ASTRONOMY POSTERS
astronauts
astronomers
atmosphere
auroras
comets
galaxies
Hubble Telescope
moons
nebula
planets
- Earth
- Jupiter
- Mars
- Saturn
solar system
space exploration
space phenomenon
space shuttle
star charts
sun
zodiac

astronomy terms




CALENDAR

Solar System Calendar
Solar System
Calendar




BOOKS ABOUT PLANETS & OUR SOLAR SYSTEM

Planets in Our Solar System
Planets in
Our Solar System


Red Shift 5 Software
3-D Solar System - Boxed Glow in the Dark Stars and Planets


Praise to the Moon
The Planets
Holst, CD


Lonely Planets: The Natural Philosophy of Alien Life
Lonely Planets:
The Natural Philosophy of
Alien Life


Science Bookshelf




Teacher's Best - The Creative Process


The Planets - Educational Astronomy Posters
for educational teaching resources in the science and social studies classrooms, homeschoolers.


science > astronomy > PLANETS < social studies


A planet is generally understood to be a large object in orbit around a star, there is no scientific definition of “planet”. The ancient astronomers (observers of stars) noted how some lights moved in relation to other lights and named them “planets”- the Greek word for “wanderer”.

The Solar System, National Geographic, Poster
The Solar System, Poster

In this 1990 portrait gallery of the planets in the Solar System, from images made during two decades by various spacecraft from Earth, each planet appears to scale and the colors have been process for the most realistic appearance. The four giant outer gaseous planets dwarf our water-clad Earth and its three terrestrial siblings. Standing in for Pluto is an image of Meptune's moon Triton, thought to resemble the tiny planet.

1 Sun + 8 Planets + 1 Dwarf Planet + 57 Moons + 10,000 Asteroids + 100 Billion Comets

On December 16, 1999, the announcement of the first extrasolar planet to be discovered visually, 55 light years from Earth, was made. It was variously named “Tau Boo,” “Planet 2000,” or the “Millennium Planet.” It orbits close to the star Tau Bootis and is a Jupiter-like gas giant 1000 times more massive the Earth. One side of the planet always faces its star, which is somewhat more massive than our Sun. The temperature of the planet may reach 1700 C, and the planet may exhibit intense storms as its atmosphere streams from the hot day side to the cold night side. The planet may also exhibit intense aurorae and host a volcanic moon.



Transit of Mercury Across the Sun, Photographic Print
Transit of Mercury
Across the Sun,
Photographic Print

Mercury is the closest planet to the sun. Its temperature varies wildy.

Facts about Mercury
• Distance from the sun: 36 million miles
• Diameter: 3,031 miles
• Length of year: 88 Earth days
• Rotation period/length of “day”: 59 Earth days
• Temperature: Minus 275º to plus 840º Fahrenheit
• Atmosphere: Small amounts of gases – almost a vacuum
Number of Moons: None

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mercury, whose name comes from the speedy Roman messenger god Mercurius, is classified as a terrestial planet.


Artist's Concept Comparing the Size of Venus with that of the Earth, Poster
Artist's Concept Comparing
the Size of Venus with
that of the Earth,
Poster

Venus, the second planet from the sun, is called Earth's “twin” because the two planets are nearly the same size.

Facts About Venus
• Distance from the sun: 67.2 million miles
• Diameter: 7,521 miles
• Length of year: 255 Earth days
• Rotation period/lenth of “day”: 243 Earth days
• Temperature: 870º Fahrenheit
• Atmosphere: Carbon dioxide and small amounts of other gases
• Number of moons: None

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Venus, a terrestial planet, is one of the brightest objects in the sky and has been observed since prehistoric times. The name Venus is for the Roman goddess of love, the ancient Babylonians called it Ishtar.


Earth
Full Earth as
seen from Apollo 17

The Earth poster in the Planets series is no longer available-

Earth, the third planet orbiting the Sun, is the largest terrestial planet in the Solar System.

Earth is the only place in the universe where life is known to exist.

• more Earth posters


Artist's Concept Comparing the Size of Mars with That of the Earth, Poster
Artist's Concept Comparing
the Size of Mars
with that of the Earth
Poster


Mars, known as the “Red Planet,” is the fourth planet from the Sun.

Facts About Mars
• Distance from the sun: 141.6 million miles
• Diameter: 4,223 miles
• Length of year: 687 Earth days
• Rotation period/lenth of “day”: 24 hours and 37 minutes
• Temperature: Minus 150º to minus 20º Fahrenheit
• Atmosphere: Carbon dioxide, nitrogen, argon, and small amounts of other gases
• Number of moons: 2

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mars, named after the Roman god of war, is also referred to as the “Red Planet” because of its reddish appearance as seen from Earth. Astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli mistook what appeared as straight lines to be canals.

• more Mars posters


Artist's Concept Comparing the Size of Jupiter with That of the Earth, Poster
Artist's Concept Comparing
the Size of Jupiter
with that of the Earth
Poster


Jupiter , the fifth planet from the sun, is the largest planet in the solar system.

Facts About Jupiter
• Distance from the sun: 483.8 million miles
• Diameter: 88,846 miles
• Length of year: About 12 Earth years
• Rotation period/lenth of “day”: 9 hours, 56 minutes
• Temperature: Minus 230º to plus 70º Fahrenheit
• Atmosphere: Hydrogen, helium, and small amounts of other gases
• Number of moons: 63

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jupiter is the largest planet (two and a half times as massive as all of the other planets in our solar system combined) within the Solar System. Jupiter is classified as a gas giant along with Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

The Romans named the planet after their god Jupiter (also called Jove), the Greek equilavent of Zeus.

• more Jupiter posters


Artist's Concept Comparing the Size of Saturn with that of the Earth, Poster
Artist's Concept Comparing
the Size of Saturn
with that of the Earth
Poster


Saturn, the sixth planet from the Sun and the second largest planet in the Solar System, is classified as a gas giant. The most distinct feature of Saturn is a system of rings.

Facts about Saturn
• Distance from the sun: 1.8 billion miles
• Diameter: 75,000 miles (equatorial)
• Length of year: .5
• Rotation period/length of “day”: approximately 10-11 hours
• Temperature: Minus 270 degrees Fahrenheit or -168 degrees Celsius.
• Atmosphere: Hydrogen, helium
• Number of moons: observed 200

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Saturn is named after the Roman god of agriculture Saturnus, (the Greek Kronos, father of Zeus) sharing the same root word with Saturday.

• more Saturn posters


Uranus
Uranus, taken by Voyager 2, Photographic Print

Uranus is the seventh planet from the sun. It is the third largest planet in the solar system.

Facts about Uranus
• Distance from the sun: 1.8 billion miles
• Diameter: 31,763 miles
• Length of year: 84 Earth years
• Rotation period/length of “day”: 17 hours, 14 minutes
• Temperature: Minus 335º Fahrenheit (average)
• Atmosphere: Hydrogen, helium, methane and small amounts of other gases
• Number of moons: 21

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Uranus, named after the ancient Greek deity of the sky, is the fourth most massive planet in the solar system.

Because it is so dim, ancient astronomers didn't recognize Uranus as a planet; it was Sir William Herschel and his sister Caroline that made Uranus the first planet discovered using a telescope in 1781.

Uranus with 5 Moons poster


Neptune, the Planet Poster
Neptune -
The Planets
Wall Poster

Neptune, the eighth planet from the sun, cannot be seen from Earth without a telescope.

Facts about Neptune
• Distance from the sun: 2.8 billion miles
• Diameter: 30,800 miles
• Length of year: 165 Earth years
• Rotation period/length of “day”: 16 hours and 7 minutes
• Temperature: Minus 353º Fahrenheit (average)
• Atmosphere: Hydrogen, helium, and water
• Number of moons: 13

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Neptune is the fourth largest planet by diameter in the Solar System, and the third largest by mass – Neptune is 17 times the mass of Earth and is slightly more massive than its near-twin Uranus.

While Galileo observed Neptune in 1612, he thought it was a fixed star, so it was by astronomer Le Verrier's calculations that Neptune became the first planet discovered by mathematical prediction, 9-23-1846.

The planet Neptune is named after the Roman god of the sea and its astronomical symbol is a stylized version of Poseidon's Trident. Poseidon is the Greek name for the god of the sea; a trident, or three teeth, is three pronged spear, similar to a fisherman's ‘gig’ in the US.


Pluto and Charon, Fine Art Print
Pluto and Charon,
Fine Art Print

Pluto, from its discovery in 1930 by astronomer Clyde W. Tombaugh until 2006, was considered the ninth planet in the Solar System. Now Pluto is classified as a dwarf planet, the largest object in the region called the Kuiper belt.

The name Pluto comes from the Roman god of the underworld, the Greek's called both their god of the underworld and the underworld, Hades. Pluto's moon Charon is named for the ferryman who carried souls of the newly deceased across the River Styx that divided the world of the living from the world of the dead.

Facts about Pluto
• Distance from the sun: 3.6 billion miles
• Diameter: 1,485 miles
• Length of year: 248 Earth years
• Rotation period/length of “day”: 6 Earth Days
• Temperature: Minus 375º Fahrenheit
• Atmosphere: Methane
• Number of moons: 1

FYI - Mickey Mouse's dog was named Pluto in honor of the discovery of the planet.


Moon Chart
The Moon - International Edition Fine-Art Print

The Moon

• more moon posters


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