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The largest planets in the solar system



To determine how big a particular planet is, you need to take into account criteria such as its mass and diameter. The largest planet in the solar system is 300 times the size of Earth., and its diameter exceeds the earth by eleven times. A list of the largest planets in the solar system, their names, sizes, photos and what they are known for, read in our rating.


Comparative table of planetary characteristics

  •  Diameter, mass, length of day and orbital radius are relative to the Earth.

Planet DiameterWeightOrbital radius, a. e.Orbital period, Earth yearsDayDensity, kg / m³Satellites

9. Pluto, diameter ∼ 2370 km

PlutoPluto is the second largest dwarf planet in the solar system after Ceres. Even when he was one of the full-fledged planets, he was far from the largest of them, since his mass is equal to 1/6 of the mass of the moon. Pluto has a diameter of 2370 km and is made up of rock and ice. It is not surprising that it is quite cold on its surface – minus 230 ° C.

8. Mercury ∼ 4 km

MercuryA tiny world with a mass of almost twenty times less than the mass of the Earth, and a diameter of 2 ½ less than the Earth. In fact, Mercury is closer in size to the Moon than to the Earth, and today is considered the smallest of the planets in the solar system. Mercury has a rocky surface dotted with craters. The Messenger spacecraft recently confirmed that deep craters on the perpetually shadowed side of Mercury contain icy water.

7. Mars ∼ 6 km

MarsMars is about half the size of Earth and has a diameter of 6,792 km. However, its mass is only a tenth of the earth's. This not too big planet of the solar system, the fourth closest to the Sun, has an axial tilt of 25,1 degrees. Due to this, the seasons change on it, as on Earth. A day (sol) on Mars is equal to 24 hours and 40 minutes. In the southern hemisphere, summers are hot and winters are cold, while in the northern hemisphere there are no such sharp contrasts, where both summer and winter are mild. We can say ideal conditions for building a greenhouse and growing potatoes.

6. Venus ∼ 12 km

VenusIn sixth place in the ranking of the largest and smallest planets is a celestial body named after the goddess of beauty. It is so close to the Sun that it appears first in the evening and last to disappear in the morning. Therefore, Venus has long been known as the "evening star" and "morning star". It has a diameter of 12 km, which is almost comparable to the size of the Earth (100 km less), and 1000% of the mass of the Earth.

  •  The surface of Venus mainly consists of large plains of volcanic origin, the rest – of giant mountains. The atmosphere is composed of carbon dioxide, with thick clouds of sulfur dioxide. This atmosphere has the strongest greenhouse effect known in the solar system, and the temperature on Venus is kept at around 460 degrees.

5. Earth ∼ 12 km

EarthThe third planet closest to the Sun. Earth is the only planet in the solar system that has life. It has an axial tilt of 23,4 degrees, its diameter is 12 km, and its mass is 742 septillion kg.

  •  The age of our planet is very respectable – 4,54 billion years. And most of this time it is accompanied by a natural satellite – the Moon. It is believed that the Moon was formed when a large celestial body, namely Mars, impacted the Earth, causing enough material to be ejected so that the Moon could form. The Moon has had a stabilizing effect on the tilt of the Earth's axis and is the source of the ebb and flow of the oceans.

  •  “It is rather inappropriate to call this planet Earth, when it is obvious that it is Ocean” – Arthur Clarke.

4. Neptune ∼ 49 km

NeptuneThe gas giant planet of the solar system is the eighth celestial body closest to the Sun. The diameter of Neptune is 49 km, and the mass is 000 times greater than the earth. It has powerful cloud bands (they, along with storms and cyclones, were photographed by Voyager 17). The wind speed on Neptune reaches 2 m / s. Due to its great distance from the Sun, the planet is one of the coldest, with temperatures reaching minus 600 degrees Celsius in the upper atmosphere.

3. Uranus ∼ 50 km

UranOn the third line of the list of the largest planets in the solar system is the seventh closest to the Sun, the third largest and the fourth heaviest of the worlds. The diameter of Uranus (50 km) is four times the Earth's, and its mass is 000 times the mass of our planet.

  •  Uranus has 27 known moons ranging in size from over 1500 km to less than 20 km in diameter. The planet's moons are made up of ice, rocks, and other trace elements. Uranus itself has a rocky core, surrounded by a cover of water, ammonia and methane. The atmosphere consists of hydrogen, helium and methane with a top layer of clouds.

2. Saturn ∼ 116 km

SaturnThe second of the largest planets in the solar system is known for its ring system. She was first seen by Galileo Galilei in 1610. Galileo believed that Saturn is accompanied by two other planets that are on either side of it. In 1655, Christian Huygens, using an improved telescope, was able to see Saturn in sufficient detail to suggest that there are rings around it. They extend from 7000 km to 120 km above the surface of Saturn, which itself has a radius 000 times that of the Earth (9 km) and a mass 57 times that of the Earth.

1. Jupiter ∼ 142 km

JupiterNumber one is the winner of the planetary heavy hit parade, Jupiter is the largest planet bearing the name of the Roman king of the gods. One of the five planets visible to the naked eye. It is so massive that it would contain the rest of the worlds of the solar system, minus the sun. The total diameter of Jupiter is 142,984 km. Given its size, Jupiter rotates very quickly, making one rotation every 10 hours. At its equator, there is a rather large centrifugal force, due to which the planet has a pronounced hump. That is, the diameter of Jupiter's equator is 9000 km larger than the diameter measured at the poles. As befits a king, Jupiter has many satellites (more than 60) but most of them are quite small (less than 10 km in diameter). The four largest moons, discovered in 1610 by Galileo Galilei, are named after the favorites of Zeus, the Greek counterpart of Jupiter.

What is known about Jupiter

Before the invention of the telescope, planets were viewed as objects roaming the sky. Therefore, the word "planet" from Greek is translated as "wanderer". Our solar system has 8 known planets, although originally 9 celestial objects were recognized as planets. In the 1990s, Pluto was "demoted" from the status of a true planet to the status of a dwarf planet. A The largest planet in the solar system is called Jupiter..

Jupiter's size compared to other planets in the solar system
Jupiter's size compared to other planets in the solar system

  •  The radius of the planet is 69 km. That is, all the largest planets in the solar system could fit inside Jupiter (see photo). And if we take only our Earth, then 911 such planets will fit inside the body of Jupiter.

  •  It is the fifth planet from the Sun. It is named after a Roman god.

  •  Jupiter's atmosphere is made up of gases, mainly helium and hydrogen, which is why it is also called the gas giant of the solar system. Jupiter's surface is made up of an ocean of liquid hydrogen.

  •  Jupiter has the strongest magnetosphere of all the other planets, 20 times stronger than Earth's magnetosphere.

Jupiter's surface is made up of an ocean of liquid hydrogenThe largest planet in the solar system rotates around its axis faster than all the "neighbors". One complete revolution takes just under 10 hours (Earth takes 24 hours). Because of this rapid rotation, Jupiter is convex at the equator and "flattened" at the poles. The planet is 7 percent wider at the equator than at the poles.

  •  The largest celestial body in the solar system revolves around the Sun once every 11.86 Earth years.

Jupiter broadcasts radio wavesJupiter broadcasts radio waves so strong that they can be detected from Earth. They come in two forms:

  1. strong spikes that occur when Io, the closest of Jupiter's large moons, passes through certain regions of the planet's magnetic field;
  2. continuous radiation from the surface and high energy particles of Jupiter in its radiation belts. These radio waves could help scientists explore the oceans on the space giant's satellites.

The most unusual feature of Jupiter

big red spot
big red spot

  •  Undoubtedly, the main feature of Jupiter is the Great Red Spot – a giant hurricane that has been raging for more than 300 years.

  • The diameter of the Great Red Spot is three times the diameter of the Earth, and its edge rotates around the center and counterclockwise at a tremendous speed (360 km per hour).
  • The color of the storm, which typically ranges from brick red to light brown, may be due to the presence of small amounts of sulfur and phosphorus.
  • The spot either increases or decreases over time. A hundred years ago, education was twice as large as it is now and much brighter.

  •  There are many other spots on Jupiter, but only in the Southern Hemisphere do they exist for some reason for a long time.

Rings of Jupiter

Jupiter ring systemUnlike Saturn's rings, which are clearly visible from Earth even through small telescopes, Jupiter's rings are very difficult to see. Their existence became known thanks to data from Voyager 1 (NASA spacecraft) in 1979, but their origin was a mystery. Data from the Galileo spacecraft that orbited Jupiter from 1995 to 2003 later confirmed that these rings were created by meteoroid impacts on small nearby moons of the largest planet.

  •  Jupiter's ring system includes:

  1. halo – inner layer of small particles;
  2. the main ring is brighter than the other two;
  3. outer "spider" ring.

  •  The main ring is flattened, about 30 km thick and 6400 km wide. The halo extends halfway from the main ring down to the Jovian cloud tops and expands as it interacts with the planet's magnetic field. The third ring is known as the spider ring due to its transparency.

MeteoritesMeteorites that strike the surface of Jupiter's small inner moons kick up dust, which then enters orbit around Jupiter, forming rings.

Jupiter's moons

  •  Jupiter has 53 confirmed moons orbiting it and 14 more unconfirmed moons.

Jupiter's moonsJupiter's four largest moons—called the Galilean moons—are Io, Ganymede, Europa, and Callisto. The honor of their discovery belongs to Galileo Galilei, and it was in 1610. They are named after those close to Zeus (the Roman counterpart of which is Jupiter).

Io, Ganymede, Europa and CallistoVolcanoes rage on Io; there is a subglacial ocean on Europa and, perhaps, there is life in it; Ganymede is the largest of the satellites in the solar system, and has its own magnetosphere; and Callisto has the lowest reflectivity of the four Galilean moons. There is a version that the surface of this moon consists of a dark, colorless rock.

Video: Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system

  •  We hope that we have given a complete answer to the question of which planet in the solar system is the largest!