The Outer Planets - Mother Teresa Regional School

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Transcript The Outer Planets - Mother Teresa Regional School

Lesson 4, Chapter 3
The four outer planets – Jupiter, Saturn,
Uranus, and Neptune are much larger and
more massive than Earth and they do not
have solid surfaces.
They are often called the gas giants.
All the gas giants have many moons and each
are surrounded by a set of rings.
A ring is a thin disk of small particles of ice
and rock.
Jupiter is the largest and most massive planet.
Jupiter has a thick atmosphere, made mostly of
hydrogen and helium.
 Jupiter’s atmosphere also has the Great Red
Spot, which is a storm that is larger than Earth.
 Astronomers think that Jupiter has a dense core
of rock and iron at its center.
 Jupiter has 4 moons – Io, Europa, Ganymede and
Saturn has the most spectacular rings of any
other planet and is the second largest planet
in the solar system.
Saturn’s atmosphere contains storms and
Saturn’s largest moon Titan, is larger than the
planet Mercury.
Uranus looks blue-green because of the traces of
methane in its atmosphere.
 Uranus is surrounded by a group of thin, flat
 Uranus’s axis of rotation is tilted at an angle of
about 90 degrees from the vertical. Astronomers
believe that billions of years ago Uranus was hit
by an object that knocked it on its side.
 Uranus’s five largest moons have icy, cratered
surfaces. They also have lava flow on their
surfaces. Uranus has at least 27 moons.
Neptune is a cold, blue planet. Its atmosphere
contains visible clouds.
 Neptune was discovered as a result of
mathematical predictions.
 Like the Great Red Spot on Jupiter, the Great
Dark spot about the size of Earth is also thought
to be a giant storm on Neptune.
 Astronomers have discovered at least 13 moons
orbiting Neptune. The largest being Triton.
Triton’s south pole is covered by nitrogen ice.
Pluto has a solid surface and is much smaller and
denser than the outer planets.
Pluto is so far from the sun that it revolves
around the sun only once every 248 Earth years.
Until recently, Pluto was considered to be the
ninth planet in our solar system. It is now
considered to be a dwarf planet. It orbits the sun
and it round in shape, but unlike a planet, a
dwarf planet has not cleared out the
neighborhood around its orbit.