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Alder Planetarium

Prof. Abraham Lincoln

Solar System

The Inner Planets

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Read this lesson on the inner planets and then answer the following questions.


The nearest planet to the Sun is Mercury. Mercury is an airless, rocky planet with no satellites, orbits the Sun at an average distance of 36 million miles, takes 88 days to complete one orbit and has a diameter of 3000 miles.

Venus is the second planet. It has a thick, opaque, carbon dioxide atmosphere at an average temperature of 800 degrees centigrade. It has no satellites, orbits the Sun at an average distance of 87 million miles which takes 224 days, and has a diameter of 7700 miles.

Earth is our planet. It has one satellite, the moon, orbits the Sun in 365.25 days at 93 million miles, and has a diameter of 7927 miles.

Mars is the fourth planet. It has a very thin atmosphere, two small satellites, orbits the Sun in 687 days at 143 million miles and has a diameter of 4220 miles.

Planetary details

1. Which planet has a thick carbon dioxide atmosphere?

  1. Mercury
  2. Earth
  3. Venus
  4. Mars
  5. None of these

2. Which planet do we live on?

  1. 1st
  2. 2nd
  3. 3rd
  4. 4th
  5. 5th

3. What is the diameter of Venus?


Describe a typical inner planet (as opposed to an outer planet), as far as size, atmosphere, number of moons, etc.

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