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LET’S EXPLORE THE INNER SOLAR SYSTEM

Dive deep into the rocky planets that make up our immediate area

Inner Solar System

The asteroid belt and terrestrial planets are together referred to as the inner solar system. Rocky is just another word for terrestrial. Terrestrial planets have a core made of iron and rock, just like the Earth. The Sun sits in the middle of our solar system. A huge hydrogen ball propelled by nuclear processes is the sun. The Sun is constantly undergoing enormous explosions. It creates the light we see each day and keeps our planet warm. The eight minutes it takes for light to travel from the Sun to us. In our solar system, the Sun is the object with the greatest mass.

A frigid cloud of gas and dust buried deep within one of the spiral arms of the Milky Way galaxy began to collapse some 4.5 billion years ago. Gravity then started to work its effect. One of the cloud’s components, which was destined to become our Sun and the rest of the solar system, started to compress and separate. The solar nebula’s center region, which would eventually become the Sun, sucked in the majority of material as gravity continued to compress it. But not all of the gas and dust could fall into the proto-Sun that was being formed at the center because the nebula was revolving. Instead, a portion of it created a disc that eventually collapsed to produce the planets and other, smaller components of the solar system.

About Sun

The proto-Sun was still contracting and becoming hotter at this stage of the solar system’s development. This remained until the nuclear fusion flames were sparked by a rise in the core temperature. The object eventually transformed into the steady star we know as the Sun due to the heat released by these nuclear reactions, which created pressure to overcome gravity’s pull.  In the same way, the Sun continues to produce energy. Positively charged protons (the nuclei of hydrogen atoms) can overcome their mutual attraction and fuse together to form helium at temperatures of 27 million degrees Fahrenheit (15 million degrees Celsius) in the core.

The Sun is a massive ball of gas with a radius of 435,000 miles, but it appears to have a sharp edge because the energy radiates from a thin layer that is just a few hundred miles thick.

Rocky Planets

Mercury

The “rocky” or terrestrial planet Mercury has received the least amount of exploration in our solar system. The three flybys that the Mariner 10 mission made in 1974 and 1975, which mapped 45% of the planet’s surface, were the only previous NASA interactions with the innermost planet. The first of three fly-bys of Mercury was made by the MESSENGER mission in January 2008.  Scientists will be able to learn more about our home planet and its position in the inner solar system when it begins to expose the planet’s composition and history.

In areas of the planet’s poles that are permanently in shadow, researchers have found evidence of ice using radar. How is it possible for ice to survive on a planet so near the Sun? Well, Mercury’s axis is essentially straight up and down, in contrast to Earth’s, which tilts to the ecliptic plane by around 23.5 degrees. The bottom of the craters at the north and south poles therefore remain shaded (and cold) because the Sun never shines down onto the poles of the innermost planet.

Venus

After the Sun and the Moon, Venus is the third-brightest object in our night sky. It looks to be more than ten times as brilliant as Sirius, the brightest star. Either after sunset in the western sky or just before dawn in the eastern sky, it can be seen.

Since the two planets share a lot in common in terms of size and bulk composition, even though their evolution took completely different paths, it has frequently been called Earth’s sister planet. The Venus In Situ Explorer (VISE) and Venus Mobile Explorer (VME), two future mission concepts that would explore Venus’ surface and aid in understanding the processes of climate change that led to the planet’s extreme conditions today, are not currently being targeted by any NASA missions.  Also being considered is a Venus Surface Sample Return (VSSR) mission. These missions continue to be distant objectives for Venus investigation.

Our Home: The Earth

Even though there are many gorgeous places in the solar system, Earth is still many people’s favorite planet. It is the location of all our favorite people, and fast food restaurants; unless you are an astronaut. You have experienced everything you have ever heard with your own ears and felt with your own hands.

Only Earth has a water cycle that is dynamic and supported by a lot of liquid water. Water’s effects are felt everywhere, from weather to weathering. Our home planet is the only one known to have active plate tectonics. Tectonics in which separate chunks of crust are continuously generated. It is part of a global recycling programme that produces natural phenomena like earthquakes and volcanoes.

Earth’s Moon

The Moon is unique among the solar system’s objects. It is the only one to which humans have travelled outside of Earth and where they will likely return shortly. In order to get ready for long-term human residence on the moon, NASA is sending robotic missions there. This will eventually help humanity reach Mars and fulfil the objectives outlined in the Vision for Space Exploration (VSE). Understanding the Moon’s past can help us understand how the moon formed.

Mars

Mars is a very alluring object of research since it is the most tempting target in the solar system. To look for extraterrestrial life, as well as serving as a great laboratory for studying planetary evolution in relation to Venus and Earth. The Vision for Space Exploration’s human spaceflight programme also has Mars as one of its ultimate destinations. Last but not least, Mars is rather accessible, with launch windows opening up every two years or so. Because of these factors, the Mars study Programme is an entirely integrated initiative created to maximize the scientific benefits. The technological advancements, and the level of public interest in the robotic study of the Red Planet. Each program’s strategic mission has connections to earlier missions, orbiters, and landers in terms of both technology and science.

The northern and southern polar caps of the Red Planet do contain water ice. Under the Martian surface, aqueous ice has also been discovered by recent expeditions. It is widely acknowledged that the presence of water on Mars is a sign that the planet’s past life may still be preserved.


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