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NICK BOWDEN . THE FINAL FRONTIER. 9/8/13. The Solar System. Hi, I’m Nick and I am going to tell you about our Solar System. Our Solar System began around 4.6 billion years ago when a molecular cloud of interstellar gas collapsed. These clouds collapsed and turned into a star.

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the solar system
The Solar System

Hi, I’m Nick and I am going to tell you about our Solar System.

Our Solar System began around 4.6 billion years ago when a

molecular cloud of interstellar gas collapsed.

These clouds collapsed and turned into a star.

Most of the cloud formed the Sun. Other material from

the cloud flattened around the Sun forming planetary discs—some formed solid objects which grew larger and stuck together.

These balls then form the cores of the planets…

the solar system1

Jupiter-The Gas Giant

  • 5th planet from the Sun LARGEST 4th brightest in the sky
  • Brightly colored bands wrap the surface are clouds and gases but with a rocky core
  • The “Great Red Spot” big enough to hold two Earths
  • 63 satellites & 3 rings (dark and hard to see)
  • Red with white bands


  • 6th planet from the Sun and the 2nd largest
  • Bright in the sky; visibly flattened and surface looks smooth—looks pale yellow
  • Large visible ring structure (bright) & 53 satellites (moons)


  • 7th planet from the Sun and the 3rd largest
  • 27 moons and 11 rings (dark and hard to see )
  • Blue & smooth surface-rocky and icy surface


  • 8th planet from the Sun and the 4th largest
  • Blue & smooth-in the southern hemisphere Great Dark Spot
  • 13 moons & 4 rings (dark and some with twisted structure)
The Solar System


  • Closest planet to the Sun and 8th largest
  • No known satellites or rings
  • Visible with binoculars or even the unaided eye
  • Surface is heavily cratered, very old-Gray


  • 2nd planet from the Sun and the 6thlargest
  • Most circular orbit of that of any planet
  • Very few craters-smooth surface
  • No satellites or rings
  • Visible with the unaided eye, very bright--Yellow


  • 3rd planet from the Sun and the 5th largest
  • 70% water 30% land—surface appears smooth
  • One moon-no rings
  • Blue and White

Mars (The Red Planet)

  • 4th planet from the Sun and the 7th largest
  • 2 satellites-Phobos & Deimos, but no rings
  • Red, rocky surface--similar land forms to earth (volcanoes, water-erosion marks, polar caps)
inner planets
Inner Planets
  • The 4 inner planets are Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars.
  • The inner planets are composed mostly of rock while the outer planets are gas giants.
  • Inner planets are both

smaller and denser than

outer planets.

  • They also have few or no

moons and no rings circling


outer planets
Outer Planets
  • Outer planets include– Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
  • The outer planets are much larger, are more gaseous, have lower densities, and all have some sort of rings.
  • All outer planets are larger in size and have increased gravity which can hold onto lighter elements like gases.
  • The inner and outer planets are separated by the asteroid belt.
earths surface terra
Earths surface-Terra
  • Earth is a terrestrial planet--it is a rocky body, rather than a gas giant like Jupiter.
  • It is the largest of the four terrestrial planets in size and mass.
  • This crust is broken into many large plates(tectonic plates) that move slowly relative to each other.
  • 70% water (undersea mountains, mid-ocean ridge system, undersea volcanoes, oceanic trenches, submarine canyons, oceanic plateaus )
    • Atlantic Ocean
    • Pacific Ocean (largest)
    • Arctic Ocean (smallest)
    • Indian Ocean
    • Southern Ocean
earths surface
Earths surface
  • 30% land including 7 continents consists of mountains, deserts, plains, plateaus, and other types of land
    • Africa
    • Asia
    • Antarctica
    • Australia
    • Europe
    • North America
    • South America

Mars Surface(many similarities to Earth)

Polar Caps

These polar caps appear to be partially composed of dry ice and frozen water.

Large Canyon Systems

Large canyon system appears to have been formed mostly by local tectonic activity (local motion of surface) rather than by erosion.

Running Water Erosion

Huge Shield Volcanoes

Volcanoes on Mars are now extinct, volcanoes are called shield volcanoes, because they look like shields.

Channels that appear to have been cut by running water similar to those found on the Earth.

mars surface
Mars surface
  • Dry, barren wasteland marked by

old volcanoes and impact craters

  • Mars lacks the wind, rain, and plate

tectonics that cause erosion

here on Earth

  • The northern hemisphere craters and appear far less eroded indicating they are much younger than those of the southern hemisphere.
  • Mars is a small world--Its radius is half of the Earth’s surface
  • Covered by a fine layer of iron oxide dust that has the consistency of talcum powder--gives the planet its characteristic red hue (Red Planet)
  • We are celebrating the mars rover its 1 year on the red planet.
  • Curiosity is a car-sized robotic rover exploring Gale Crater on Mars as part of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission (MSL).
  • Curiosity was launched November 26, 2011, and successfully landed on Mars on August 6, 2012,
  • Curiosity's design will serve as the basis for a planned Mars 2020 rover mission. In December 2012, Curiosity's two-year mission was extended indefinitely.
how planets are alike
How Planets are Alike
  • Planets in our solar system formed from the same cloud of dust that circled the early Sun. Most planets have moons. and they are round but some of them are different circles like ovals.
  • While there's a group of planets that are made of gas, there are four planets in our solar system that are made of hard rock.
  • So, some planets are alike by what they're made of. Another way they're alike is the conditions of weather on the planets.
  • Jupiter and Neptune. Jupiter has the Great Red Spot, while Neptune has the Big Blue Spot.
how planets are different
How Planets are Different
  • Planets have the colors that they have because of what they are made of and how their surfaces or atmospheres reflect and absorb sunlight.
  • Mercury has a dark gray, rocky surface which is covered with a thick layer of dust. The surface is thought to be made up of igneous silicate rocks and dust.
  • Venus is entirely covered with a thick carbon dioxide atmosphere and sulfuric acid clouds which give it a light yellowish appearance.
  • Earth shows its blue oceans and white clouds as well as its green and brownish land.
  • The Solar System started out the same way.
  • The planets have different characteristics.
  • The planets are alike in some ways.
  • There is only one planet that can sustain life.
  • Do we know this for a fact, or do we need to keep exploring?
  • There is no Final Frontier………