Planets

A:

Mars has been given the moniker "the Red Planet" because it has a bright red color. This reddish colors probably marks the areas that are like deserts on the Martian landscape; the grayish areas are the liquid parts.

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  • How much would a 100-pound person weigh on Saturn?

    Q: How much would a 100-pound person weigh on Saturn?

    A: A person weighing 100 pounds on Earth would weigh 107 pounds near the poles of Saturn and 91 pounds near Saturn's equator. This difference is due to centrifugal force offsetting some of the pull of gravity along the equator as the planet spins on its axis.
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  • When is the next time all the planets will align?

    Q: When is the next time all the planets will align?

    A: The next planetary alignment will not occur until the year 2854. According to astronomers, such alignment typically occurs every 1500 years, with the last phenomenon appearing in 561 B.C.
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  • How do day and night occur?

    Q: How do day and night occur?

    A: Day and night occur because of the rotation of a planet around its axis. The hemisphere of the planet that faces the sun at a particular moment experiences daylight, while the opposite side experiences darkness. The Earth rotates counterclockwise from west to east.
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  • What planets have shorter days than Earth?

    Q: What planets have shorter days than Earth?

    A: The outer planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune all have shorter days than Earth. Among the terrestrial planets, Mars has a slightly longer day than Earth at 24 hours 37 minutes. Mercury's day lasts 59 Earth days, while a day on Venus lasts 243 Earth days.
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  • Why is Mars called "the Red Planet"?

    Q: Why is Mars called "the Red Planet"?

    A: Mars has been given the moniker "the Red Planet" because it has a bright red color. This reddish colors probably marks the areas that are like deserts on the Martian landscape; the grayish areas are the liquid parts.
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  • Where is the highest temperature on Jupiter?

    Q: Where is the highest temperature on Jupiter?

    A: The highest temperatures on Jupiter are found in its core and are estimated at over 60,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Due to Jupiter's distance from the Sun, most of its heat comes from its core, and the temperature generally decreases moving away from the planet's center.
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  • What are some interesting or unique features of Neptune?

    Q: What are some interesting or unique features of Neptune?

    A: Neptune was the first planet to have its existence predicted by mathematical calculations before it was seen through a telescope. According to Space, wind speeds on Neptune can reach up to 1,500 miles per hour; the fastest detected in the solar system as of 2014. This incredibly high wind speed was recorded by Voyager 2 in 1989 and was linked to a storm larger than planet Earth.
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  • Could people live on Saturn?

    Q: Could people live on Saturn?

    A: Saturn would provide a hostile environment for most of the life found on Earth, according to Fraser Cain of Universe Today. It could not be inhabited by humans without extensive protection.
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  • When was Mars discovered?

    Q: When was Mars discovered?

    A: While no specific date can be identified for the discovery of Mars, knowledge of the planet dates back to ancient civilizations. Ancient Romans, Egyptians and Chinese astronomers independently discovered and named the planet.
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  • When can Jupiter be seen at night?

    Q: When can Jupiter be seen at night?

    A: Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, is most visible when it reaches opposition to the sun every 398.9 days on average. In March 2014, the planet was located in the Gemini constellation, making it appear bright against the night sky.
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  • What are the nicknames for the planets?

    Q: What are the nicknames for the planets?

    A: Nicknames for the eight planets in the solar system are Swift Planet for Mercury, Morning Star and Evening Star for Venus, Blue Planet for Earth, Red Planet for Mars, Giant Planet for Jupiter, Ringed Planet for Saturn, Ice Giant for Uranus and Big Blue Planet for Neptune. Pluto was once considered a planet and had the nickname Ice Planet, but it is now classified as a dwarf planet.
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  • Who named Saturn?

    Q: Who named Saturn?

    A: Saturn has been observed with the naked eye since prehistoric times, so it is not possible to know who named it first. Roman astronomers named it Saturnus after their god of agriculture and the father of Jove, which translates to Saturn in English.
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  • Can Mars sustain life?

    Q: Can Mars sustain life?

    A: According to NASA, 7 billion years ago, Mars may have been an excellent place for microbes to live, but currently it cannot support life because the air is too thin and is comprised mainly of carbon dioxide. After drilling into the rocks on Mars, scientists discovered the key ingredients of life, including sulfur, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen and carbon.
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  • Which planet is farthest away from Earth?

    Q: Which planet is farthest away from Earth?

    A: Of the planets in the solar system, Neptune is the farthest away from Earth. Depending on where each planet is in its orbit, Neptune is between 2.7 and 2.9 billion miles away from Earth.
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  • How long does it take the earth to rotate on its axis?

    Q: How long does it take the earth to rotate on its axis?

    A: A complete rotation of the earth on its axis takes approximately 23 hours, 56 minutes and four seconds with respect to the background stars. However, the sun returns to the same place in the sky (correcting for seasonal differences) every 24 hours. The reason for this difference is that the journey of the sun back to the same spot is a solar day, while the period of rotation is known as the sidereal day.
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  • How far away is Saturn from the sun?

    Q: How far away is Saturn from the sun?

    A: Saturn is an average of 886 million miles from the sun, which puts it about 9.5 times farther away from the sun than the Earth. The exact distance from Saturn to the sun varies based on Saturn's location along its elliptical orbit.
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  • How long does it take the Earth to make one revolution?

    Q: How long does it take the Earth to make one revolution?

    A: Earth completes one revolution around the Sun for every 365.242199 times it rotates on its axis. This figure is, unfortunately, not evenly divisible, which has historically caused difficulties for the creators of various calendars.
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  • What is Saturn's mass?

    Q: What is Saturn's mass?

    A: Saturn's mass is 258,326,818,200,000,000,000,000,000 pounds (568,319,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 kilograms). The sixth planet in the solar system and the second largest after Jupiter, Saturn is about 886 million miles away from the Sun. According to the National Aeronautical and Space Authority, Saturn completes one rotation (spinning on its axis) in 10.70 Earth-hours.
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  • How did Saturn form?

    Q: How did Saturn form?

    A: Saturn formed according to one of two models: the core accretion model, which states that planets formed over time through gravitational forces drawing materials together, or the disk instability model, which states that clumps of dust and gas fused together quickly and progressively formed a planet.
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  • What are planets made of?

    Q: What are planets made of?

    A: The inner planets, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars, are made up of silicate rock and heavy metals such as iron and nickel, whereas the outer planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, are made up mostly of gases, according to Universe Today. The outer planets are subdivided into gas giants, comprised mostly of hydrogen and helium, and ice giants, comprised mostly of methane, ammonia and water.
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  • Who invented the solar system?

    Q: Who invented the solar system?

    A: The solar system was formed from a massive gas cloud, and layouts were observed and refined beginning in the sixth century B.C.E. by early Greek astronomers. Nicholas Copernicus and Galileo Galilei continued observing the solar system well into the Renaissance era, according to About.com.
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