inner planets

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Name: __________________________________ The Inner Solar System by Leslie Cargile The inner solar system is the name of the terrestrial planets and asteroid belt. Terrestrial is just a fancy way of saying rocky. Like the Earth, terrestrial planets have a core of iron and rock. At the center of the solar system is the Sun. The Sun is a big ball of hydrogen powered by nuclear reactions. Massive explosions are going on all of the time inside the Sun. It’s what makes the light every day and keeps our planet warm. You know what planet is next. You live on Light zips from the Sun to us in about eight it! Yup, the Earth is number three. We have a minutes. The Sun is the most massive thing in our rocky iron core at the center of our planet. We solar system. It is so big you could fit about a have liquid water, and our air is made of mostly million Earths inside of it! nitrogen and oxygen. It takes three hundred and sixty-five days for us to circle the sun. We only Closest to the Sun is the planet Mercury. have one moon. You could squeeze about eighteen Mercury’s inside of Earth. It is made of mostly rock, but it has Next to us in is Mars. Mars also has a core a huge iron core and it generates a big of rock and iron. It is a little more than half the magnetic field. Speedy little Mercury sails around size of Earth. The most distinct feature about Mars the sun in only eighty-eight days. Mercury was is its red color. Dust rich in iron oxide covers the the messenger of the gods in Roman mythology, planet. It’s sort of like the planet is rusting. White known for his speed. caps at the poles are water, forever frozen because of the colder temperatures further from Second in line comes Venus, which is the Sun. The only place the temperature rises sometimes called Earth's twin. It's about the same above freezing is at the equator, or the middle of size as Earth, but that’s where the similarities end. the planet. Mars has two moons, Deimos and Venus is always covered in thick clouds full of Phobos but they are much smaller than our own sulfuric acid. They whip around the planet at moon. It takes nearly twice as long for Mars to more than two hundred twenty mph. Violent circle the sun at almost 684 days. winds shoot sand made of silicate around Venus’s very dry, arid surface. The temperature The last part of the inner solar system is averages nine hundred degrees, and the called the Asteroid Belt. It’s the line between the pressure’s ninety times that on Earth. It takes two inner rocky planets and the outer gaseous hundred and twenty four days to orbit the sun. planets. Unlike the rest of the Inner Solar System, Like Mercury, Venus was also named after a the Asteroid Belt isn’t a planet at all. It is a bunch Roman Goddess, the Goddess of love. of large rocky chunks, mostly meteoroids. There's also a dwarf planet named Ceres in the asteroid belt. The rest aren’t very large. The Earth is the only planet that we know of with life on it, but universe is a big place. Much of our solar system is still a mystery, there is still plenty to explore. Super Teacher Worksheets - www.superteacherworksheets.com

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