25 Crazy Facts About Our Solar System

From planets that would float to the true size of the sun, these are 25 crazy facts about our solar system.

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25

There is an asteroid called 243 Ida that has its own moon

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24

This is the clearest picture we have of Pluto

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23

This isn't the Death Star. It's Mimas, a moon of Saturn, and it's one of the most heavily cratered objects in the Solar System.

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22

Ganymede is the largest moon in the Solar System. If it were orbiting the sun instead of Jupiter it wouldn't even be the smallest planet (Mercury is smaller).

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21

Recently scientists discovered another ring around Saturn that can only be seen with infrared. It's so big that only a picture would do it justice.

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20

Eris is the largest dwarf planet in the solar system and it orbits the sun at three times the distance of Pluto.

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19

It isn't nearly the farthest object in the solar system though. The Oort cloud wins that prize.

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18

The Oort Cloud is a belt containing trillions of icy bodies and is up to 2000 times farther from the sun than Eris.

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17

In fact, the outer edge of the Oort cloud is where objects are thought to have more gravitational influence from nearby stars than from the sun.

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16

Hyperion, one of Saturn's moons, is the largest non-spherical moon in the Solar System. If you think it looks spongy, you're right. It is half as dense as water and would actually float in a bathtub if it was big enough.

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15

On the topic of large floating objects, Saturn would float as well.

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14

Ceres is the only dwarf planet in the main part of the solar system (closer to the sun than neptune)

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13

Ceres is found in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and actually consists of 1/3 of the asteroid belts matter.

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12

Ceres actually contains more fresh water beneath its surface than all the fresh water on Earth combined.

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11

In spite of all these other objects in the Solar System the sun accounts for 99.8% of its total mass

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10

Most of the other .2% is taken up by Jupiter

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9

In spite of the sun's mass compared to the rest of the solar system, volume-wise it is still really small. In fact it is only 1 trillionth of a percent of the entire solar system's volume. That's a lot of nothingness

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8

To give you a real life example, if the sun were the size of a white blood cell, the solar system would be the size of the United States.

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7

Jupiter has the largest ocean of any planet. Since it's gassy atmosphere consists mostly of hydrogen and helium, beneath the upper layer of clouds pressure must rise to a point where the gasses turn to liquid. Scientists hypothesize that this ocean would be up to 40,000 km deep.

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6

So far you've met two dwarf planets, Eris and Ceres. It was actually Eris's discovery that led scientists to officially define the word "planet" and Pluto was henceforth downgraded to "dwarf planet".

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5

The other two dwarf planets are Haumea and Makemake. Yes, Makemake.

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4

In spite of Mercury's proximity to the sun, its lack of an atmosphere makes Venus the hottest planet.

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3

Venus is also a bit of a black sheep. It spins the opposite direction of every other planet.

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2

A day on Venus is also longer than its year.

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1

We live inside the sun. Ok, not the visible part, but the sun's outer atmosphere (heliosphere) has been thought to extend as far as Neptune

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