Home World The Outer Planets of our Solar System.

The Outer Planets of our Solar System.

The planets that orbit the sun on the other side of the asteroid belt are called the outer planets. Four of them-Jupiter, Sat- urn, Uranus, and Neptune–are also known as gas giants. Jupiter, the innermost planet among the gas giants, is larger than all the other planets in our solar system combined- and then some. This giant planet was fittingly named for the premier Roman god. With at least 63 orbiting moons, Jupiter can almost be likened to a sun at the center of its own miniature solar system. Much about the planet remains a mystery.

However, because even powerful space-based telescopes can- not see its surface. Which is obscured by perpetual cloud cover with streaks caused by raging storms. Saturn, the most distant planet visible to the naked eye, is noted for its brilliant rings. The remains of a torn-apart moon or asteroid which shine more brightly than the planet itself. Composed mostly of hydrogen and helium gas, Saturn has such a low density that it would float like a cork if dropped into water.

Uranus gets its blue-green glow from methane gas in its atmosphere and is composed almost entirely of hydrogen and helium. Its axis is uniquely tilted at 98°, possibly the result of a collision with an immense object. Its rings tilt sideways as well. Neptune, the smallest gas giant, has the most extreme weather of any planet in our solar system. With winds stronger than 1,200 miles an hour. The existence of Neptune was predicted mathematically before it was observed since gravity from a large body seemed to be affecting the orbit of Uranus. Neptune takes 164.8 Earth years to orbit the sun.

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