The mass of our sun makes up 99.86% of the total mass of the entire solar system. Our sun is made up of ¾ hydrogen and the rest is mostly helium. Every sun has a birth, lifespan and a death. Our sun will continue to shine for around 130 million more years and then it will stop burning its hydrogen and begin to burn helium. When that happens it will expand and grow and eventually engulf Mercury, Venus, and Earth. Once our sun begins to expand it will eventually become a red giant star. Once our sun enters the red giant stage it will eventually collapse until it nears the size of our Earth and at that time it will be a white dwarf star. Gravity is what gives celestial bodies their circular shape and with such powerful gravity, our sun is the closest thing in nature to being a perfect sphere. Looking at the sun you wouldn’t think that it’s moving but it’s actually traveling through space at 220 km per second. It takes our sun 225-250 million years to complete an orbit around the Milky Way galaxy.
Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun at a distance of 57 million kilometers / 35 million miles. Out of all the terrestrial planets, Mercury is the smallest. It is also the smallest planet in the Solar System. Despite being so small, Mercury is the second-densest planet in the Solar System after Earth. This means it is very compact. Mercury does not have any satellites or ring systems. The surface of Mercury is similar to the Moon. It is the most heavily cratered planet and this means that it hasn’t been geologically active for many years. Mercury has a radius of 2.439 km / 1.516 mi and a diameter of 4.879 km / 3.032 mi. Though it is the closest planet to the Sun, temperatures on Mercury are both hot and cold.
Venus is the second planet from the Sun, and the sixth-largest planet in the Solar System. Venus and Mercury are the only planets in the Solar System that do not have a moon. Venus is the second brightest object in the sky after the Moon, and the Sun. It is the only planet named after a female deity and the brightest planet in the Solar System. Venus is 62 degrees hotter than Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun. Venus is at a distance of 108 million km / 68 million mi away from the Sun Venus and Uranus rotate in the opposite direction than the other planets. They both move from East to West, clockwise.
4. The Earth
The shape of the Earth is actually closer to a squashed sphere. It’s fatter in the middle near the equator where gravity pushes to create a bulge. Even though you might think you are standing still, the Earth is turning. The speed at the equator is around 1,000 mph. The Earth is also moving through the solar system at around 67,000 mph/107,826 kph. Earth is constantly recycling its material through tectonic movement which drags surface rocks back down below the surface to become magma and then is spewed back out from volcanoes. Earthquakes are the result of tectonic plate movement on the planet. The largest earthquake recorded in the U.S. was in 2016 in Alaska, registered at 9.2 on the Richter Scale; with the largest global earthquake recorded in 1960 in Chile, registering 9.5 on the Richter Scale. The hottest recorded temperature location on the Earth is in El Azizia, Libya with temperatures hitting 136 degrees F/57.8 degrees C in 1922. The coldest temperature location is in Antarctica with temperatures reaching -100 degrees F/-73 degrees