The planet Mercury was named by the Romans after their messenger god, Mercury. Mercury travels the fastest around the Sun, so it was fitting that they chose the god whose hat and shoes were winged, enabling him to move swiftly through the skies. The element known as Mercury was named after the planet.Know More
Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun, located at a distance of 36 million miles away. It makes one orbit around the Sun every 88 days. Mercury is also the smallest planet, only somewhat larger than the Earth's moon. It is considered one of the terrestrial planets and has a rocky surface covered with craters. Unlike most other planets, Mercury is surrounded by neither moons nor rings.
Mercury's atmosphere is thin and primarily made of hydrogen, oxygen, helium, sodium and potassium. One day on Mercury lasts 59 Earth days, which is how long it takes for the planet to spin once on its axis. During the day, temperatures here can reach as high as 800 degrees Fahrenheit, or 430 degrees Celsius. Once the sun sets, the temperature can decrease to as low as -290 degrees Fahrenheit, or -180 degrees Celsius. As of May 2014, no life has been found on Mercury, and researchers doubt that living things could survive in its climate.Learn More
Uranus has an effective temperature of -357 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature varies throughout the planet; the temperature of the cloud tops averages -371.2 degrees Fahrenheit.Full Answer >
The planet Jupiter has an average temperature of -238 degrees Fahrenheit, but temperatures can reach as high as 36,000 degrees in its rocky core. There are also clouds on Jupiter that reach temperatures as low as -280 degrees. These clouds cover the the entire planet and most likely consists of ammonia ice crystals that change to ammonia droplets at lower altitudes.Full Answer >
Because Venus has an axial tilt of only 2.7 degrees, it lacks the seasons found on both Earth and Mars. Venus also has a very thick atmosphere and suffers from a runaway greenhouse effect, meaning that the surface of the planet experiences no temperature variations whatsoever.Full Answer >
The dwarf planet Pluto has five satellites or moons. Their names are Nix, Styx, Hydra, Kerberos and Charon. Pluto's largest moon is Charon, which was discovered in 1978. Pluto is about a half size larger than Charon.Full Answer >