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What Is the List of the Planets Printable?

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Distinctions between dwarf planets and planets

There are several differences between planets and dwarf worlds. Planets are massive objects in their own right, and dwarf planets are smaller bodies in their own orbits. Pluto is the prototypical dwarf planet. Other differences include their geological activity and planetary-like characteristics. For these reasons, both types of worlds have a place in our solar system. But how does one differentiate between a planet and a dwarf planet?

Pluto was classified as a planet for several years, until its orbit was deemed too peculiar. It was found that Pluto was much closer to the sun than Neptune. This astronomical discovery led to the classification of Pluto as a dwarf planet. In 2006, astronomers discovered Eris, another dwarf planet, in the same outer region of our solar system as Pluto. Its orbit remained odd for a planet, so it was reclassified as a dwarf planet.

Distinctions between dwarf planets and planetlets are complicated, but there are some basic principles that define these objects. One way to differentiate between planets and dwarf planets is by mass. As Pluto is smaller than Pluto, it has a much smaller mass than Jupiter. Unlike Jupiter, Pluto has a largely uncluttered orbit. In contrast, Jupiter, Earth, and Pluto all have a similar orbit around the Sun.

A dwarf planet is a spherical body in orbit around the Sun with sufficient mass to assume hydrostatic equilibrium. In contrast to a planet, a dwarf planet has not cleared its neighborhood surrounding its orbit. It is also not a satellite, and it has no clear surface. These distinctions make it possible to determine how many dwarf planets are present in the solar system. Its existence is a source of confusion for scientists.

Distances from the sun

The distance between a planet and the Earth varies considerably depending on its orbit around the Sun. Because these planets do not revolve around the Sun in a perfect circle, their distances from Earth differ from one another. The closest distance between Mercury and Earth is 77 million kilometers, and the farthest distance is 222 million kilometers. The table below lists the average distance between a planet and its nearest neighbor. The distances are listed in astronomical units (AUs).

The distances of the planets from the sun are measured in astronomical units, or AUs. One AU is 149 million kilometers, or 92957000 miles. While this is a convenient unit for measuring distances within the solar system, other distances in the universe are measured in different units. Using the astronomical units is helpful for estimating the distance between different planets.

In the 18th century, Giovanni Domenico Cassini, an Italian astronomer, sent an assistant to French Guiana to observe Mars’s parallax and calculate its distance from Earth. Later, astronomers attempted to measure the distance of Venus by observing its transit across the Sun. Captain Cook participated in the transit observation from Tahiti in 1769, but the measurements varied by about three percent.

As the planets move further away from the Sun, the distance between them doubles. For example, Mars is a little closer to Earth than Venus. For comparison, Jupiter is closer to Earth than Mars. The planets are in the same orbit, but they move in opposite directions. The distances between the planets are calculated using Kepler’s Harmonic Law and the Law of Titius-Bode.


The Earth is our largest planet by far, but this is not to say that we should ignore its enormous satellites. Some people think of Mars as the largest planet, but it is dwarfed by the gas giants at the outer reaches of the solar system. These planets have vastly different sizes, and their distances from the Sun vary wildly. This article explores the sizes of the planets in order of distance from the Sun.

To understand the sizes of planets, first learn how the distances between the planets are measured. It is best to convert the distances in units of light-years. In order to convert to other units, students should multiply the distances by 150 million to get their correct proportions. For younger children, holding the planets can help them understand the relative sizes of the planets. While young children can easily grasp the size difference between the planets, adults should try to avoid the confusion and stress that may occur when they do not fully understand the concepts.

The following illustration shows the approximate sizes of planets. From left to right, the planets are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. The dwarf planet Pluto is slightly smaller than one-fifth the size of Earth. The other planets are in descending order of size from largest to smallest. There are more than a hundred dwarf planets in our solar system, and we can’t see them all!


Although the atmospheres of the giant planets are largely composed of inert gases, the presence of clouds and other features has been proven in previous years. Jupiter and Saturn were found to have atmospheres because of telescopic observations of clouds, polar snow-caps, and twilight. Mercury and the moon, however, lack any atmospheres. It may be possible to observe the composition of these atmospheres with a spectroscope, but it is difficult to observe the presence of inert gases such as nitrogen and oxygen, which are not found in the atmospheres of other planets. In addition, tests for water-vapour and oxygen are complicated by the presence of compounds in earth’s atmosphere.

The atmospheres of the planets are vertically stratified. They are distinguished by their composition and temperature. The upper atmosphere consists of the thermosphere, which receives heat from solar EUV photons, and the exosphere, which is above it. The lower boundary of the exosphere is the exobase, which occurs where the atmospheric pressure scale height is equal to the mean free path of gas.

Carbon dioxide is the dominant greenhouse gas in the atmospheres of the solar system. Mars and Venus have CO2-dominant atmospheres, while Earth has the highest concentration of CO2. But, the atmospheres of Mercury, Europa, and Pluto have lower concentrations of CO2 and other gasses. Moreover, they have low escape velocities, which allow the escape of atmospheric species from the atmosphere. These conditions result in lower temperatures and atmospheric mass loss.

The outer planets have different atmospheres and cloud formations. In the case of Jupiter, it is easy to detect the cloud tops, while on Saturn, it is more difficult. On Saturn, small clouds and a cloud band are seen near the planet’s southern pole. The clouds are a result of the process of photochemistry and cloud formation. In fact, clouds are produced on each planet in different layers.


The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (IAU-WGPSN) maintains a list of names for planetary bodies, including moons. Historically, each civilization has given their moons names. The Italian name for the Moon, for example, is Luna, while French and German names are Mond and Selene. In addition to planetary names, Moons also have their own histories and legends.

The list of planets and moons includes the planets and the largest potential dwarf planets. These are listed in chronological order, starting with the largest planet. Moons without official Roman numeral designations are listed after those that do. The list includes the names of 19 moons that are large enough to be rounded by their own gravity. They have slightly different sidereal periods and semi-major axes, and their distance from their parent planets affects their orbital speeds.

Mars has two moons. Deimos is slightly bigger than Phobos and is about three times the size of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. It is possible that Mars has other moons, but these are unidentified. They are far enough away to be inaccessible to us by air, although their orbits are slowly being boosted. It is hard to pinpoint their origins, but we do know that they are made of carbon.

The list of planets also includes irregular satellites. Jupiter has about 80 moons, of which 57 are permanent and have names. The eight regular moons of Jupiter are grouped into two groups: the Galilean moons and the smaller Amalthea. Jupiter’s irregular moons fall into two groups: retrograde moons and prograde ones. Their orbits are highly elliptical and they orbit opposite to the planet’s spin.