the outer planets
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The Outer Planets. Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Uranus. About 4 times diameter of Earth 3 billion km (1-3/4 billion miles) from Sun 84 Years to Circle Sun Rotates in 16 hours Five large satellites (500-1500 km), ten smaller ones Nine narrow rings. Uranus. Uranus from Voyager.

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the outer planets

The Outer Planets

Uranus, Neptune and Pluto

uranus
Uranus
  • About 4 times diameter of Earth
  • 3 billion km (1-3/4 billion miles) from Sun
  • 84 Years to Circle Sun
  • Rotates in 16 hours
  • Five large satellites (500-1500 km), ten smaller ones
  • Nine narrow rings
neptune
Neptune
  • About 4 times diameter of Earth- a bit smaller than Uranus
  • 4.5 billion km (2.8 billion miles) from Sun
  • 165 Years to Circle Sun
  • Rotates in 18 hours
  • One large satellite (2700 km), seven smaller ones
  • Four narrow rings
pluto
Pluto
  • At 2300 km, Pluto is the smallest planet
  • Has most elliptical orbit: ranges from 4.4 to 7.4 billion km from Sun (2.8-4.5 billion miles)
  • Actually crosses orbit of Neptune; closer to Sun than Neptune until 2009
  • Orbits in 248 years, 1.5 times Neptune
  • Because of orbital tilt and resonance, cannot collide with Neptune
pluto and charon
Pluto and Charon
  • Pluto’s moon Charon is almost half as big as Pluto (1100 km)
  • Orbits only 20,000 km away
  • Pluto and Charon always keep same face to each other (rotation locked)
  • Pluto rotates, and Charon revolves, in 6.4 days
plutinos and the kuiper belt
Plutinos and the Kuiper Belt
  • The Kuiper Belt is an outer ice asteroid belt, probably the source of most comets
  • Hundreds are now known orbiting beyond Neptune, some beyond Pluto
  • Pluto is just the biggest of these objects and not really a planet
  • Several dozen have periods similar to Pluto’s - 250 years - and have been dubbed “plutinos.”
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