge as compared to it’s planet with the moon being one-quarter the size of earth. Finally ,it is the only place in the solar system we know where life is possible.Picture7

 

What makes earth support life is because it is found in a habitable zone known as the Goldilocks zone.It is a zone where it is not too hot or too cold so that life can exist on the planet.This is a test that astronomers use to find planets outside of our solar system if they can support life.Picture8

An example of an exo-planet is Kepler-186f which is the first confirmed earth size planet found in the habitable Zone.It is about 10 % larger than our Earth and takes about 130 days to orbit it’s sun. Furthermore, it is 500 light years away in the constellation of Cygnus which is in our galaxy. As compared to how big galaxy’s length of 3 million light years, 500 light years is a small fraction but it is still quite far for us to travel.Picture9

 

The last of the rocky planet is Mars, who is named after the roman god of war. Mars redness comes from the layer of rust(Iron (III) Oxide) that covers it’s surface.Mars has the largest mountain in the solar system named Olympus Mon. (22 Km High) which is 3 times higher than Mount Everest at a height of 8,848 m high. It is due to it’s lower gravity that it is able to reach such great heights as compared to Earth. Like Earth ,Mars has two moons named Deimos and Phobos which is way smaller than Earth’s moon.Picture10

 

The recently sent mars rover curiosity has been a break through for man kind as the rover has discovered some interesting results. Interesting fact, it takes on average 14 minutes for earth to send a message to the curiosity rover on mars. That is due to the fact that it takes 14 minutes for light to travel from Earth to Mars. The Curiosity rover has found some chemicals such as oxygen, carbon and nitrogen, which are the building blocks of life.The rover also found clay minerals that suggest a the existence of water in the past.Picture11

Now humans, are planning on colonising Mars with the famous mars one project funded by private companies.

Mars One Project Timeline

  • On 2013, there would be a selection process for training. At the end only 6 teams of 4 people .
  • On 2015, Training would start with new selections every year.
  • 0n 2022, cargo is launched to Mars.( Two living unit, life support unit and supply unit)
  • On 2023, the rover would set up the outpost.
  • On 2024, Crew 0ne would depart and would take 210-day to Mars with the landing of crew one being on 2025.
  • On 2026 , a second crew would be launched with one crew being launched every 2 years.
  • They chose it to be once every two years when mars is closes to the Earth.
  • After this , the crew would have to spend the rest of their lives on MarsPicture12Picture13

Living there would not be easy however they plan on extracting water from the soil in Mars to get drinking water. They going to use plants to remove the carbon dioxide in the Martian atmosphere to convert it in to oxygen. Temperature on the equator of Mars is as cold as Norway which is about 10 °C. Crew one would consist of 4 people , preferable 2 male and 2 female so that they would consummate an produce martian children. So as to increase the lifespan of the project. Living on the mars one project would be a one way trip for any pioneer. However, I am sure that for whoever who go, it would be an experience of a life time.

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Current constellations visible

Here is our latest constellation update! Currently the Spring and Summer constellations are out and I will be going thru a few of them.

Scorpius (spring):

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This beautiful constellation is best recognized by its most prominent star, Antares, which is a red giant (the red-orangy dot in the photo). This constellation is located right in the plane of the milky way, in the Sagittarius arm.

 

Ursa Major (spring)

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The northern constellation, the Big Bear, with its famous asterism the Big Dipper. This asterism should be easy to spot even in a light polluted city.

 

Cygnus and the Summer Triangle (Summer)

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Cygnus is another northern constellation and it is the 16th largest constellations in the sky. Deneb, one of Cygnus’ star forms one of the vertices of the Summer Triangle. The 2 other vertices are Vega from the constellation Lyra and Altair from the constellation Aquila.

 

Sagittarius (summer) 

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Sagittarius lies in the milky way plane, beside Scorpius. It contains the asterism, the teapot. Interesting tip: you can see the constellation Corona Australis (Southern Crown) below Sagittarius :D

 

Crux (southern)

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Another beautiful constellation the Crux (Southern Cross). It is also known as the holy cross of the sky. Sadly, those who live in the northern hemisphere cannot observe the Crux. Interesting tip: you can find Rigil Kentaurus, the nearest star system closest to our Sun near the Crux.

Want to see more constellations??? Well go out there and observe them! Haha. Hope you like the pictures though, I took them hehe

Thats all for this post, see you again next time! ^^

Gas Planets of our solar system

Hello there again!!! This week’s post is a little recap on what we did during one of our last sessions where we touched on the topic of gas planets. The gas planets in our solar system are beautiful planets, but how much do we know about them?

First of all, we have 4 gas planets which are Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune (personally I like Neptune and Uranus the most :P)

So how do the gas planets come about? Let me tell you a little story about our solar system past…

Well in the very early days of the solar system, there were a lot of gas and dust. Some of those gas and dust form our sun and the remaining materials form a protoplanetary disk around the sun and the whole thing was known as the Solar nebula. Amazing isn’t it? ^^

Now there was an imaginary line called the frost line and any gas beyond the frost line will condense and freeze into icy balls. Our Sun was not what it used to be, in the past our Sun was younger and hotter. So the solar wind from our Sun was stronger and it blew the lighter elements such as Hydrogen and Helium out into the outer solar system. Remember the icy balls we mentioned earlier? Well the elements that got blown out got trapped by the icy balls’ gravity and they start to accumulate around the icy balls until they become……..Gas Planets!!! (Ta-Da) :D

Now that you know where the Gas Planets come from, lets talk about their structure, as you can probably guess, Gas planets are made up of Gas. But they also have a ‘rocky core’ made of rocks, molten metal and ice. The atmosphere of the gas planets extends all the way to the core, so there is no solid ground for you to stand on! 0.0

So you think you know more about the Gas planets? Well do you also know that there are different types of Gas Planets? There is the Traditional Gas Giant which are composed of Hydrogen and Helium and there is the Ice Giant which are composed of ‘ices’ (methane, ammonia, water).

Now we will move on to the Rings! A popular topic I suppose! Not going to be very detailed, just the very basics:

All the Gas Planets in our solar system has rings, not just Saturn. However, Saturn’s rings are the most beautiful and the most obvious because Saturn’s Rings consist of ICE while the other planet’s ones are made up of darker rocks. Since ice reflects more light so Saturn’s rings are the brightest! Do also check out this link where it shows you how it would look like if Earth has Saturn’s Rings (very cool): http://io9.com/if-earth-had-a-ring-like-saturn-508750253 

This year is a good year for planet gazing. This year, Saturn’s rings are titled so we can very beautifully observe them from Earth. And if u did not know, this year was the opposition of Mars (not a gas planet but just a little info for u ;) ). If you missed the opposition period, well… wait for the next one lol.

Well that was a mouthful! Thats all folks, we will update you guys again next time! ^^ see you~

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