The Planets

Classes

The distances between our planets are so vast they are almost incomprehensible to visualise the expansiveness of our “cosmic neighborhood” so we decided to do it with toilet roll! Using the toilet roll, we mapped out the relative distance of the planets to the Sun. Check out the pictures of our visual distance mapper below.
We have also researched many, many facts about the planets this week. If you would like to see some of the things we have learned, take a look below the picture of our Solar System and journey to all the planets with us.

At the middle of the Solar System is our Sun, a very ordinary star about halfway through its lifetime.  Our Solar System is so much more than just the central star. It has planets, dwarf planets, loads of moons and millions of asteroids, comets and more. 

Mercury is the first and smallest of the planets.  It’s just bigger than our Moon and covered in craters.  

Venus is next. It’s another rocky planet with a thick poisonous atmosphere – temperatures here can reach over 470 0 C, which is about the temperature of a pizza oven.

Third rock from the Sun, our home. The Earth is a little bit bigger than Venus and we’re just far enough away from the Sun for water to be a liquid.

Moving on to Mars – the final rocky planet. It’s about half as wide as the Earth and it’s the next place that we humans would like to visit.  On average it’s a chilly -63 0C with ice caps made of solid carbon dioxide.

The next planet is Jupiter. The first of the gas giants, and it really is giant – over 11 times as wide as the Earth and has a mass that’s 2.5 times that of all of the other planets put together!

Moving on again we have another gas giant, Saturn, the second largest planet in the Solar System – the lord of the rings. It isn’t the only planet to have rings, but it definitely has the most beautiful ones, made from chunks of ice and rock.

Uranus is a type of planet called an ice giant and it was the first planet to be discovered using a telescope. It’s sometimes called the sideways planet, because instead of its North and South poles pointing “up” and “down”, one points towards the Sun and one points away.

And finally Neptune, the last planet in the Solar System, is about the same size as Uranus. It’s another ice giant surrounded by supersonic winds, Neptune has only travelled around the Sun once since it was discovered back in 1846! It's year lasts about 16 Earth years.