Features and Characteristics of the Inner and Outer Planets

Features and Characteristics of the Inner and Outer Planets

Features and Characteristics of the Inner Planets

  • Inner Planets, also known as terrestrial planets, include Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars.
  • Terrestrial planets are composed predominantly of rock and metal, meaning they have a solid surface.
  • They are closer to the Sun and are therefore warmer than the outer planets.
  • Inner planets are smaller and have higher densities compared to outer planets.
  • They generally possess fewer moons. For instance, Mercury and Venus have no moons while Mars and Earth have a small number of moons.
  • Inner planets have thin atmospheres, with the exception of Venus, which has a particularly dense atmosphere rich in carbon dioxide.
  • Phenomena such as volcanoes, craters or mountain ranges can be found due to their geologically active nature.

Features and Characteristics of the Outer Planets

  • Outer planets or gas giants include Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
  • These planets are made mostly of hydrogen and helium with some other trace elements.
  • Outer planets are larger and less dense compared to the inner planets.
  • These planets are significantly farther from the Sun, resulting in colder temperatures.
  • They possess thick atmospheres with sometimes vividly coloured clouds and strong storm systems.
  • Outer planets have many moons. For example, Jupiter has 79 known moons and Saturn has 62.
  • All four outer planets have ring systems made up of rock and ice particles.

Remember to consider these points when studying the features and characteristics of the inner and outer planets. Identifying the differences between these groups of planets delivers a comprehensive understanding of the planetary bodies in our solar system.