Q:

What are characteristics of terrestrial planets?

A:

Quick Answer

Terrestrial planets have a solid surface with an atmosphere, according to New Jersey University's Department of Astronomy. The terrestrial planets include Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

Although the four terrestrial planets have a solid surface, the individual planets have variant characteristics. Earth is the only planet with water on its surface, according to New Jersey University's Department of Astronomy.

All four planets have similar inner structures. Each has a crust, mantle and core under the surface, according to the University of Colorado at Boulder. Tectonic plates move within the structure of the planets. All of the terrestrial planets are inner planets, according to StarDate Online. Each terrestrial planet also shares a common formation through the clumping and gravitational pull of differentiation. The atmospheres on the terrestrial planets differ greatly. Earth is the only planet with oxygen in its atmosphere. The temperatures among the planets also vary greatly depending on their proximity to the sun. The terrestrial planets are very different from the larger outer planets, known as the jovian planets, explains New Jersey University's Department of Astronomy.

The moon is also a terrestrial body, though it is not a planet, according to the University of Colorado at Boulder. It has the same basic core structure as the terrestrial planets.

Learn more about Planets

Related Questions

Explore