I think the Earth and everything around it is connected - the sky and the planets and the stars...
— Marion Cotillard



The Planets

A planet is a celestial body that does not produce its own light, is larger than an asteroid, and is illuminated by light from a star, such as the sun, around which it revolves. In our solar system there are eight planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Pluto was considered a planet until 2006, when it was reclassified as a dwarf planet.



The smallest of the planets and the one nearest the sun. Mercury's surface is covered with mountains, craters, ridges, and valleys. It orbits the sun once every 88 days, the shortest amount of time for any planet. 

In Roman times Mercury became the Olympian god of eloquence, skill, commerce, and thieving. He was herald and messenger of the gods and is associated with Hermes in Greek Mythology.


The second planet from the sun and the fourth smallest, Venus comes nearer to Earth than any other planet and is the brightest object in the night sky aside from Earth's moon. It is the hottest planet in the solar system, with an average surface temperature of 867°F (464°C). Venus is peculiar in that its rotation is slow and retrograde (in the opposite sense of the Earth and all other planets except Uranus); it is visible from Earth as an early `morning star' or an 'evening star'.

Venus is named for the ancient Roman goddess of love and beauty. It is the Roman counterpart to the Greek goddess Aphrodite. It is believed Venus was named for the most beautiful of the ancient gods because it shone the brightest of the five planets known to ancient astronomers.

EARTH - The third planet from the sun and the fifth largest. Earth is the only planet known to support life. It is also the only planet on which water in liquid form exists, covering more than 70 percent of its surface.

Earth is associated with the Greek goddess Gaea, one of the deities that governed the universe before the Titans. She symbolised the Earth, and was the mother of everything. According to one version, Gaea, along with Chaos and Eros, coexisted during the creation of the world. Another version has it that the three of them were born out of the Cosmic Egg, which itself was created out of nothingness. Hesiod then tells us that from the union of Gaea and Chaos - and supported by Eros - Uranus was born. Gaea and Uranus gave birth to the Giants, the Titans, Oceanus and the whole world. 

MARS - Also called The Red Planet because of the iron oxide on its surface which gives it a reddish appearance. Mars is the fourth planet from the sun and the third smallest, with a diameter about half that of Earth. Mars has seasons similar to, but much longer than Earth's. The planet has two tiny satellites, Phobos and Deimos. 

The ancient Greeks called the planet Ares, after their god of war; the Romans then did likewise, associating the planet’s blood-red colour with Mars, their own god of war. Interestingly, other ancient cultures also focused on colour – to China’s astronomers it was ‘the fire star’, whilst Egyptian priests called on ‘Her Desher’, or ‘the red one’. 

JUPITER - Jupiter is the fifth planet from the sun and the largest, with a diameter about 11 times that of Earth.  It is the fourth brightest object in the solar system: Only the Sun, Moon and Venus are brighter. It is one of five planets visible to the naked eye from Earth. Jupiter is a gas giant made up mostly of hydrogen and helium. It turns on its axis faster than any other planet in the solar system, taking less than ten hours to complete one rotation; this rapid rotation draws its atmospheric clouds into distinct belts parallel to its equator. Jupiter has more known moons by far than any other planet in the solar system—as many as 63, with new ones being discovered regularly in recent years. A persistent anticyclonic storm known as the Great Red Spot is Jupiter's most prominent feature.

In Roman Mythology Jupiter is the King of the Gods, a guardian and protector. To the Greeks, Jupiter represented Zeus, god of thunder. The Mesopotamians saw Jupiter as the god Marduk and patron of the city of Babylon. Germanic tribes saw this planet as Donar, or Thor.

SATURN - The sixth planet from the sun and the second largest, with a diameter about ten times that of Earth. Saturn is encircled by a large, flat system of rings that are made up mostly of tiny particles of ice. This ring system was discovered by the astronomer Galileo Galilei in 1610.

Saturn is named for the Roman god Saturnus, and was known to the Greeks as Cronus. Cronus was the ruling Titan who came to power by castrating his father Uranus. His wife was Rhea, while their offspring were the first of the Olympians. 

URANUS - The seventh planet from the Sun and the third largest, with a diameter about four times that of Earth. Though slightly larger than Nepture, Uranus is the least massive of the four gas giants and is the only one with no internal heat source.  Uranus was the first planet discovered in modern times [by Sir William Herschel, 1781]

Ouranos in Classical Mythology, Uranus is the personification of Heaven and ruler of the world, son and husband of Gaea (Earth) and father of the Titans, who was castrated and dethroned by his youngest son, Cronus, at the instigation of Gaea.

NEPTUNE - The eighth planet from the Sun and the fourth largest, with a diameter almost four times that of Earth. Neptune is a gas giant with a very active weather system, exhibiting extremely long and powerful storms with the fastest winds observed in the solar system. 

From Latin Neptunus "god of the sea," son of Saturn, brother of Jupiter, the Roman god of the sea (later identified with Greek Poseidon).

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The study of the movements and relative positions of celestial bodies interpreted as having an influence on human affairs and the natural world.

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