Our supersaver event on .space domains has us wondering: what is really ‘out there’?
If you consider yourself to be something of an astronomist then this recently released generic top level domain (gTLD) is perfect for you. Since March 2013, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, has released hundreds of unique web address ending for the public. As alternative options for .com, .net and .org, these domains are industry, hobby and business specific.
Earlier this year .space entered general availability and when all eyes were on Pluto for this summer’s New Horizons flyby on July 14th, 2015, it was especially poignant. In celebration of our favorite on again/off again planet and this great domain we thought we would take a closer look at what exists beyond our Earth’s atmosphere. While Pluto’s heart-shaped surface will be hard to beat we decided to take a look at the other eight planets in our solar system too.
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Have you ever thought of what wonders you might find on the other eight planets that make up our solar system? We certainly have! What incredible sights might you encounter were you to take a stroll around Jupiter or Saturn? All natural laws aside, of course as it would be instant death if anyone actually attempted to coast through the extreme winds on Jupiter or the intense heat of Mercury. So let’s assume that the technology exists to take this stroll on our behalf through the celestial bodies in our Solar System, and discuss the sights we would see…
Let’s start in the center of our solar system, the biggest star in our sky and the lifeblood of our planet: the Sun. The Sun has a diameter of 1.4 million kilometers (870,000 miles), or the equivalent of 109 Earths lined up. The mass of the sun has temperatures reaching 27 billion degrees Fahrenheit. If you were to try and walk across the Sun you would obviously be burnt to a crisp, but if you could withstand the elements you would see dark spots created by areas of lower temperature, solar flares along the edges of the sunspots and helmet streamers, or big white regions that extend beyond the surface of the Sun created by trapped solar plasma due to the magnetic field of the Sun.
As the planet closest to the Sun, Mercury is a bit steamy during the day at 800 degrees Fahrenheit, and an ice block at night at -279 degrees below zero. One year on Mercury, or one full rotation of the planet around the Sun, occurs every 88 normal Earth days. If you were to walk across the surface of Mercury you would see craters similar to the ones you would find on Earth’s moon. You would also only weigh 38% of your normal weight – talk about an easy diet!
As the hottest planet in the solar system, Venus is similar to Earth in size, density and mass. The surface of the planet is dry with large flat plains, high regions and large depressions formed by the 168 volcanos spread around the planet. Venus’s rotation is so slow that it travels around the Sun faster than it spins on its axis. This means that a Venus year is shorter than the 243 Earth days it takes for the Sun to rise or set. If you were to meander across the planet you would have a hard time making out your next step due to the sulfuric fog that hovers over the surface.
Mars, or the Red Planet, is considered to be potentially the most habitable planet, with temperatures ranging from 32-148 degrees Fahrenheit. A day on Mars is only 0.6 hours longer than that on Earth, and features two moons named Phobos and Deimos. If you were to stroll along the surface of Mars you would find the surface covered in canyons and valleys, and both poles blanketed in ice. Scientists believe that Mars was once covered in water because of the Earth-like landscape, cut with valleys and ridges.
Spending a year on Jupiter would take almost 12 Earth years to complete, but a day would only take 9.8 Earth hours because of its quick axis rotation. The Jupiter sky has 63 moons that appear during different times of the year. If you were to wander through Jupiter you would see the four rings that surround the planet named Halo, Main, Amalthea gossamer and Thebe gossamer. Jupiter’s four main moons are always visible in the sky, and are named Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. The red spot seen on Jupiter’s surface is actually a storm that has existed for over 300 Earth years, and is called the Great Red Spot.
Saturn is the only planet whose density is lower than water, meaning that if we threw Saturn into a really big (75,000 miles in diameter at least) body of water it would actually float. Spending a day on Saturn would only take 10 hours and 14 minutes, and a year would take almost 30 Earth years. The planet features 62 known moons, the largest of which is named Titan, so large that it actually has its own atmosphere. Saturn’s rings are primarily made up of water ice mixed with rocky material.
This planet has 13 unique rings named after numerical values and Greek symbols, and 27 moons named after characters created by Shakespeare and Alexander Pope. If you were to walk through Uranus you would find temperatures colder than on any of the other planets, and lots and lots of Uranium, for which the planet is named. The atmosphere appears as a pale blue-green color due to the presence of methane.
Like Uranus, Neptune also appears to have a blue color because of methane in the atmosphere. A year on Neptune lasts 164 Earth years and a day takes 16 Earth hours. Neptune has 13 moons, the largest of which is named Titan, and five mains rings. Neptune was discovered without sight of the planet in the sky; rather it was discovered based on mathematics based on the rotation patterns of the other planets. Neptune is never seen by the naked eye like Mars and Venus. If you were to walk around on Neptune you would be bombarded by storms with winds up to 1,240 miles per hour.
If you were to view Pluto through a telescope it would appear to be a dim, distant star. It is only 1,400 miles wide, or about half the width of the United States. It is so small that its mass doesn’t clear other objects in its path. Because of Pluto’s variable plane that it uses as it travels around the Sun it was deemed as a dwarf planet until 2006. Since then the New Horizons spacecraft finally arrived at Pluto after nine long years, on 14th July, 2015. From this we learned that Pluto’s moons, Hydra and Nix are 34 and 26 miles across respectively, and that Charon is 750.6 miles across. We also learned that there is an 11,000 ft mountain range near the equator and that Pluto features a plasma tail that extends behind its travel path for tens of thousands of miles.
Celebrate your love for our universe with your own .space domain today. If you hurry you can get a great deal from WestHost.com!