Did You Know That – Interesting Fun Facts about the Planets
1. Did you know that Mars & Earth have roughly the same landmass?
2. Did you know that Jupiter helps to protect Earth by pulling dangerous objects and debris into its own orbit before it reaches us?
3. Did you know that there are more stars in the sky than there are grains of sand on the Earth?
4. Did you know that the “Asteroid Belt” can be found lying between the orbits of Mars & Jupiter?
5. Did you know that Venus is the hottest planet in our Solar System with an average surface temperature of about 462 degrees Celsius, (864 degrees Fahrenheit)?
6. Did you know that Mars has the largest dust storms in our Solar System, capable of completely covering the planet and lasting for several months?
7. Did you know that Mercury is the most cratered planet in our Solar System?
8. Did you know that Neptune has the fastest winds in our Solar System reaching speeds of more than 2000 km per hour, (1,243 miles per hour)?
9. Did you know that Earth could fit inside our Sun approximately 1.3 million times?
10. Did you know that the Moon was formed about 4.6 billion years ago and is our planet’s only natural satellite?
11. Did you know that one ring around Saturn, (measuring 200 times the diameter of the planet), was discovered as recently as 2009?
12. Did you know that due to its orbital tilt, seasons on Uranus last for approximately 20 years?
13. Did you know that there’s a belt of comets surrounding the Solar System known as the “Kuiper Belt”, 20 times wider than the asteroid belt?
14. Did you know that Jupiter’s moon, known as “Ganymede”, is the largest moon in the Solar System?
15. Did you know that Earth has a very powerful magnetic field that protects us from the effects of solar wind?
16. Did you know that Mars has the deepest, longest valley in our solar system known as the Valles Marineris? The valley is 8 to 10 km (5-6 miles) deep in some places and stretches approximately 4000 km (2500 miles) in length.
17. Did you know that Uranus was the first planet to be discovered by means of a telescope?
18. Did you know that the planet Neptune has 14 moons?
19. Did you know that Jupiter has the shortest day of all the planets, 9 hours and 55 minutes?
20. Did you know that Mercury is the smallest planet in the Solar System measuring 4,879 km, (3032 miles), across its equator? Earth is 12,742 km, (7917 miles).
21. Did you know that the same side of the Moon always faces Earth?
22. Did you also know that eventually, the Sun will consume Mercury, Venus and then Earth?
23. Did you know that the dwarf planet “Pluto” is named after the Greek God of the Underworld?
24. Did you know that “Ceres” is the closest dwarf planet to the Sun? Due to its abundance of ice, water & minerals, Ceres is considered to be one possible place for human settlement.
25. Did you know that the clouds on Venus produce sulfuric acid rain?
Top Fun Facts About Our Amazing Planets
26. Did you know that because Jupiter’s surface is made mostly of helium gas and hydrogen, space crafts are unable to land on the planet – so far?
27. Did you know that the smallest moon of Uranus is called Miranda? The moon itself looks like it was once blown up and then put back together!
28. Did you know that the rings surrounding Saturn are actually collections of ice, dust and small rocks that orbit around the planet’s equator?
29. Did you know that although it’s known as a “Gas Giant”, Neptune’s core is actually rocky?
30. Did you know that the rotation of the Earth is gradually slowing down at about 17 milliseconds every hundred years?
31. Did you know that in our solar system, Jupiter is the fastest spinning planet taking less than 10 hours to complete one rotation on its axis?
32. Did you know that PSR B1620-26 b, nicknamed Methuselah, is one of the oldest extrasolar planets discovered to date, thought to be an incredible 12.7 billion years old?
33. Did you know that about 570 light-years from us lives a planet called Kepler-10c? It’s 2.3 times bigger and 17 times heavier than Earth.
34. Did you know that Alpha Centauri Bb is the nearest extrasolar planet to Earth discovered so far at 4.37 light-years away?
35. Did you know that until January 2011, Gliese 581 e used to be known as the smallest alien planet until the discovery of Kepler-138?
36. Did you know that V391 Pegasi b was the first planet to be discovered (March 2007) using a method known as “variable star timing”? This is one of the many indirect techniques adopted by astronomers to detect extrasolar planets.
37. Did you know that the discovery of exoplanet COROT-7b in 2009 caused great excitement among scientists due to the similarities it shared with Earth? Unfortunately the planet’s surface is believed to be totally covered by molten rock and lava thanks to its extreme closeness to its own sun.
38. Did you know that in August 2009, WASP-17b was the first planet ever discovered that had a retrograde orbit, (it orbits in the opposite direction to its host star)? It is also one of the largest planets found to date with a radius twice the size of Jupiter.
39. Did you know that in November 2009, the Hubble space telescope managed to take an image of GJ 758 b, a planet some 500 trillion km, (300 trillion miles) away?
40. Did you know that OGLE-2005-BLG-390L b is 5.5 times bigger than Earth, is located 28000 light-years away and is one of the coldest alien planets discovered to date with a surface temperature of approximately -220 degrees Celsius, (-364 degrees Fahrenheit)?
41. Did you know that SWEEPS-10, (22,000 light-years from Earth), makes a complete orbit of its star in just 10 hours?
42. Did you know that TrES-2b is the darkest extrasolar planet discovered so far and is located only 750 light-years away from Earth? The planet reflects less than 1 percent of any light that hits it making it blacker than the blackest coal!
43. Did you know that our Sun is only 1 of more than 100 billion stars in the Milky Way?
44. Did you also know that the Milky Way measures approximately 100,000 light years across and at the center of the spiral galaxy lies a giant black hole, four million times bigger than our Sun?
45. Did you know that a “Dwarf Planet” is neither a planet nor a moon but is defined as a celestial body in direct orbit of the Sun, large enough to be controlled by gravity but unable to clear its orbit of other objects? Pluto is one of the best known dwarf planets.
46. Did you know that a “Terrestrial Planet” is a planet primarily made of silicate rocks or metals, in other words, it has a solid surface like Earth?
47. Did you know that “Pulsar Planets” are planets that orbit pulsars or fast rotating neutron stars?
48. Did you know that a “Rogue Planet” is a planetary-mass object that circles the galaxy directly? Also known as orphan or nomad planets, it’s likely that they were forced out of the system they were once formed in or never managed to become gravitationally joined to any star.
49. Did you know that a “Goldilocks Planet”, named after the children’s fairytale of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”, is a planet that might contain life? The image below shows 70 Virginis b which was originally thought to be one of these planets but later dismissed due to its irregular orbit.
50. Did you know that “Ocean Planets”, (which come under the “Hypothetical Planets Type” category), refer to planets whose mass are substantially made up of oceans of water, hundreds of kilometers in depth – much deeper than any of the oceans on Earth?