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Astronomy Essay

784 words - 4 pages

Days on the Planets

We are all accustomed to thinking of a day as a period of 24 hours. Many people often wonder how and why a an hour consists of 60 minutes and a day is divided into 24 hours. We can all tell time and we schedule our appointments and dates around time and day all the time. No one ever really stops to look into the history of the origin of time and how it was determined to be divided upon. However, that definition is a narrow one that only applies to planet earth., but what about other planets? One day is the length of time it takes for a planet to complete one single rotation on its axis which is 360°. Since all of the planets rotate at different speeds, the ...view middle of the document...

As a outcome of this, the Sun's position in the sky at noon is roughly fixed, but the stars slowly drift apart.

Venus
Venus is the slowest moving planet in our solar system. One day on Venus is comparable to 243 days on Earth. This is very unusual because a year on Venus is 224.7 days. Unlike the other planets in our solar system, Venus rotates backwards or clockwise on its axis while all the other planets rotate counter-clockwise on their axis.
Mars
A day on Mars is very comparable to a day on planet Earth. A Mar's day is measured to be 24 hours 39 minutes and 35 seconds. It’s axis is tilted by 25.2°, again, similar to the Earth’s 23.4°. Mars is a terrestrial planet which is also another similarity to Earth. One main difference between these two planets is that Mars is much smaller than Earth. It's diameter is approximately half the size, it has 15% of Earth's volume and 11% of our mass.
Jupiter
Jupiter is the fastest rotating body in our solar system. A day on Jupiter is about 9.92 hours. Trying to determine the length of a day on Jupiter was a challenge because it does not possess surface features that are used to determine its rotational speed. Finally, scientists...

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