7. The Terrestrial Planets

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16 Questions

What is the diameter of Mercury?

5000 km

What causes Mercury's almost no atmosphere?

Smaller mass and effects of the solar wind

How many rotations does Mercury complete during 2 orbits?

3

What is the temperature range at Mercury's equator?

−173 oC at night to 427 oC at noon

Which planet has two 'hot poles' due to its locked rotation and surprisingly, ice caps hiding in polar craters?

Mercury

Which planet has a dense CO$_2$ atmosphere and constant cloud cover, making its surface difficult to observe?

Venus

Which planet has varied topography, including plains, canyons, highlands, and volcanoes, with Olympus Mons being the largest volcano in the Solar System?

Mars

Which planet has experienced active landslides, and its surface shows evidence of wind erosion, glaciers, and dust devils?

Mars

Which planet's faults are believed to be a result of its shrinking, making it not as dense as the Moon?

Mercury

Which planet has no plate tectonics, causing planet-wide volcanic activity and a young, active surface?

Venus

Which planet has evidence suggesting it was warmer in the past and had liquid water, with features indicating the presence of flowing water?

Mars

Which planet has polar caps, and its atmosphere can cause the breakdown of water, leading to the loss of water and atmosphere?

Mars

Which planet is the most explored planet, with a thin atmosphere, frigid temperatures, and two irregularly shaped moons, Phobos and Deimos?

Mars

Which planet has Martian meteorites that have been found on Earth, and there is ongoing research on the possibility of Martian fossils?

Mars

Which planet has no plate tectonics, causing planet-wide volcanic activity and a young, active surface?

Venus

Which planet has a thin atmosphere, frigid temperatures, and two irregularly shaped moons, Phobos and Deimos?

Mars

Study Notes

Inner Planets Overview

  • Mercury's faults are believed to be a result of its shrinking, making it not as dense as the Moon.
  • Most of Mercury is covered with lava plains, including the huge impact basin, the Caloris Basin.
  • Mercury has two "hot poles" due to its locked rotation, and surprisingly, ice caps hiding in polar craters.
  • Venus rotates retrograde, with a dense CO2 atmosphere and constant cloud cover, making its surface difficult to observe.
  • Venus has no plate tectonics, causing planet-wide volcanic activity and a young, active surface.
  • Mars, the most explored planet, has a thin atmosphere, frigid temperatures, and two irregularly shaped moons, Phobos and Deimos.
  • Mars has varied topography, including plains, canyons, highlands, and volcanoes, with Olympus Mons being the largest volcano in the Solar System.
  • Evidence suggests Mars was warmer in the past and had liquid water, with features indicating the presence of flowing water.
  • Mars has polar caps, and its atmosphere can cause the breakdown of water, leading to the loss of water and atmosphere.
  • Mars has experienced active landslides, and its surface shows evidence of wind erosion, glaciers, and dust devils.
  • Martian meteorites have been found on Earth, and there is ongoing research on the possibility of Martian fossils.
  • The exploration of inner planets continues, with ongoing missions and studies, including detailed analysis and comparison of the inner planets.

Test your knowledge of the inner planets in our solar system with this overview quiz. Explore fascinating facts about Mercury, Venus, and Mars, including their unique features, geological formations, and ongoing exploration missions.

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