Numbers

3-1 The Inner Planets

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Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars are the inner planets.  These planets are the closest to the sun.  Mercury, Venus, and Mars are like Earth in that they have a solid, earthy surface.

Mercury, the planet closest to the sun is very tiny.  It has no water or air.  Days on this planet are much hotter and its nights are much colder than any place on Earth.  In 1974 and 1975 the United States space probe Mariner 10 took photos of this planet.  The pictures sent back to earth show its surface marked with wrinkles and craters.

Venus is located between Mercury and Earth.  It has no light of its own just like other planets, however it does reflect the sun's light.  Other than the moon, it is the brightest body found in the night sky.  It is the hottest planet.  Pools of liquid metal are visible on its surface.  The clouds found on Venus are made of acid.  Lightning storms are common on Venus, and it might have erupting volcanoes as well.  It is believed that Venus probably had oceans on it in the past.

Our home, the planet Earth, is the third planet from the sun.  As far as we know it is the only planet to support life.  It has one moon.

The fourth planet, Mars is nicknamed "the Red Planet."  It can be seen at night from Earth without a telescope.  The United States sent two Viking space probes to the planet.  Evidence indicates that Mars once had rivers.  Mars has two moons - Phobos and Deimos.

After the planet Mars is an asteroid belt.  Asteroids are chunks of metal and rock that orbit the sun.  They are smaller than any of the planets.   Some asteroids are as small as a basketball.  Astronomers think that asteroids might be the remains of a planet that was smashed into tiny pieces in a space collision.

Directions: Answer the questions below about the inner planets.

Put the inner planets in the correct order from the sun.  Use 1, 2, 3,4. Earth
Mars
Mercury
Venus
Which planet did Mariner 10 take photographs of in 1974 an 1975? Mercury
Venus
Mars
Which planet is closest to the sun? Mercury
Venus
Mars
Earth
Which planet is located between Mercury and Earth? Mars
Venus
The surface of which planet has wrinkles and craters? Mercury
Venus
Mars
Earth
Which planet is nicknamed "the Red Planet?" Mercury
Venus
Mars
Earth
Which planet has two moons? Mercury
Venus
Mars
Earth
Which planet has only one moon? Mercury
Venus
Mars
Earth
After which planet is the asteroid belt located? Mercury
Venus
Mars
Earth
Other than the moon, what is the brightest body found in the night sky? Mercury
Venus
Mars
Earth
Which of the four inner planets is the hottest? Mercury
Venus
Mars
Earth
Asteroids are chunks of metal and rock which orbit the sun
moon
What are Phobus and Diemus? asteroids
moons
Where is the asteroid belt located? after Mercury
after Venus
after Mars

 

 

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Planets of Our Solar System