Q:

What are characteristics of inner planets and outer planets?

A:

The inner planets of the solar system are small, rocky worlds that have very few moons. The outer planets are composed primarily of gases and are much larger than the inner planets. All four of the outer planets have a system of rings and are orbited by multiple moons.

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The four planets of the inner solar system, often called terrestrial planets, orbit much closer to the sun. Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars are composed of heavy metals such as nickel and iron, and all have a solid surface. The inner planets are much smaller than the gas giants found in the outer solar system, and each has either no moons or few moons.

The outer planets are gas giants, sometimes referred to as jovian planets. Unlike the inner planets, the gas giants are composed mostly of hydrogen and helium. Jovian planets lack a clearly defined boundary between the atmosphere and the planetary interior, although planets in the outer solar system are thought to possess solid or liquid cores. The outer planets comprise the bulk of planetary mass within the solar system. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are all orbited by numerous moons, and each planet has a complex system of rings comprised of dust and ice.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are some facts about the inner planets?

    A:

    The inner planets are composed of rock and metals, and possess a solid surface not found in the gas giants of the outer solar system. Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars are the four planets closest to the Sun, and all have molten metal cores and few moons.

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  • Q:

    What are the characteristics of the outer planets?

    A:

    According to Universe Today, the four outer planets of the solar system are all gas giants. This means they lack a conventional surface, and are made up of dense gases around a possible rocky or metallic core. These planets are called Jovian planets to distinguish them from the four rocky terrestrial planets closer to the sun.

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  • Q:

    What are planets made of?

    A:

    The inner planets, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars, are made up of silicate rock and heavy metals such as iron and nickel, whereas the outer planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, are made up mostly of gases, according to Universe Today. The outer planets are subdivided into gas giants, comprised mostly of hydrogen and helium, and ice giants, comprised mostly of methane, ammonia and water.

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  • Q:

    What are all the planets?

    A:

    The eight planets of the solar system are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. The four inner planets are terrestrial worlds, while the outer solar system consists of four gas giants sometimes known as the Jovian planets.

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