Beyond Our Planet

Beyond Our Planet, takes a look at the Universe we live in. Find out how far Earth is from the Sun, and the other planets in our Solar System. Learn about each of the planets. How large they are and how fast they are spinning as well as moving along their orbit. Learn how far a planet travels in one circuit around the Sun. Learn all these things and much more.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Black Hole

Beyond Our Planet - Black Hole
A Black hole is a region of space where the gravitational pull is so strong that absolutely nothing can escape it. Not even light! Because light cannot escape it, there is no actual photos of one and quite literally, they are invisible.

Many scientists believe that there are millions of black holes in the universe and in some cases there are even what we call "Supermassive Black Holes". The supermassive black holes lie at the center of galaxies and in fact there is even one at the center of our own galaxy, the Milky Way.

Contrary to popular myth, the black hole is not a giant hole in space that sucks everything towards it and eventually into it. Around each black hole is a surface known as the Event Horizon. Around the Event Horizon, is another region known as the Schwarzchild Radius. One would have to cross into the Schwarzchild Radius in order to be caught up in the gravitational pull of a black hole.

To get an idea of how small this region is, if a black hole was to be the same size as our Sun, the Schwarzchild Radius would be less than 2 miles from the surface of the black hole.

Where do Black Holes come from?

When a star is burning, it is pushing its fuel outwards as it burns. When it runs out of fuel, it can explode into what is known as a Supernova. If a star that is more massive than 3 of our suns was to become a Supernova, it would leave a remnant behind that is completely empty of space. With the gravitational pull then being at zero, it would collapse in upon itself instantly, creating a black hole.

Imagine throwing a rock into water. As the rock passes into the water, for an instant, it leaves behind it an empty space. Instantly the water collapses in upon that empty space to fill that void. When a star explodes, it leaves the same kind of void and space instantly collapses to fill it. When the star is massive enough, the collapse is so powerful it creates a gravitational pull that is so powerful it becomes a black hole.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Where Did the Moon Come From?

Beyond Our Planet - Moon Creation
For the most part, most scientists have agreed on how the Moon as we know it, came about, but there are several small variations of that belief. This is the one that I believe makes most sense.

When the Earth was still a very young planet, another planet around the size of Mars collided with it. It is believed that early in time when most planets were still forming, there was a lot more activity in the universe. The energy created by these two bodies colliding turned the surfaces into a molten texture, sending large amounts far into the atmosphere and out into space.

The heavier materials like Iron did not go so high and was absorbed into the molten surface of Earth and became a part of the Earth's core. This giant impact of the two planets explains two things. One being why the Earth's axis is tilted around 23.5 Degrees. The other being the creation of the moon.

The debris from the impact that made it to space, much of it was caught up in the gravitational pull of the Earth and began to orbit the Earth. As well as orbiting the Earth, the debris was also drawn towards itself and began to congregate into the moon. Of course, the heavier materials were drawn closer to Earth as it merged with the other elements, so as the moon solidified into one body, the heaviest portion was drawn towards the Earth. This is the reason why the moon always has the same face pointing towards the Earth.

Imagine putting a baseball inside of a large plastic ball with a string attached to the baseball. If you were to take the end of the string and begin to swing the balls around you, the baseball would only go so far before hitting the end of the length of string. The large plastic ball would push outwards until it was being held by the baseball inside of it. In a strange way, this is how the Moon works. You would be the Earth. The string would be gravity pulling on the heavier baseball, which is the heavier materials of the moon. The large plastic ball that is trying to swing further away but is held by the baseball that is inside of it, that is the lighter materials of the moon being held by the heavier materials.

Since the heavier materials are being pulled towards the Earth by gravity and that solidified with the lighter materials as they were orbiting the Earth, once everything solidified into the moon, its orbit stayed the same. So the heavier side of the Moon is always facing the Earth.

Then, of course, as the Earth continued to form, it slowly turned into the Earth that we live in today.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Solar System

Beyond Our Planet - Solar System -1
According to Extreme Science, the Solar System is defined as a central sun with its associated planets, asteroids, meteors, natural satellites (i.e.,moons), and comets that are "captured" in its orbit.

The Sun, a white star is the center body of our solar system and has eight planets as well as many other bodies including dwarf planets and asteroids orbiting around it. The planets are in the following order with its closest distance from the sun in parenthesis ....

Mercury (28,580,000 Miles from the Sun)
Venus (66,800,000 Miles
from the Sun)
Earth (91,400,000 Miles
from the Sun)
Mars (128,390,000 Miles
from the Sun)
Jupiter (460,000,000 Miles
from the Sun)
Saturn (840,440,000 Miles
from the Sun)
Uranus (1,703,364,322 Miles
from the Sun)
Neptune (2,770,000,000 Miles
from the Sun)

Pluto was, for many years, considered to be the 9th planet in the solar system. However, due to its small size and proximity, in 2006, it has been changed to be called a dwarf planet and part of the Kuiper Belt which orbits the sun as well.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Planet Neptune

Neptune is the 8th and outer most planet in our solar system

Beyond Our Planet - Planet Neptune -1
Diameter of Neptune= 30,760 Miles

Distance from Neptune to the Sun = 2.77 Billion Miles at its closest, to 2.82 Billion miles at its furthest.

Distance from Neptune to the Earth = 2.68 Billion Miles at its closest

One Rotation of Neptune takes = 17.24 hours

One Orbit around the Sun takes = 165 Earth Years

Speed of Travel during orbit = Approximately 12,191 MPH

Distance of Travel (one Orbit) = Approximately 17,598,866,356 Miles

Rings = Faint rings

Natural Satellites = 13 moons

Atmosphere = 85% Hydrogen, 13% Helium, and 2% Methane

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Planet Uranus

Uranus is the 7th planet in our solar system

Beyond Our Planet - Planet uranus -1
Diameter of Uranus = 31,763 Miles

Distance from Uranus to the Sun = 1,703,364,322 miles at its closest and 1,866,362,363 miles at its furthest.

Distance from Uranus to Earth = 1.6 billion miles at its closest.

One Rotation of Uranus takes = 17 Hours 14 Minutes.

One Orbit around the Sun takes = 30,685 Earth days (Just over 84 Earth Years).

Atmosphere on Uranus = 83% Hydrogen, 15% Helium, and 2% Methane. The surface of Uranus is made of blue-green clouds of tiny crystals of Methane that has frozen out of Uranus' atmosphere. About 4,700 miles below those clouds, it is believed there is an ocean of liquid water with crystals of ammonia ice.

Speed of Travel during orbit = Approximately 15,233 MPH

Distance of Travel (one Orbit) = Approximately 11,218,581,890 Miles (over 11.2 Billion Miles)

Rings = Uranus has a number of rings surrounding it. Ten of them are dark and narrow. THe width of these rings range from less than 3 miles, to as much as 60 miles. None of the rings are more than 33 feet thick.

Natural Satellites (Moons) = Uranus has 21 known satellites. The largest, Titania, is only 490.2 miles in diameter.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Planet Saturn

Saturn is the 6th closest planet to the Sun

Beyond Our Planet - Planet Saturn -1
Diameter of Saturn =74,900 Miles

Distance from Saturn to the Sun = 840,440,000 miles at its closest and 941,070,000 miles at its furthest.

Distance from Saturn to Earth = 739,680,000 miles at its closest.

One Rotation of Saturn takes = 10 Hours 39 Minutes. Saturn's extreme rotation speed causes the planets shape to bulge at its equator. The diameter of Jupiter at its equator is about 8,000 miles larger than it is at the poles.

One Orbit around the Sun takes = 10,759 Earth days (about 29-1/2 Years).

Atmosphere on Saturn = Most scientist believe Saturn is one large ball of gas with no solid surface, but there is reason to believe that Saturn has a solid, hot, inner core of iron and rocky materials. There is an outer core that is believed to be Ammonia, Methane and Water. Surrounding that outer core is a layer of highly compressed, liquid metallic hydrogen. Above this lies a layer of hydrogen and helium.

Speed of Travel during orbit = Approximately 21,675.91 MPH

Distance of Travel (one Orbit) = Approximately 5,597,065,734 Miles (Almost 5.6 Billion Miles)

Rings = There are 7 rings around Saturn, made up from thousands of smaller ringlets. These ringlets are made of billions of chunks of ice that range from the size of a particle of dust, to larger chunks about 10 feet across.

The largest ring can measure as much as 180,000 miles across. There is a space between the rings of about 2,000 miles. The thickness of the rings range from 6,60 feet to 9,800 feet.

Natural Satellites (Moons) = Saturn has 25 larger satellites that are at least 6 miles across and several other smaller satellites. The largest, Titan, is 3,200 miles in diameter. Titan is larger than two of the planets, Mercury and Pluto.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Planet Jupiter

Jupiter is the 5th closest planet to the Sun.

Beyond Our Planet - Planet Jupiter -1
Diameter of Jupiter = 88,846 Miles

Distance from Jupiter to the Sun = 460,000,000 miles at its closest and 508,000,000 miles at its furthest.

Distance from Jupiter to Earth = 365,000,000 miles at its closest.

One Rotation of Jupiter takes = 9 Hours 56 Minutes. Jupiters extreme rotation speed causes the planets shape to bulge at its equator. The diameter of Jupiter at its equator is about 7% larger than it is at the poles.

One Orbit around the Sun takes = 4,333 Earth days (almost 12 Years).

Atmosphere on Jupiter = 86% Hydrogen, 14% Helium, with very tiny amounts of methane, ammonia, phosphine, water, acetylene, ethane, germanium, and carbon monoxide

Speed of Travel during orbit = Approximately 29,236.75 MPH

Distance of Travel (one Orbit) = Approximately 3,040,387,928 Miles (Over 3 Billion Miles)

Rings = 3 Very thin Rings (Much fainter than the rings of Saturn).

Natural Satellites (Moons) = Jupiter has 16 satellites that are at least 6 miles in diameter, with many smaller ones. The four largest, known as the Galilean satellites, are - Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.

Other Notes = Jupiter has very little solid surface. Instead, it is a large ball of gas, its surface, a very dense layer of different colored clouds.

Jupiter has a large mass of swirling gas, known as the Great Red Spot, that spans 24,860 miles across (About 3 times the diameter of the Earth). The outer edge of the Great Red Spot travels at about 225 mph.

Jupiter's gravity is approximately 2.4 times stronger than on Earth. so something weighing 100 lbs on Earth would weigh 240 lbs on Jupiter.

Planet Mars

Mars is the fourth closest planet to the Sun

Beyond Our Planet - Planet Mars -1

Diameter of Mars = 4,214 Miles

Distance from Mars to the Sun = 128,390,000 miles at its closest and 154,860,000 miles at its furthest.

Distance from Mars to Earth = 33,900,000 miles at its closest.

One Rotation of Mars takes = 24 hours 39 minutes 35 seconds

One Orbit around the Sun takes = 687 Earth Days

Atmosphere on Mars = 95.3% Carbon Dioxide, 2.7% Nitrogen, 1.3% Argon, only .13% Oxygen, Carbon Monoxide .07%, Water Vapor .03%

Speed of Travel during orbit = Approximately 53,977.26 MPH

Distance of Travel (one Orbit) = Approximately 889,976,997 Miles

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Planet Venus

Venus, is the second closest planet to the Sun

Beyond Our Planet - Planet Venus -1
Diameter of Venus = 7,522 Miles

Distance from Venus to the Sun = 67 Million Miles at its closest, to 68 Million miles at its furthest.

Distance from Venus to Earth = 25 Million Miles at its closest.

One Rotation of Venus takes = 243 Earth Days

One Orbit around the Sun takes = 224.7 Earth Days

Atmosphere on Venus = 96% Carbon Dioxide, 3+% Nitrogen, traces of Sulfur dioxide, water vapor, carbon monoxide, argon, helium, neon, hydrogen chloride, and hydrogen fluoride.

Speed of Travel
during orbit = Approximately 78,337.44 MPH

Distance of Travel (one Orbit) = Approximately 422,458,146 Miles

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Planet Mercury

Mercury is the closest planet to the sun

Beyond Our Planet - Planet Mercury -1
Diameter of Mercury = 3,032 Miles

Distance from Mercury to the Sun = 28,580,000 Miles at its closest, to 43,380,000 miles at its furthest.

Distance from Mercury to Earth = 48,000,000 Miles at its closest.

One Rotation of Mercury takes = 59 Earth Days

Sunrise to Sunrise on Mercury = 176 Earth Days

One Orbit around the Sun takes Mercury = 88 Earth Days

Atmosphere on Mercury = Mercury has very little in the way of gases in its atmosphere. From the planet, the sky would be black, even in the day. Some scientists think that you would even be able to see stars during the day.

Speed of Travel = Approximately 108,000 MPH

Distance Mercury Travels (1 Orbit) = Approximately 228,096,000 Miles

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Moon

The Moon is Earth's only Natural Satellite

Beyond Our Planet - Moon -1

Diameter of the Moon = 2,160 Miles

Distance from the Moon to Earth = 221,331 Miles at its closest, to 252,586 miles at its furthest.

Increase of Distance Away from Earth = 1.5 Inches per year.
A fact few people are aware of is that the Moon is actually very slowly getting farther and farther away from the Earth.

One Orbit around the Earth takes = 27.32 Days

One full rotation of the Moon takes = 27.32 Days

Other Notes = The Moon we see is always the same face of the moon, every night. From Earth, we will never see the other side of the moon.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Planet Earth

The Earth is the third closest planet to the Sun

Beyond Our Planet - Planet Earth -1
Diameter of the Earth = 7,926 Miles

Distance from the Earth to the Sun = 91 Million Miles at its closest, to 94.4 Million miles at its furthest.

One full rotation of Earth takes = 24 hours (1-Day)

One complete Orbit around the Sun takes = 365 Days, 5 hours (1-Year)

Atmosphere = A mixture of 78% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen, and 1% Other gases. The atmosphere is divided into 5 layers of which the clouds and most of the weather is found in the first layer.

Speed the Earth travels during its orbit = Approximately 66,000 MPH

Distance of Travel (1 - Orbit) = 583,400,000 Miles

Percentage of surface that is Land = 30%

Percentage of surface that is Water = 70%

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Privacy Policy

At Beyond Our Planet, we recognize that privacy of your personal information is important. Here is what types of personal information we receive and collect when you visit Beyond Our Planet, and how we safeguard your information. We will never sell or give away your personal information to third parties. (Heck, I wouldn't know how to if I wanted to. And I would never want to.)

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