How much do you know about the planets in our solar system? Blast off and take this quiz to find out!
1 Neptune is named after the Roman god of the ___.
- a) Sea
- b) Sky
- c) Space
Neptune is named after the Roman god of the sea especially due to its iconic deep blue color.
2 Which planet has the highest surface temperature?
- a) Mercury
- b) Jupiter
- c) Venus
Despite being farther from the Sun than Mercury, Venus is hotter due to its thick atmosphere rich in C02 which creates a runaway greenhouse effect on the planet. Its average surface temperature is a scorching 471°C (880°F), hot enough to melt lead.
3 What protects life on Earth from the solar wind?
- a) Ozone layer
- b) Ionosphere
- c) Magnetic field
c) Magnetic field
The Earth has a magnetic field that deflects charged particles from the sun which prevents the Earth’s atmosphere from being stripped away.
4 How does Jupiter help safeguard Earth?
- a) By absorbing and deflecting comets
- b) By stopping Mars from moving inwards
- c) Deflecting background radiation
a) By absorbing and deflecting comets
Jupiter absorbs and deflects many of the comets due to its immense size and gravity. The most famous example is comet Shoemaker Levy 9 which was hurtling towards the Sun. Jupiter broke it apart and absorbed the comet in a large explosion in 1994.
5 Where is the largest volcano in the solar system?
- a) Venus
- b) Earth
- c) Mars
Olympus Mons on Mars is a staggering 21km high making it by far the largest volcano ever discovered. Its immense size is due to Mars’ lack of plate tectonics and lower gravity.
6 Which planet has the coldest recorded temperature?
- a) Pluto
- b) Uranus
- c) Neptune
While Neptune is further from the sun and on average colder, the coldest temperature on a planet was recorded on Uranus at a bone chilling -224oC (-371.2oF).
7 When was Pluto demoted to a dwarf planet?
- a) 2000
- b) 2003
- c) 2006
8 What type of planets are Uranus and Neptune?
- a) Super terrestrial
- b) Ice giants
- c) Gas giants
b) Ice giants
While often mistaken or closely resembling gas giants (Jupiter and Saturn), Uranus and Neptune are ice giants. They have a large core containing many frozen compounds.
9 Which acid do clouds on Venus mostly contain?
- a) Sulfuric
- b) Hydrochloric
- c) Nitric
Venus’ atmosphere has extreme heat and pressure along with clouds of sulfuric acid which bring down acid rain on its surface.
10 What is Mercury’s orbital period?
- a) 52 days
- b) 88 days
- c) 106 days
b) 88 days
It takes just 88 days for Mercury to complete an orbit around the Sun.