Planets of our Solar System: Jupiter

lets see what we got here, the biggest planet of our Solar System into which all other planets would fit with space to spare. It is Jupiter, named after Roman god of gods orJupiter.jpg Zeus in Greece mythology.

It is nine times wider than Earth but its mass is 1300 times larger. It is the fastest spinning planet, one day on Jupiter is 10 hours long which makes him 6% less like a circle. Mean distance from Sun is 800,000,000 km or 5.2 AU.

Jupiter is the closest gas giant, which means that he has no surface only thicker and thicker poisonous clouds with various gases. Darker parts are called zones and lighter belts, both of them are rotating in opposite directions. This process is powered by the internal heat of planet (Jupiter loses heat more than he receives) and by fast rotation.
On the picture you can see The Great Red Spot, it is on left of southern hemisphere. That is storm which lasts for decades but now we know that it is shrinking and eventually it will disappear. But for now it is stronger than any storms we ever hope to have on Earth with winds of over 500 km.

When we would dive beneath its deadly atmosphere we would appear in ocean of metallic hydrogen (hydrogen atoms that are sharing their electrons which makes them act as metal). Underneath we are not really sure but there can be solid core of metals and/or rocks.

While Jupiter is really large it is not even close to becoming star, it would have to be 12 times more massive. There exists a theory that Jupiter helps Earth by changing the pathway of comets and other stuff in space but on the other hand it could work in the same opposite way, but still we are not dead yet.

Juno (Hera) spacecraft is right now heading towards Jupiter. In the half of 2016 it will arrive and for 15 months it will collect the most accurate data that we ever had because of its close orbit.

For now there is 65 known moons orbiting Jupiter and I will definitely mention some of them in the future.


PS: be sure to check out Mercury, Venus and Mars!


Planets of our Solar System: Mercury

here it is, thing I wanted to do a long time: first post about first planet of our lonely Solar MESSENGER first photo of unseen side of mercury.jpgSystem.

Mercury, it is the first and closest planet to Sun. It means one simple thing, it is freaking hot.. but not always.. actually it is not that hot but you would die there, that´s for sure.

Mercury has second highest density of planets in our SS. Right after us. It has pretty big metal core and gravity there is almost the same as is on Mars which is much larger.

The name is same as for Roman god of messengers and travelers. It has strangest orbit of all planets, most elliptical since when you look on other planet´s it looks like circle. Here Mercury is moved by great distance: in Perihelion (close to Sun) it is 0,307 AU away but in Aphelion 0,467 AU. Also orbit is declined by 7° from Earth´s orbit.

This huge piece of rock has really weak exosphere and also really weak magnetosphere. Magnetosphere is probably so weak because axis of Mercury is only 0,1° declined while our is 23° or so… There is no stable atmosphere because Mercury can not hold it from solar winds.
Solar winds are so strong here that they are probably eroding planet´s surface.
Even that there are extreme temperatures so one would except that all water would evaporate but in cracks on poles there are actually tons of tons of water ice!
On the side turned towards Sun can be over 450°C while on the other there is below -170°.
Mercury is not geologically active. It´s year lasts 88 days and day 58 Earth days. This and elliptical orbit create really strange event. When it is about midday on Mercury, Sun stops and for few days it goes backwards and then again it goes in the right way.

Most craters are named by artists and one of them is named Tolkien. There is also one of the biggest craters in whole solar system with 1600 kilometers across and it is called Caloris Basin.

First satellite which mapped the surface was Mariner 10 but much better data was send by Messenger.