Our solar system is home to a variety of celestial objects, including planets, moons, asteroids, and even dwarf planets .
All of these objects differ from each other in many ways, but work in perfect unison. A comparative study of the various features of these celestial bodies gives us some interesting results.
The above animation from planetary scientist Dr. James O’Donoghue helps put the various objects in the solar system in perspective in terms of size, rotation speed, and the axial tilt at which they rotate.
Selected solar system objects to scale
With such a diverse solar system of planets and other celestial objects, there is no shortage of questions to think about. For example, what is the exact diameter of Jupiter or how fast is Pluto spinning?
To answer them, here is a comparison of some selected celestial bodies in our solar system, from the largest to the smallest:
Planets such as Venus or Pluto rotate in the opposite direction to the Earth, or retrograde, and are therefore marked with a negative symbol in front of their meanings.
Another interesting observation is that the Sun rotates around its axis only once in about 27 days and has an axial tilt of about 7.25 degrees from the axis of the Earth’s orbit. Consequently, we see the north pole of the Sun more often in September each year and the south pole in March.
How do the different objects compare to the Earth?
The Earth we live on is a unique planet in our solar system, containing water and air, and a place where living things thrive. But beyond these differences in surface level, is our home really different from other planets and celestial objects?
In the table below, we compare other nearby celestial bodies to Earth, using ratios-this time from lesser to greater:
Although Jupiter is about 11 times wider than Earth, its rotation period is only 0.4 times that of our planet, meaning it rotates at a much faster speed.
Venus, on the other hand, takes a slow and steady approach, taking 244 times as long to complete one revolution (compared to the background stars) compared to Earth.
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