Planets

Know Your Planets - Created by Heidi Seibring's Uplands Grade 6 Class

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Thank you to Heidi Seibring's Uplands Grade 6 class, Razorback Engraving, Yellowhead Pavement Marking, Doug Brewer and the City of Terrace for making the Grand Trunk Pathway Solar System project a success

The Solar System

Terrace's Grand Trunk Pathway is home to a model of the solar system, laid out to scale at 1:1 Billion (one metre = one million kilometres).

A 1.4 m diameter yellow circle in front of the Kwinitsa Rail station represents the sun.

The positions of the first six planets have 30 x 30 cm granite tiles engraved with a photograph of the planet and, representing its actual size at the 1:1 billion scale, a dot and the diameter in kilometres. The remaining three are marked with 30 x 30 cm signs.

Not too far away from the sun at 58 metres is Mercury.

In front of the Skeena Valley Model Railroad Association rail car at 108 metres, you will find Venus, which has the longest day of all planets - 243 Earth days.

Earth is another 40 metres along.

And near the Blue Bear you find the last of the rocky planets - Mars at 228 metres.

Now it is a bit of a stroll to get to the first and largest gas giant - Jupiter. At 778 metres away, you travel through the asteroid belt to find it located on the west side of Kenney Street.

Saturn, at 1427 metres (1.4 billion real kilometres) away from the sun is the least dense of all the planets (it could float on water). It is just east of the Logger's Memorial Plaque.

At Earle Street is Uranus at 2871 m, double the distance of Saturn from the Sun. Look for the sign

Neptune, the last undisputed planet, is 5 km west of the Kwinitsa Station, whose sign is located at the West Kalum Road opposite the Kitsumkalum Band Council Offices.

The last planet (now referred to as a dwarf) is Pluto. Almost 6 billion km from the sun it's sign is located on the scale model at the Yellowhead Highway pullout west of town overlooking the Skeena River.

Working at the same scale, if you wanted to go to the nearest star (Proxima Centauri) you would have to follow Highway 16 to Prince Rupert, cross the Pacific Ocean, continue on through Asia and Europe, over the Atlantic and come back across Canada to the Kwinitsa Train Station in Terrace (40,000 km; 4.22 light years). A bit farther away than perhaps the movies would have us believe.

For more planetary information, please refer to

https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/

 

MERCURY

Did you know Mercury is the smallest planet, and it is the closest to the sun? I bet you didn’t!

Climate

Mercury has a unique climate. One side of the planet is super-cold and one side is super-hot. Did you know Mercury has the most extreme temperature range of any planet? Mercury does not hold the suns heat after it has set. Mercury is sure different from Earth!

Size

The planet Mercury is named after the Roman messenger god Mercury. It has a radius of 24,397 kilometres. On Mercury there are no plants or animals (that they have found).This means that there is no vegetation on the planet.

Fun facts                                                                                              

NASA only has information for about a quarter of the planet and it has not all been explored. Mercury has only been explored by robots. Mercury is easy to spot in the evening and morning skies. It has the smallest tilt which means it doesn’t tilt that much. It takes almost 88 of our days to spin once.

Your adventure on Mercury is over. Thank you for learning about the planet Mercury. The solar system is full of interesting planets, comets, and stars. Now go check out our other pages to learn more.

VENUS

Venus is the second planet from the sun and is very different from Earth. Keep reading to learn more about this mysterious planet. Venus is a very bright planet and can often be seen from Earth. It is one of the brightest objects in the solar system. Venus is also very close to the same size as Earth. People sometimes call Venus Earth's sister planet.

An interesting fact about Venus is that the surface is hidden by an opaque layer of clouds. These clouds are created from sulphuric acid.  

The planet is named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty. Some people think that this is because of how bright Venus is and is often thought to be a star.  Venus is the first star in the sky at night so has been called the evening star. Sometimes it shines early in the morning as well.

Venus has extremely hot temperatures and many volcanos. This means that human life is not able to live on the surface of this planet. This planet is also hard to research because people and equipment cannot get close enough to its surface before melting.

These are just a few interesting facts about this hot planet. If you want to learn more about our solar system please look at some of the other planet webpages. Or take a walk down Terrace, B.C.’s Millennial Trail.

EARTH

Introduction

There are many planets in the solar system. Earth is the third planet from the sun and is often nicknamed the blue planet because of all the water on its surface. About 70 percent of Earth is covered by water. If you want to learn more about Earth keep reading.

Life

Earth is the only planet that can support life (that we know of). Did you know there are more then 7 billion people living on Earth? Not only are there a lot of people living on Earth, there are also a lot of plants and animals. This makes Earth unique in our Solar system.

Atmosphere

Earth has both oxygen and nitrogen in its atmosphere.  That is why we can breathe. Earth is located in the Goldilocks zone. The Goldilocks zone is a zone in the solar system where we are not too close to the sun and not too far. This helps keep our temperature not too hot and not too cold - unlike on Mars or Venus where people can’t survive.

Cool Facts

Earth is the only planet not named after a Greek god.

The moon we see orbits planet Earth. It is about 384,400 kilometres away from Earth. One theory people have is that a rock as big as Mars came and crashed into the Earth. When this happened a giant section of Earth fell off and became the moon. Did you know that the craters on the moon are from space rocks hitting it billions of years ago? The moon orbits earth every 27.3 days.

Neil Armstrong was the first person to walk on the moon he was able to explore and answer some of the questions people had about it. We now know the moon is bigger than Pluto. We also know that the temperature on the moon can drop to 183 degrees below zero Celsius.

Did you know that the moon is more egg shaped than round and there are no volcanoes, earthquakes or any houses or buildings like there is on earth? There is no rain or wind on the moon because there is no atmosphere. There is way less gravity on the moon. The moon is a very interesting topic and there is a lot more that you can learn about it if you keep researching.

As you can see the Moon and the Earth have a lot of information that we don’t see or think about every day. They are very large and there is a lot to explore, I hope you enjoyed reading this essay about the planets as much as we enjoyed learning about them. If you did, you should go check out the other essays about the other planets, such as Mercury, Jupiter, and Uranus.

MARS

Mars, the red planet, is named after the Roman God of War. It has ice and an atmosphere meaning that maybe one day we can live there. The ice cap has enough water in it to cover the planet 11 metres deep.

Mars has the solar system's tallest mountain at 72,000' - Olympus Mons - two and half times the height of Mt Everest. It also has the largest dust storms in the solar system. They can cover the whole planet! The temperature on Mars can be as cold as  -143 C at the poles to 35 C at the equator.

It takes Mars almost two Earth years to go around the sun once but a Martian day is just 39 minutes longer than ours. The two moons are called Phobos (panic) and Deimos (terror).  They are quite small at 22 and 12 km in diameter. The scientists say Phobos is going to crash into Mars but it will take 50 million years so there is lots of time for us to fly there and build a city!

JUPITER

Hi! I’m Jupiter and I’m going to tell you a whole lot about me! Do you know how hot my core is? Well, if you keep reading you will find out. Before you continue reading did you know that one year on Jupiter is 11.8 years on Earth!

Did you know my nickname is the King Planet? I am approximately 143, 000 kilometres wide. I am so big I can fit all the other planets inside me with room to spare! Have you seen that big red spot on me in photos? Well, it has been there for hundreds of years! In all the pictures you see of me, photographers have enhanced my color so I am not actually that red/orange.

Do you remember the question I asked you earlier? Well my core is 24,000 degrees Celsius, that’s hotter than the sun! My atmosphere is 90% hydrogen gas and 10% helium. I have a star like make up (I have no surface) and I am covered in clouds. The clouds are red, brown, yellow, and white. The clouds make me look like I have stripes. People think that my physical planet has stripes but that is a misconception.

You have just learned about Jupiter’s atmosphere and shape. Lastly I am the fifth planet from the sun! Yes I know, I’m pretty amazing! I hope you enjoyed learning all about me. You should go check out the planet Saturn next, that planet is really cool too! Also if you have time you should check out Terrace B.C.’s Millennial trail and walk your dog to Jupiter.

SATURN

Hello, in this article we will be teaching you about the planet Saturn. So let’s start you off with few facts. Saturn’s day and atmosphere are different than on Earth. Saturn has a moon named Titan. Keep reading to learn more about this fascinating planet!

Saturn’s Moon

 Titan is a moon of Saturn. Saturn has a total of 62 moons. It is important because it is Saturn’s biggest moon; the second biggest in our solar system. Titan also has one of the densest atmospheres in the solar system. Scientists believe that there is water and/or liquid but they can’t know for sure because of the natural smog surrounding the moon. It would be fascinating to have the opportunity to explore this moon.

Saturn’s Atmosphere

 Did you know that colourful bands of clouds surround Saturn? Saturn’s cold temperatures create gases in the atmosphere that freeze into crystals. Saturn’s atmosphere consists of hydrogen, Helium, and Methane.  

On Saturn the sun only lights up half of Saturn at a time. Saturn isn’t perfectly round either. Its sides seem to bulge out. Saturn is located between Jupiter and Uranus. It is the sixth planet from the sun. It's famous rings are composed of ice particles with a small amount of  dust.

Conclusion

You have just read all about Saturn and its moon Titan. After reading these articles you should check out Terrace's millennial trail if you have extra time, walk your dog down to Saturn!

URANUS

Did you know that 63 earths can fit inside Uranus? This essay is all about the planet Uranus. Make sure to check out other essays on other planets after you read this one! We hope you enjoy and learn something new about this interesting planet.                                                            

Uranus is the seventh planet from the sun and is the third largest planet. It has a diameter of 50,000 kilometres. Did you know that one day of light on Uranus is forty two earth years and a year on Uranus lasts eighty-four Earth years! Uranus weighs as much as about fourteen planet Earths. Also no human has ever been on Uranus!

Uranus and Neptune are called ice giants by scientists. Uranus can have a temperature of -224 Celsius, which is way colder than on Earth. Uranus has rings just like Saturn does. Some people think this is unique to Saturn but it is not.

Uranus has 3 moons. The largest moon is called Titania. All of Uranus's moons have craters.

Unlike other planets this planet has an "ocean" consisting of water, ammonia and other volatiles.

We hope you enjoyed this essay on Uranus. We hope that you learned a lot of facts on the planet today. One last fact is that Uranus was discovered in 1781! If you want to go learn more about other planets make sure to check them out on this website.

NEPTUNE

Introduction 

Did you know that Johann Galle was the first person to see Neptune? He was an astronomer from Germany. Neptune is the eighth planet from the sun and has temperatures that are drastically different from Earth. Would you like to learn more about Neptune? Well you have come to the right place. 

Weather

Like I mentioned before Neptune is the eighth planet from the sun. This makes it a cold planet. Neptune’s average temperature is about -214 degrees Celsius “brrrrr that’s chilly!” Neptune also has extreme weather patterns. Neptune’s storms are the most violent in the solar system.

Atmosphere

Neptune’s atmosphere consists of Hydrogen, Helium, and Methane. There are winds up to 2,200 km/h! The planet is made of mostly water. As a result there are several ice storms across the planet.

Size

Neptune is the fourth largest planet in the diameter. The planet Neptune is seventeen times the size of the earth. Another interesting fact is that Neptune used to be a lot closer to the sun, until it moved into its current position.

Conclusion

Neptune has a lot of interesting facts.  I hope that you learned lots about the planet. Thank you for taking time to look at our website. I encourage you to take a walk down Terrace B.C.’s Millennial Trail and see where the planets would be if scaled to the path's length.

PLUTO

Introduction

Is Pluto a comet or a planet? Let’s find out! Did you know Pluto is six times smaller than earth? It’s the smallest planet in the solar system it’s so small it’s not even a planet. It is a dwarf planet. This essay is all about Pluto and I hope you learn a lot.

Size

Pluto has a diameter of approximately 2,280 kilometers. Pluto is the ninth planet from the sun and it is approximately 6 billion kilometres away from the sun.

If you spent a day on Pluto how long would it be? It would be 153 hours compared to Earth's 24 hour days. If you were to go outside the temperature would be -229 degrees Celsius on an average day. Pluto’s year just like on Earth except it takes 90,588 days to orbit the sun.

People can’t live on Pluto because of how cold it is. Also nothing can grow or live on its surface. When was Pluto discovered? Pluto was discovered in 1930 and spent close to a century of being thought of as a ninth planet.

Cool Facts

In 2006 the International Astronomical Union decided that Pluto was no longer a planet; kicking the planet out of our solar system. Scientists said that Pluto was too small to be a planet so changed it into a dwarf planet. Now Pluto is considered the largest dwarf planet.

We hope you enjoyed this essay on Pluto. Pluto is a very interesting part of the solar system and there is a lot more that you can learn about it.

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