Focus on Mercury – by Elizabeth Rose PIN 7430

Mercury

Mercury is the ruling planet for Gemini.

It is named by the Roman deity Mercury which means the messenger of the gods.

It is the smallest and innermost planet in the Solar System.

It takes 87.97 days to orbit around the sun which is the shortest of all the planets in the Solar System.

If you were weighed on Mercury you would weigh 38% of your weight on the earth.

Mercury has no rings or moons maybe this is because it is so close to the sun.

The orbital speed of Mercury is 29 miles and 7 seconds.

176 days on earth is only one day on Mercury.

Mercury has no atmosphere.

It is covered in craters and been dormant for millions of years.

Mercury is the closest planet to the sun and so circulates the sun faster than other planets.

It is estimated that Mercury is 48 million miles from Earth.

The diameter is 3031 miles.

A spacecraft was first sent to Mercury in 1974.

Mercury is 70% metallic and 30% silicate and is known as a terrestrial planet.

Galileo first observed the planet in the 17th century. 

It cannot be seen through some telescopes as the sun is too close and would damage the telescope. 

Mercury is the second densest planet after the earth. 

The temperature on the surface of Mercury ranges from 173c to 472c 

Mercury was hit by an asteroid which was estimated to be 60 miles wide this created a huge crater which is roughly estimated to be 960 miles wide. 

This crater is called the Caloris Basin. 

Ice craters were discovered in the North Pole furthest from the sun. 

Mercury is within the Earth’s orbit but can only be seen early in the morning or late in the evening. 

According to astrology Mercury is associated with intelligence and communication.

Focus on Venus – By Elizabeth Rose PIN 7430

The Planet Venus was named after the Roman goddess of love, probably because it shines so much and stands out in the night sky.

It is the only Planet that is named after a female.

Venus is the second planet from the Sun and is the second brightest in the sky after the Moon.

It orbits the Sun every 224.7 Earth days compared to the Earth’s 365 days.

Venus has the longest rotation period of any planet in the Solar System and it rotates in the opposite direction to most other planets, too.

It does not have any natural satellites.

It is the second largest terrestrial planet and some people refer to it as the Earth’s sister planet as they have a similar size and mass.

It is 108.2million km from the Sun.

It has 460.2 million km surface area.

The thick clouds on Venus reflect most of the sunlight that reaches it back into space – that is why it is so bright. Because it is the brightest,  it can be seen by the naked eye often a few hours after sunset or before sunrise.

Venus has a central iron core and rocky mantle, it is a similar composition to the Earth. However its atmosphere is 96 per cent carbon dioxide and 3 per cent nitrogen and other gases.

It was formed approximately 4.6 billion years ago, when the solar system was a cloud of dusts and gases.

The inner core formed first like the Earth and then other elements formed a crust over the years.

The surface of Venus has is own unique geology and has large meteor craters, volcanoes, erosions and also some sedimentation land forms. However,  these have been smoothed somewhat by lava flows and by the corrosive atmosphere.

In Astrology Venus rules Taurus which brings love,  friendship and all the things that make life worthwhile.

Focus on Mars – by Elizabeth Rose PIN 7430

Mars is known as the red planet –  this colour is caused by the iron oxide on the surface of the planet in its soil.

It is the he fourth planet from the Sun and the second-smallest planet in the Solar System after Mercury.

The Romans named the planet after their god of war.

It has a thin atmosphere and is mostly composed of carbon dioxide.

The planet is one-sixth the size of Earth and estimated to be over 142 million miles from the sun.

It takes 24 hours, 37 mins and 22 seconds to rotate once on its axis hence this is a Mars day.

Mars does take twice the time the Earth takes to complete a full revolution around the sun.

It has its own weather pattern having seasonal changes and has polar ice caps.

On Mars the temperature is on average minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit. In winter near the poles it can go down to minus 195 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Earth has 21 per cent of oxygen Mars only has 0.13 per cent. It has 95.3 per cent of the gas carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

There is also nitrogen and argon and small amounts of water and methane.

Mars has the tallest mountain in the solar system called Olympus Mons. It s more than 21 km high and is about three times taller than Mount Everest and is more than 600 km in diameter.

Because of less gravity you would weigh less than twice your weight on Mars.

As the oxygen is so thin you would not be able to breath on Mars without a spacesuit and an oxygen cylinder.

The month of March is derived from the name Mars.

The first aircraft to reach Mars took 228 days to get there.

Mars can be spotted by the naked eye if conditions are right due to its reddish colour.