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Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Sunday All Day Brunch: Touring Our Solar System

Welcome to Sunday All Day Brunch. This is an open topic thread so help yourself to the goodies and pull up a chair and sit a spell and let us know what is new in your life. I thought today we could take a quick tour around our solar system.

I am a huge space buff and one of the reason I got into art was so I could do space art. So sit back and relax and enjoy the tour of our little corner of the Milky Way.

We start with our sun a normal main-sequence G2 star that contains 99.8% of the mass of our solar system.

Our Sun photo Sol-1_zps3add5907.jpg

The closest planet to the sun is Mercury. Recently Messenger discovered that ice-water lies underneath dark, seemingly organic compounds on the surface of Mercury.

Mercury and Sun photo MercuryandSun2_zpsc69dff5c.jpg

Venus is one of the most beautiful sights in our sky but you don’t want to live there. It is the hottest world in our solar system reaching temperatures of 847°F, which is hot enough to melt lead.

Venus photo Venus2_zps183cb750.jpg

We are the third planet from the sun and have the first moon as we make our way out from the sun. The leading theory on the moon’s formation was that it was formed when a giant impact knocked off a chunk of the forming earth. Because it takes 27.3 days both to rotate on its axis and to orbit Earth, the Moon always shows us the same face.

Earth and Moon photo EarthampMoon_zpsaff585b3.jpg

Mars has always fascinated mankind. It is the home of Marvin the Martian. Its two moons, Phobos and Deimos, however don’t look like other moons in the solar system and may be captured asteroids. Mars is a desert planet and is half the diameter of Earth but it has the same amount of dry land as we do.

Mars and Phobos photo MarsandPhobes_zps27152f48.jpg

The asteroid belt orbits between Mars and Jupiter. It is believed that Jupiter’s strong gravitational force kept the asteroids from coming together to form a planet. Either that or there was a planet there that was obstructing Marvin’s view of Jupiter and he used his Illudium PU-36 Explosive Space Modulator on it.

Asteroids photo Asteroids2-2_zps6ca35957.jpg

Jupiter is the most massive planet in the solar system. If it had been 80 times more massive it would have been a star rather than a planet.

Jupiter photo Jupiter3_zps1a4ac3f3.jpg

Jupiter’s moon Io is the most volcanically active body in our solar system.

Jupiter and Io photo Io2_zps98dd3cfd.jpg

Jupiter’s moon Europa may actually contain life. Europa is covered with a thick layer of ice but has a liquid ocean underneath. The late science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke had that as his premise for his 2001 A Space Odyssey book series.

Jupiter and Europa photo Europa2_zpsf978f892.jpg

Saturn is the crown jewel of our solar system with her gorgeous rings. You could fit 760 Earths in the planet but it is so lightweight that if you had a big enough bathtub it would float.

Saturn photo Saturn_zps0a8a8c3a.jpg

Saturn’s moon Enceladus has water and geysers. The water vapor actually feeds Saturn’s E Ring. With its water and organic compounds Enceladus is another place in our solar system that might harbor life.

 Santurn and Enceladus photo SaturnampEnceladus_zps923a7c92.jpg

Saturn’s moon Titan is the only moon in the solar system with clouds and a dense atmosphere.

Saturn and Titan photo SaturnampTitan2_zps3bb80dc2.jpg

Sometime is its history Uranus got knocked over on its side. It is the only planet whose magnetic poles are East/West instead of North/South.

Uranus photo Uranus2_zps1751cf45.jpg

Neptune has a thick, slushy fluid mix of water, ammonia and methane ices under its atmosphere.

Neptune photo NeptunePlanet_zps1dcf07e3.jpg

Neptune’s moon Triton has a very thin atmosphere and has been shown to actually have seasons although at -391°F you might not want to get those swimsuits out.

Neptune and Triton photo NeptuneampTriton2_zps2256aa36.jpg

Pluto is officially a dwarf planet now however as any good Lord of the Rings fan knows dwarfs are very fierce. Charon is one of Pluto’s moons.

Pluto and Charon photo PlutoandCharon_zps6affd943.jpg

So that’s our solar system. I’ll leave you with a poem I wrote to celebrate our little corner of the Universe.

Celestial Dance photo CelestialDance3_zps10b06d66.jpg

Celestial Dance

They danced with the moon.

They danced with the stars.

They danced the night away.

The dreams that they dreamed

Encircled the world

And greeted the new day.

They danced with Venus

The beautiful planet of love.

They danced as the clouds

Swirled in time up above.

Then they danced with Mercury

And played tag with the sun.

They danced with Mars

And underneath the red sky,

They greeted the Martians

As they floated by.

Then they danced in time

To the comet that went by.

They danced with Jupiter

The giant of the skies,

And its moons circled above

As they spun and danced by.

And their laughter and dancing

Brightened the dark spot’s eye.

They danced with Saturn

Skipping along its rings,

And with gay abandon

They made the rings sing.

And Saturn’s rings kept time

As the dancers waltzed by.

They danced and they danced

Under celestial skies,

And the stars and the planets

Saluted as they passed by;

And bright as the sun

Was the love they shared with the sky.


  1. also mention the Dwarf Planets. These are folks like our old friend Pluto and newcomers such as Eris (which may be somewhat bigger than Pluto), and distant Sedna who make up another part of our solar family worth noting.

    Oort Cloud strechting to around a light-year (or 50,000 times further than earth) from the sun. Out in the Oort are comets and other debris at the envelope of the solar system, far enough out to not (as yet) have assimilated with an orbital planet but close enough to be captured by the sun’s gravity.

    In far futures it is likely that Oort Cloud objects and dwarf planets will become inhabited and/or used as material (maybe we will build a Ringworld or Dyson’s Sphere someday?).

    And we really haven’t left home until we cross the Heliopause, where the solar wind ceases and we enter the Interstellar Medium, the “atmosphere” of the Milky Way, somewhere around 100 times as far out as we are from good ole’ Sol. The Voyager spacecraft are today poking through the limit of the Heliosphere and it is likely that we will learn sometime this year that they have definitively passed beyond our home town.

    Neat place, all in all. ;~)

  2. justme

    I’m enjoying a somewhat productive weekend for the first time in weeks. I was literally knocked flat by the flu in December, and it’s taken me this long to get some energy back.

    This morning, I saw on Daily Kos that poor KnotLookin’s husband was felled by respiratory effects from this flu, and oh, can I understand. I couldn’t go outside for 3 days because the air would begin to trigger an asthma attack, and I’m only now getting over the respiratory effects.

    The one year I don’t get a flu shot … won’t make that mistake again.

    Anyway, I’m really enjoying doing things again.

  3. pittiepat

    science majors) at Univ. of Houston.  My instructor designed navigation systems for NASA.  We used to lug our telescopes to one of U of H bldgs. a couple of blocks away.  Particularly liked looking at Jupiter and the objects orbiting around it.  It was surprising how much we could see of the night sky given the amount of city light we had to contend with.  A fascinating course, even if I am math-challened.

  4. Lightbulb

    “You could fit 760 Earths in the planet but it is so lightweight that if you had a big enough bathtub it would float.”

    Did not know that! Knew it was big, but that was all.

  5. You see, women aren’t good at it, and unless they learn to say no people will just run over them all the time. Women always want to help everyone, and are not good at controlling that impulse.

    It’s true.

    Otherwise, Focus on the Family wouldn’t be saying it on talk radio, like I just heard driving home.

    Would they?

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