The Outer Planets of Our Solar System

“Outer planets” is a term used to refer to the planets farthest from the sun, which are Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. We’ll start with Jupiter which is the fifth planet from the sun and it is the largest planet in the solar system.

Jupiter consists mainly of hydrogen and helium, it has a fast rotation, and it also has a planetary ring. Many times we only think of Saturn as having a ring, but Jupiter nevertheless has a planetary ring. It has 63 moons and it has its famous great red spot, which is an anticyclonic storm.

Mini-test: THE OUTER PLANETS OF OUR SOLAR SYSTEM 

Question 1: What is the largest planet in the Solar System?
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Question 2: Which of the following is NOT true of the outer planets?
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B.  
C.  
D.  

 

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The transcript is provided for your convenience
Then there is Saturn which is sixth from the sun and it is the second largest planet. It’s composed of hydrogen, some helium and trace elements. It has a system of rings as it is well known for and it has 61 moons, two less than Jupiter.

Then there is Uranus, seventh from the sun. It has an atmosphere composed mainly of hydrogen and helium and it has the coldest atmosphere of any planet in the solar system. Uranus also has a ring system and it has a magnetosphere. A magnetosphere is an area around the planet, where the planet’s magnetic field acts as the controlling force. If any type of particle comes into that magnetosphere, it’s going to come under the control of the planet’s magnetic field and Uranus has 13 moons.

Then there is Neptune, eighth from the sun and its atmosphere is mainly made of hydrogen and helium, which as you noticed, is very similar to the atmosphere of Uranus and it has the strongest sustained winds of any planet. Neptune is very cold, it has 12 moons and it has a great dark spot and it also has a fragmented ring system.

As you may have noticed, all the outer planets have some type of ring system and they all have moons. Neptune, I said it was the eighth planet, well it’s also the last planet, because as you’re probably familiar with, Pluto is not a full-fledged planet anymore, so that leaves Neptune as the last planet. That’s a look at the outer planets.

Next Lesson: Climate and Weather