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Ch 16: Characteristics of Our Solar System's Planets

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons and learn about the primary characteristics and parts of the solar system, from what they are to how they're formed. Afterwards, use the accompanying quizzes to test your own understanding of the solar system

The Solar System: Components & Characteristics - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Get an in-depth look at our sun and the planets that orbit it in this series of video lessons. This chapter provides a comprehensive overview of the inner and outer planets, discussed according to their similarities. Find out more about the terrestrial, atmospheric, and satellite features that characterize individual planets, too. You'll also learn about the processes that brought about the existence of planets and their moons, comets, and more. At the end of the chapter, you'll know:

  • The difference between the inner and outer planets
  • How planetary evolution works
  • Distinctive characteristics of planets according to their rotation, orbit, and satellites
  • Key concepts related to far outer planets and planets in other solar systems

VideoObjective
Comparing Outer and Inner Planets Understand how the outer planets differ from the inner planets in size, mass, density, and more.
Inner Planets of the Solar System: Mercury, Venus, Earth & MarsDescribe the distinguishing characteristics of the inner planets.
Phases of Terrestrial Evolution Identify and describe the phases of evolution as they apply to terrestrial planets.
Geological Processes That Shape Planetary SurfacesIdentify and describe the geological processes that mark terrestrial planets.
Surface & Atmospheric Evolution of Terrestrial Planets Describe surface and atmospheric changes on Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars.
Formation of the Earth: Theories Learn about the theories of how Earth was formed, including the Big Bang theory.
Earth's Rotation & Orbit Explain major concepts related to how and why the Earth rotates and orbits the Sun.
Outer Planets of the Solar System: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune Describe the common and distinguishing characteristics of the outer planets.
Jupiter's Moons and Atmosphere Learn about the characteristics of Jupiter's atmosphere and its moons.
Saturn's Rings, Moons, & Atmosphere Describe these unique properties of Saturn.
Uranus' Moons, Rings, Atmosphere & Rotation Learn about the distinctive features of this planet.
Neptune's Orbit, Moons, Rings & Atmosphere Find out what sets apart Neptune's movement, rings, and atmosphere.
How Planetary Mass and the Distance of the Sun Affect Jovian Planet Formation Understand how certain criteria contributed to the formation of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune
Moons of the Jovian Planets Distinguish among the moons that orbit Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune
The Formation of Jovian Satellites Learn about the asteroids, comets and similar bodies associated with Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
Asteroids, Meteorites & Comets: Definitions and CharacteristicsDescribe the common characteristics of these satellites.
The Formation of Shooting Stars Understand what a 'shooting star' really is and its life cycle.
Tidal Forces & Heat Transfer on Jovian Planets Describe how tidal forces can create a hospitable environment for life on Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
Dwarf Planets of the Solar System: Pluto, Eris, Haumea & Ceres Identify and describe these outermost bodies.
Planets and Other Solar Systems Define planet forming disks, microlensing, and related concepts.

9 Lessons in Chapter 16: Characteristics of Our Solar System's Planets
Inner Planets of the Solar System: Mercury, Venus, Earth & Mars

1. Inner Planets of the Solar System: Mercury, Venus, Earth & Mars

Take a tour of the four inner planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. Known as the terrestrial planets, find out what makes each of them unique and how they are different from the outer planets, the gas giants.

Outer Planets of the Solar System: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune

2. Outer Planets of the Solar System: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune

Take a tour of the outer planets of our solar system: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Find out what makes each of these gas giants unique and learn about Pluto, a dwarf planet.

Jupiter's Important Properties

3. Jupiter's Important Properties

This lesson will go over the basic but important concepts related to Jupiter's interior, atmosphere, moons, and ring. You'll learn whether Jupiter is mainly a gaseous, liquid, or rocky planet!

Saturn's Major Characteristics

4. Saturn's Major Characteristics

This lesson will describe for you what Saturn is made of, how it compares to the Earth and Jupiter, and some interesting things about its rings and moon.

Belt-Zone Circulation on Jovian Planets

5. Belt-Zone Circulation on Jovian Planets

This lesson explores the concept of belt-zone circulation in the Jovian planets of our solar system as well as why it occurs and what the differences between bands and zones are. A short quiz follows after the video.

Jupiter's & Saturn's Magnetospheres

6. Jupiter's & Saturn's Magnetospheres

This lesson will compare and contrast the magnetospheres of Jupiter, Saturn, and Earth. You'll learn how they're similar and what major difference exists between them.

Uranus's Moons, Rings, Atmosphere & Rotation

7. Uranus's Moons, Rings, Atmosphere & Rotation

This lesson will explore the planet Uranus, its atmosphere, internal layers, rings, moons, and much more. You'll learn why Uranus has such an interesting color and why it doesn't have the cool clouds Jupiter has.

Neptune's Moons, Rings, Atmosphere & Temperature

8. Neptune's Moons, Rings, Atmosphere & Temperature

This lesson will go over the major components of Neptune's atmosphere, interior, color, and why it is as warm as Uranus despite being farther away from the Sun.

Planetary Geology: The Study of Celestial Bodies

9. Planetary Geology: The Study of Celestial Bodies

Planetary geology is a field of geology that explores celestial bodies like planets, moons, comets, and asteroids. Scientists use a variety of advanced techniques and procedures to carry out their research on these distant bodies.

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