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 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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  • What kind of atmosphere does Neptune have?

    Q: What kind of atmosphere does Neptune have?

    A: Neptune's atmosphere is similar to the atmospheres of other large planets and contains helium and hydrogen. It also has trace amounts of water, ammonia, methane and other ices.
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  • What are the sizes of the nine planets?

    Q: What are the sizes of the nine planets?

    A: The nine planets in the solar system range in size from approximately 3,000 to 140,000 kilometers in diameter. Ranked from smallest to largest the planets are Pluto, Mercury, Mars, Venus, Earth, Neptune, Uranus, Saturn and Jupiter.
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  • Who discovered Mars?

    Q: Who discovered Mars?

    A: Because Mars with its famous red coloration is readily visible from Earth, it is unknown who first discovered it; NASA lists the planet as "known by the ancients." There are records of its existence as far back as ancient Egypt.
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  • What are the similarities between Earth and Neptune?

    Q: What are the similarities between Earth and Neptune?

    A: Although they are quite dissimilar in almost every way, the Earth and Neptune do share some similar qualities such as gravity, color and orbit. With a gravitational pull that is only 14-percent stronger than the Earth's, Neptune and the Earth have similar gravitational pulls. Both planets are blue and both orbit around the Sun.
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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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  • Why is Earth important?

    Q: Why is Earth important?

    A: As the only known planet that is habitable for human beings, the Earth’s importance is self-evident. Every living organism known to science obtains all of its resources from Earth, and has very few other options available. Without the Earth, humans would be doomed to extinction, unless they were able to adapt to another planet's conditions before the Earth disappeared.
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  • What probes have been sent to Saturn?

    Q: What probes have been sent to Saturn?

    A: As of June 2014, there have been a total of four probes to visit the planet Saturn. Since the Pioneer 11 spacecraft first visited Saturn in 1979, much has been learned about the ringed planet.
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  • How would a human being fare on Mars?

    Q: How would a human being fare on Mars?

    A: Low pressures, a lack of oxygen and cold weather on Mars would force humans to remain confined to spacecrafts and vehicles, according to physics.org. Astronauts could occasionally walk around in the open, but only if they wore spacesuits. Settlers would risk dying if their spacesuits became seriously damage. Underground shelter would be an ideal scenario. As of 2014, no settlement on Mars has been established.
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  • What planet has the largest moon?

    Q: What planet has the largest moon?

    A: According to NASA, Jupiter's moon, Ganymede, is the largest moon in the solar system. It has a diameter of 2,631 kilometers. Ganymede is larger than both Pluto and Mercury and is 3/4 the size of Mars. Unlike many other moons, Ganymede has a core that generates a substantial magnetic field.
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  • How long does it take Saturn to rotate on its axis?

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

    A: Historically, scientists believed that it takes Saturn 10.656 hours to rotate on its axis or about 10 hours and 39 minutes. More recently, astronomers received satellite messages indicating that the length of Saturn's day is closer to 10 hours and 45 minutes.
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  • What are some cool facts about Mars?

    Q: What are some cool facts about Mars?

    A: Mars, the fourth planet from the sun, has interested people for thousands of years, according to BBC News. However, whereas the people of ancient Greece and Rome found Mars fascinating for its red color, people today are more interested in finding water on the planet.
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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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  • What type of planet is Earth?

    Q: What type of planet is Earth?

    A: According to Encyclopædia Britannica, Earth is classified as a terrestrial planet. A terrestrial planet is rocky, in contrast to the predominantly gas planets found in the outer solar system.
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  • Does Mars have clouds?

    Q: Does Mars have clouds?

    A: Mars indeed does have water ice clouds, similar to Earth's cirrus clouds, both high in the atmosphere and often forming as icy fog just above the ground surface. The Viking orbiter was able to capture sunrise pictures during which an icy fog was rising from within Martian craters.
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  • When did Pluto become a dwarf planet?

    Q: When did Pluto become a dwarf planet?

    A: Pluto became a dwarf planet in 2006. Upon being stripped of its title as a planet, Pluto joined two other celestial bodies, called Eris and Ceres, in the category of dwarf planets. The decision to reclassify the former planet was made by the International Astronomical Union (IAU).
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  • How many Earths can fit into Jupiter?

    Q: How many Earths can fit into Jupiter?

    A: According to NASA, about 1000 Earths can fit inside Jupiter. The massive fifth planet is large enough to hold all the planets in the solar system easily.
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  • How did Jupiter get its name?

    Q: How did Jupiter get its name?

    A: Jupiter gets its name from the most powerful god in Roman mythology. The king of all other gods, Jupiter is the equivalent of Zeus in Greek mythology. It was the largest visible object in the night sky during the time of the Roman Empire, and thus named after its most important deity.
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  • Why is Pluto not a planet?

    Q: Why is Pluto not a planet?

    A: In 2006, the International Astronomical Union changed Pluto's classification from a planet to a dwarf planet because the planet has not cleared its orbit of other objects. When a planet clears its orbit, all other objects on the orbital path are either drawn into the planet's gravitational pull or flung away from it and out of the orbit.
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  • What is the composition of Mars' atmosphere?

    Q: What is the composition of Mars' atmosphere?

    A: The composition of Mars' atmosphere is 95.32 percent carbon dioxide, 2.7 percent nitrogen, 1.6 percent oxygen and 0.08 percent carbon monoxide. The remaining 0.3 percent is made up of various trace elements.
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  • What are some facts about the outer planets in our solar system?

    Q: What are some facts about the outer planets in our solar system?

    A: Outer planets of the solar system are made predominantly of gases. They tend to have many more moons than the inner planets, and outer planets take a shorter period of time to rotate around their axes.
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