If we took a picture of the planets of the solar system from space, without adding effects to highlight the colors and show the details, what would their true colors look like? What is the secret of the different colors of the planets of the solar system?
Different colors The planets of our solar system differ in their composition, origin, atmosphere, and how close or far from the sun.
The planets of the solar system are divided into 3 categories according to their size and composition; There are the gas giants Jupiter and Saturn, the two ice giants Neptune and Uranus, and the four rocky planets: Earth, Venus, Mars and Mercury. Two years ago, Pluto was the ninth planet in the solar system, but now it is a dwarf planet.
The origins of the planets
Theories suggest that the Solar System formed over 4 billion years ago from a dense cloud of gas and dust. The collapse of this cloud led to the formation of a solar nebula. With the increasing pressure in the center of the nebula, the hydrogen atoms merged with each other and formed helium gas, which released huge amounts of energy that resulted in the birth of the sun.
At the same time, other masses were formed from the remnants of this nebula, and they began to attract, collide and coalesce with each other to form other celestial bodies, some of which began to gradually grow to form balls that turned into planets, large moons and dwarf planets, and some of them became asteroids, meteors, comets and small moons.
Since the heat in the area near the sun was intense – where only rocky material remained – iron, aluminum, nickel and other metal compounds continued to revolve around the sun and collide to form the four rocky planets closest to the sun, ie Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars.
As for other cosmic materials such as ice, liquid or gases, they settled in the outer regions far from the sun, and gravity combined these materials together to form the two gas giants and the two ice giants.
According to a report on the website,Astronomy(Astronomy), all these factors led to the contrasting colors of the planets of the solar system. But why did each planet acquire its distinctive colors?
like the moon
Although it is closest to the sun, Mercury is the second hottest planet after Venus. Mercury is a rocky planet, and some compare its solid surface to the moon’s surface because it is gray and full of volcanic craters.
Mercury is characterized by its thin atmosphere and consists of oxygen, sodium, hydrogen, helium and potassium. According to NASA’s MESSENGER mission, Iron It represents about half of the interior of the planet Mercury and its surface is covered with a thick layer of dust and igneous rocks of silica.
Although it is the second closest planet to the sun; The heat on the surface of Venus is enough to melt lead. Its atmosphere is dominated by carbon dioxide, and its clouds are composed of sulfuric acid.
And if you look at Venus through the optical telescope, you will see it yellowish-white, because its thick yellow clouds of sulfuric acid reflect sunlight.
Mars is distinguished by its reddish-brown color, because its surface is covered with dust containing a high percentage of iron. The dust has oxidized, or like the iron we leave in the air, has rusted. The color of Mars may change relatively due to the wind, turning the color of the planet from red to bright orange or yellow.
Jupiter is a gas giant, its atmosphere is predominantly hydrogen and helium. Jupiter is characterized by a huge red spot remarkable due to a storm twice the size of the Earth, which erupted hundreds of years ago.
As for the white streaks and swirls that appear on its surface, they are clouds of ammonia and water floating in its atmosphere. It is said that the brown belts that characterize Jupiter are caused by a combination of chemical elements such as hydrogen, helium, and others.
Saturn, the second largest planet in the solar system after Jupiter, is distinguished by the unique, brilliant, shiny rings of ice and rock that surround it. Like Jupiter, Saturn is a gaseous planet, with hydrogen and helium in its atmosphere.
It has been found that the storms of the planet Saturn – which cannot be seen with an optical telescope – sometimes rise to the surface and add to this brown planet bright white spots.
The two blue giants
Uranus and Neptune are gas giants, made up mostly of a thick liquid of water “snows”, methane, and ammonia. The methane gives them a blue color. The two planets contain a small rocky cavity.
Their atmosphere consists of hydrogen, helium, and a smaller percentage of methane. They are surrounded by rings of dust and rubble. Observers may notice white clouds on the surface of the two blue planets, and sometimes dark spots that indicate the presence of storms in their depths.
Scientists believe that the dwarf planet Pluto is covered with ice consisting of nitrogen, methane and carbon monoxide, in addition to some organic materials that give it a brown color.