Interesting Facts: The Solar System Continued

Part 2. In this article, you will learn the difference that Uranus holds over all other planets in the Solar System, as well as information on axis tips, the orbit of Neptune, and the first woman in space.

About 800 years ago, a monk in Canterbury named Gervasius documented that he viewed a large burst of fire that took place on the face of the moon. He often thought that this served as an omen of a great occurrence that would occur on Earth, but as time went on , nothing appeared out of the norm. Scholars and those who supported his word started to doubt his ideas and felt that he was envisioning these things on his own. In recent times, an astronomer hailing from New York University believes that Gervasius actually caught sight of the impact of a rather large meteor that caused an explosion and fire on the surface. It is thought that this crash was responsible for the creation of the large crater known as Giordano Bruno.

All of the moons of the planets in the Solar System are named after Greek gods, except for the moons of Uranus, who bear the names of characters in Shakespearean plays.

For unknown reasons, the planet of Uranus is reported to lie on its “side” and that it possess an extreme axial tip of 98 degrees. To get a sense of the difference, Earth has an axis tip of 23.5 degrees, Mars is documented at 24 degrees, and Jupiter only display a measly 3 degrees axis tip.

The last time that the planet of Neptune has completed a revolution about the Sun was in 1846. The orbital period of the planet is 155 years, meaning a full orbit will not have taken place until 2011.

When taking a look the laws of gravity, the moon does not exactly orbit the Earth. In actuality, the two bodies both orbit about a common center of gravity, which is found 1,000 miles beneath the surface of the Earth.

The first woman in space was a Soviet by the name of Valentina Tereshkova, which took place in 1963. It wasn’t until 20 years later that a female American made the journey, which was accomplished by Sally Ride in 1983.

The objects that orbit the Sun are separated into three different classes , planets, dwarf planets, and small Solar System bodies.

Ceres is the largest body found in the Asteroid Belt and serves as its only dwarf planet. With a diameter of a little under 1000 km, it is large enough to have its own gravity pull it into the spherical shape that it is. When first discovered during the 19th century, Ceres was actually mistaken for a planet. In the 1850s, it was reclassified as an asteroid once furth observations uncovered more asteroids. In 2006, Ceres was once again reclassified and deemed a dwarf planet.