Our solar system has eight planets that gracefully orbit the Sun. All of these planets have unique features, especially the four largest—Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
Jupiter, one of the four largest planets, is located fifth from the Sun. 11 times broader than Earth, Jupiter has clouds that are white and orange. The wind on Jupiter is strong enough to move these orange clouds in one direction and the white ones in another, which is why this planet appears to have stripes. On its surface, Jupiter also has a storm twice the size of Earth that swirls like a hurricane. Astronomers named this storm “The Great Red Spot.” Jupiter also features two moons called Ganymede and Callisto, which are larger than Mercury.
Saturn, another of the largest planets, is sixth from the Sun and has thousands of thin rings orbiting it. These rings are comprised of ice, rock, and dust and can be seen from Earth. Saturn features butterscotch-colored clouds and a moon called Titan, which is wider than Mercury. Titan’s gravity is strong enough that it has an atmosphere of gas; other moons do not have sufficient gravity to have atmospheres, because the gas around them leaks out into space.
Uranus is also one of the four biggest planets. Four times larger than Earth and the seventh farthest from the Sun, Uranus has chemicals in the air surrounding it that make it appear green. This planet is unique because it is a ‘sideways planet,’ which means it is titled and spins on its side. For half of its orbit, Uranus’ north pole faces the Sun while its south pole does not. For the other half of its orbit, Uranus spins and its south pole faces the Sun while its north pole does not.
The last of the biggest planets is Neptune, which is the eighth planet from the Sun. Nearly as large as Uranus, Neptune also has a storm called “The Great Dark Spot.” Neptune has winds that blow at speeds over 1,200 miles per hour. This impressive planet has more than eight moons, the biggest of which is called Triton. Because of the close distance between Neptune and Triton, astronomers believe that this moon may even smash into Neptune some time in the future.
While we clearly know much about these four massive planets, astronomers suggest that there is still much to discover about them.
[Source: Solar System]
You Can Learn More About Your Solar System and the Four Smallest Planets Here!