::The 9 planets (or
was it 8, 9 or 10?)::
Moon is a
natural satellite of the Planet Earth:
Distance from Earth: 384,400 km
Diameter: 3476 km
Mass: 7.35e22 kg
Called Luna by the Romans, Selene and Artemis by the Greeks.
16 July 1969 UT 13:32:00 (09:32:00 a.m. EDT)
Landed on Moon: 20 July 1969 UT 20:17:40 (04:17:40 p.m. EDT)
Landing Site: Mare Tranquillitatis - Sea of Tranquility (0.67 N,
Returned to Earth: 24 July 1969 UT 16:50:35 (12:50:35 p.m. EDT)
Neil A. Armstrong, commander
Michael Collins, command module pilot
Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., lunar module pilot
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the closest planet to the Sun and the eighth largest. Mercury is smaller
in diameter than Ganymede and Titan but more massive.
orbit: 57,910,000 km (0.38 AU) from Sun
diameter: 4,880 km
mass: 3.30e23 kg
moon/satellites: No known!
Dar'n hot Planet!
In Roman mythology Mercury is the god of
commerce, travel and thievery, the Roman counterpart of the Greek god
Hermes, the messenger of the Gods. The planet probably received this
name because it moves so quickly across the sky.
Mercury has been known since at least the time of the Sumerians (3rd
millennium BC). It was given two names by the Greeks: Apollo for its
apparition as a morning star and Hermes as an evening star. Greek
astronomers knew, however, that the two names referred to the same body.
Heraclitus even believed that Mercury and Venus orbit the Sun, not the
Mercury has been visited by only one spacecraft, Mariner 10. It flew by
three times in 1974 and 1975
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is the second planet from the
Sun and the sixth largest. Venus' orbit is the most nearly circular of
that of any planet, with an eccentricity of less than 1%.
May be a suitable planet
for Terra when we have the technology, it will be a terrible hot place
orbit: 108,200,000 km (0.72 AU) from Sun
diameter: 12,103.6 km
mass: 4.869e24 kg
Venus (Greek: Aphrodite; Babylonian: Ishtar) is the goddess of love and
beauty. The planet is so named probably because it is the brightest of
the planets known to the ancients. (With a few exceptions, the surface
features on Venus are named for female figures.)
Venus has been known since prehistoric times. It is the brightest object
in the sky except for the Sun and the Moon. Like Mercury, it was
popularly thought to be two separate bodies: Eosphorus as the morning
star and Hesperus as the evening star, but the Greek astronomers knew
Since Venus is an inferior planet, it shows phases when viewed with a
telescope from the perspective of Earth. Galileo's observation of this
phenomenon was important evidence in favor of Copernicus's heliocentric
theory of the solar system.
The first spacecraft to visit Venus was Mariner 2 in 1962. It was
subsequently visited by many others (more than 20 in all so far),
including Pioneer Venus and the Soviet Venera 7 the first spacecraft to
land on another planet, and Venera 9 which returned the first
photographs of the surface (left). Most recently, the orbiting US
spacecraft Magellan produced detailed maps of Venus' surface using radar
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is the third planet from the Sun and the fifth largest:
This planet is inhabited
by a race who call them self "Human" i am not sure what the
difference is between the "Animals" and the "Humans"
but one thing is for sure, some of them kill to survive, other just do
it for fun or greed!
Just bypass this planet it's not ready for contact or interference
at this time, perhaps in the future or for about one hundred year from
no. Survival chance for the next millenium: 30%
orbit: 149,600,000 km (1.00 AU) from Sun
diameter: 12,756.3 km
mass: 5.9736e24 kg
Earth is the only planet whose English name does not derive from
Greek/Roman mythology. The name derives from Old English and Germanic.
There are, of course, hundreds of other names for the planet in other
languages. In Roman Mythology, the goddess of the Earth was Tellus - the
fertile soil (Greek: Gaia, terra mater - Mother Earth).
It was not until the time of Copernicus (the sixteenth century) that it
was understood that the Earth is just another planet.
Earth, of course, can be studied without the aid of spacecraft.
Nevertheless it was not until the twentieth century that we had maps of
the entire planet. Pictures of the planet taken from space are of
considerable importance; for example, they are an enormous help in
weather prediction and especially in tracking and predicting hurricanes.
And they are extraordinarily beautiful.
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is the fourth planet from the Sun and the seventh largest:
once so beautifully green and inhabitated Mars before the
human race ever existed was hit by a meteor, and all the surviving
escape to another place in the galaxy, our mother was left behind. Just
to tell us
when the time is right whom our ancestors were!
orbit: 227,940,000 km (1.52 AU) from Sun
diameter: 6,794 km
mass: 6.4219e23 kg
Moon/satellites: Phobos and Deimos
Mars (Greek: Ares) is the god of War. The planet probably got this name
due to its red color; Mars is sometimes referred to as the Red
Planet. (An interesting side note: the Roman god Mars was a god
of agriculture before becoming associated with the Greek Ares; those in
favor of colonizing and terraforming Mars may prefer this symbolism.)
The name of the month March derives from Mars.
Mars has been known since prehistoric times. It is still a favorite of
science fiction writers as the most favorable place in the Solar System
(other than Earth!) for human habitation. But the famous
"canals" "seen" by Lowell and others were,
unfortunately, just as imaginary as Barsoomian princesses.
The first spacecraft to visit Mars was Mariner 4 in 1965. Several others
followed including Mars 2, the first spacecraft to land on Mars and the
two Viking landers in 1976 (left). Ending a long 20 year hiatus, Mars
Pathfinder landed successfully on Mars on 1997 July 4 (right).
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is the fifth planet from the Sun and by far the largest. Jupiter is more
than twice as massive as all the other planets combined (318 times
The Huge Giant!
orbit: 778,330,000 km (5.20 AU) from Sun
diameter: 142,984 km (equatorial)
mass: 1.900e27 kg
moon/satellites: Metis, Adrastea, Amalthea, Thebe, Io, Europa,
(known in many Science Fiction books-Ganymede,
Callisto), Leda, Himalia, Lysithea,
Elara, Ananke, Carme, Pasiphae and Sinope
Jupiter (a.k.a. Jove; Greek Zeus) was the King of the Gods, the ruler of
Olympus and the patron of the Roman state. Zeus was the son of Cronus
Jupiter is the fourth brightest object in the sky (after the Sun, the
Moon and Venus; at some times Mars is also brighter). It has been known
since prehistoric times. Galileo's discovery, in 1610, of Jupiter's four
large moons Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto (now known as the Galilean
moons) was the first discovery of a center of motion not apparently
centered on the Earth. It was a major point in favor of Copernicus's
heliocentric theory of the motions of the planets; Galileo's outspoken
support of the Copernican theory got him arrested by the Inquisition. He
was forced to recant his beliefs and was imprisoned for the rest of his
Jupiter was first visited by Pioneer 10 in 1973 and later by Pioneer 11,
Voyager 1, Voyager 2 and Ulysses. The spacecraft Galileo is currently in
orbit around Jupiter and will be sending back data for at least the next
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is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second largest:
orbit: 1,429,400,000 km (9.54 AU) from Sun
diameter: 120,536 km (equatorial)
mass: 5.68e26 kg
moon/satellites:Pan, Atlas, Prometheus, Pandora, Epimetheus, Janus,
Tethys, Telesto, Calypso, Dione, Helene, Rhea, Titan, Hyperion,
Iapetus and Phoebe
In Roman mythology, Saturn is the god of agriculture. The associated
Greek god, Cronus, was the son of Uranus and Gaia and the father of Zeus
(Jupiter). Saturn is the root of the English word "Saturday"
(see Appendix 4).
Saturn has been known since prehistoric times. Galileo was the first to
observe it with a telescope in 1610; he noted its odd appearance but was
confused by it. Early observations of Saturn were complicated by the
fact that the Earth passes through the plane of Saturn's rings every few
years as Saturn moves in its orbit. A low resolution image of Saturn
therefore changes drastically. It was not until 1659 that Christiaan
Huygens correctly inferred the geometry of the rings. Saturn's rings
remained unique in the known solar system until 1977 when very faint
rings were discovered around Uranus (and shortly thereafter around
Jupiter and Neptune).
Saturn was first visited by Pioneer 11 in 1979 and later by Voyager 1
and Voyager 2. Cassini, now on its way, will arrive in 2004.
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is the seventh planet from the Sun and the third largest (by diameter).
orbit: 2,870,990,000 km (19.218 AU) from Sun
diameter: 51,118 km (equatorial)
mass: 8.683e25 kg
moon/satellites: Cordelia, Ophelia, Bianca, Cressida, Desdemona, Juliet,
Rosalind, Belinda, Puck, Miranda, Ariel, Umbriel, Titania, Oberon
Uranus is the ancient Greek deity of the Heavens, the earliest supreme
god. Uranus was the son and mate of Gaia the father of Cronus (Saturn)
and of the Cyclopes and Titans (predecessors of the Olympian gods).
Uranus, the first planet discovered in modern times, was discovered by
William Herschel while systematicly searching the sky with his telescope
on March 13, 1781. It had actually been seen many times before but
ignored as simply another star (the earliest recorded sighting was in
1690 when John Flamsteed cataloged it as 34 Tauri). Herschel named it
"the Georgium Sidus" (the Georgian Planet) in honor of his
patron, the infamous (to Americans) King George III of England; others
called it "Herschel". The name "Uranus" was first
proposed by Bode in conformity with the other planetary names from
classical mythology but didn't come into common use until 1850.
Uranus has been visited by only one spacecraft, Voyager 2 on Jan 24
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is the eighth planet from the Sun and
the fourth largest (by diameter). Neptune is smaller in diameter but
larger in mass than Uranus.
orbit: 4,504,000,000 km (30.06 AU) from Sun
diameter: 49,532 km (equatorial)
mass: 1.0247e26 kg
moon/satellites: Naiad, Thalassa, Despina, Galatea, Larissa, Proteus,
Triton and Nereid
In Roman mythology Neptune (Greek: Poseidon) was the god of the Sea.
After the discovery of Uranus, it was noticed that its orbit was not as
it should be in accordance with Newton's laws. It was therefore
predicted that another more distant planet must be perturbing Uranus' orbit.
Neptune was first observed by Galle and d'Arrest on 1846 Sept 23 near to
the locations independently predicted by Adams and Le Verrier from
calculations based on the observed positions of Jupiter, Saturn and
Uranus. An international dispute arose between the English and French
over priority and the right to name the new planet; they are now jointly
credited with Neptune's discovery. Subsequent observations have shown
that the orbits calculated by Adams and Le Verrier diverge from
Neptune's actual orbit fairly quickly. Had the search for the planet
taken place a few years earlier or later it would not have been found
anywhere near the predicted location.
Neptune has been visited by only one spacecraft, Voyager 2 on Aug 25
1989. Almost everything we know about Neptune comes from this encounter
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Degradation as a planet, the new name -134340
is the farthest
"planet-object" from the Sun
but not the smallest. Pluto is smaller than seven of the solar system's
moons (the Moon, Io, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto, Titan and Triton).
orbit: 5,913,520,000 km (39.5 AU) from the Sun (average)
diameter: 2274 km
mass: 1.27e22 kg
In Roman mythology, Pluto (Greek: Hades) is the god of the underworld.
The planet received this name (after many other suggestions) perhaps
because it's so far from the Sun that it is in perpetual darkness and
perhaps because "PL" are the initials of Percival Lowell.
Pluto was discovered in 1930 by a fortunate accident. Calculations which
later turned out to be in error had predicted a planet beyond Neptune,
based on the motions of Uranus and Neptune.
After the discovery of Pluto, it was quickly determined that Pluto was
too small to account for the discrepancies in the orbits of the other
planets. The search for Planet X continued but nothing was found. Nor is
it likely that it ever will be: the discrepancies vanish if the mass of
Neptune determined from the Voyager 2 encounter with Neptune is used.
There is no tenth planet.
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There is no 10't planet! Or is it? I think there is!?