Types of Planets in Our Solar System & their Characteristics

Details about the types of Planets & their Special Properties

TYPES OF PLANETS – Here are the characteristics of the Terrestrial Planets or Inner Planets and the Gas Giants or the Outer Planets.

Science is one of the subjects in the educational curriculum with the widest scope. It is the reason why it is taught from kinder to college with the topics arranged based on the level of difficulty. One of the topics under it is the Solar System.

solar system
Photo Credit: Space.com

The Solar System is made up of the eight planets, the star, and several smaller bodies including asteroids, dwarf planets, and comets. It orbits the center of Milky Way galaxy.

The planets found in the Solar System are divided between two (2) main types of planets which you can check below. They major differences in terms of their composition.

Types of Planets in Our Solar System
Photo Credit: National Graphic Society

One of the types of planets is the Terrestrial Planet or also called the Inner Planets. In the Solar System, there are four (4) inner planets such as the following:

  • Mercury
  • Venus
  • Earth
  • Mars

Terrestrial Planets are closest to the Sun and they have dense, rocky composition with solid surfaces. Aside from being called as inner planets, they are also called as Telluric Planets or Rocky Planets as their composition if mainly made of silicate rocks and metals.

The four (4) Terristrial Planets stated above are in order based on their distance from the Sun. They are located in the inner solar system which is composed of inner planets and the asteroid belt.

The inner planets experience a more intense radiation because of their proximity to the Sun. They have smaller sizes thus they cannot hold the escaping gases. With regards to the planet sizes, the small the planet, the lesser the gravity is.

Another half of the types of planets is the Gas Giants or also called the Outer Planets. There are four gas giants in the Solar System such as the following:

  • Jupiter
  • Saturn
  • Uranus
  • Neptune

The aforementioned planets are found outside the Solar System and they have massive and gaseous composition. The Uranus and Neptune are called the “Ice Giants”. They are also called the Jovian planets but they are not completely gaseous as their core is rocky.

Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Jupiter which is the largest planet in the Solar System rotate faster than the Earth and other inner planets. Based on an article on The Planets, if the day on Earth is composed of 24 hours, a day in the gas planets may only take 10 hours.

What is similar between the Earth and the gas giants is that they have wind bands. The outer planets also experience storm.

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