Sometimes, it may feel overwhelming to know that we are just a small part of a huge solar system. So, even if we feel that we know everything about our sun and its family, it might not be true. Here are a few lesser-known solar system facts that will make you feeling awed.
Solar System With Hottest But Not Closest Planet
Yes, it’s true. Most of us know that Mercury is the planet that is close to the Sun. So, people assume that Pluto must be the hottest planet in our solar system. However, this theory of Pluto being the hottest planet is completely wrong. Instead, Venus wins the trophy of being the hottest planet of the Sun family. It is the second planet away from our Sun, and it has a thick atmosphere, unlike the Mercury. Mercury has no warming blanket to keep it cool, but still, Venus gets the crown.
Though the thickness of Venus’s atmosphere is 100 times more than the Earth’s, the composition of the air is carbon dioxide. So, greenhouse gas lets solar energy enter the atmosphere freely. That’s why the temperature of the surface rises to 468°C on Venus. But, on Mercury, the temperature is a little less, 427°C.
Smaller Diameter Than The U.S.!
The lengthiest distance across the United States is from North California to Maine, almost 2,900 miles. But, we have come to know that Pluto is 1,473 miles across. So, its width is almost half of the States. Probably that’s why Pluto is no more major planet since 2006 but has the status of a dwarf planet.
Solar System And Asteroid Fields
In Hollywood, there are hardly any science fiction movies on space that didn’t show asteroid fields endangering the spacecraft. But, do you know there is only one asteroid belt that we know to exist, and it’s between Mars and Jupiter? However, the belt contains tens of thousands of asteroids. Still, they are not in close proximity to each other, and the collision chances are small.
So, the spacecraft must be intentionally and carefully guided towards the asteroids to photograph them. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that spacefarers would encounter the swarm of asteroids in the deep space.
Volcanoes With Water Instead Of Magma!
When we hear about volcanoes, we immediately think of the world’s living volcano mountains. We assume that the creation of volcanoes needs lava or molten rock. But, is it? In reality, the formation of volcanoes happens when the underground reservoir can’t contain hot fluid or gas anymore. So, the surface of the Earth erupts to release the heated pressure from the within.
Unlike on Earth, the volcanoes on Enceladus (moon of Saturn) and Triton ( moon of Neptune) occurs from ice. As the water expands when it freezes, it creates enormous pressure on the moon’s surface. During the ice eruption on these moons, the formation of cryovolcano happens. Therefore, volcanoes not only rely on magma to erupt but also water. On Earth, there are very small scales of water eruptions that we call geysers. However, here, the eruption happens when super heated water comes into contact with the hot magma reservoir.
Solar System Edge Is Further From Pluto
The edge is not only a few miles further from the dwarf planet; it is almost 1,000 times away. Though we don’t consider Pluto as a major planet anymore, there are some objects that orbit the Sun. These objects are also further away from Pluto’s path of orbit. These objects are as far away as half a light-year.