March 4, 2024

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What are the colors of the planets in our solar system?

What are the colors of the planets in our solar system?

Earth is known as the Blue Ball, and Mars is known as the Red Planet. What are the colors of the eight planets in our solar system? And why?

For a long time, Neptune was depicted as a deep sky blue, while Uranus took on a light green color. New search However, it has recently been shown that both planets wear almost the same green and blue colour. Although Neptune remains a little bluer. But why do the two worlds appear this color in the first place? What about the other planets in our solar system?

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Neptune

Universe Neptune We see the blue color from space because the methane in its atmosphere absorbs mainly red light from the Sun. As a result, the blue part of sunlight is mainly reflected back to space and observers.

Uranus

For the same reason as the colors mentioned above Uranus Also blue, but slightly less bright than Neptune. how is that possible? British and American scientists proposed a possible explanation in 2022. Both planets would have a deep cloud layer consisting of hydrogen sulfide ice, topped with photochemical smog – essentially a layer of smog, reaching the top of the atmosphere.

On Uranus, this smog layer would be twice as thick as on Neptune. Because smog particles absorb ultraviolet radiation and blue light, Uranus reflects less blue light than Neptune, making Neptune the bluer of the two.

Uranus is slightly less blue than Neptune.
© Patrick Irwin

Soil

Up to 71 percent of our planet is covered by water. Astronauts see Soil So basically as a blue ball of space. How is this possible if the water is already transparent? The red color is the first thing that water absorbs. On the other hand, the blue color penetrates deep into the sea and reflects well in the water. This means that you see water from space in blue.

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Mars

The presence of the mineral hematite makes Mars appear orange-red. Hematite, an iron oxide, is a red powder in color and spreads as a thin layer over the planet. Exactly how the mineral is formed is still a topic of debate.

Mars appears orange-red.Mars appears orange-red.
© NASA/JPL

Mercury

the weather Mercury So thin that it has little effect on the color we perceive. We see Mercury, the smallest of the eight planets, as a gray ball with many volcanic craters – a bit like the Moon. This dark surface color is due to a layer of black carbon, graphite. Planetary researchers aren't yet sure where this carbon comes from: from the planet itself, from space (think comets), or from the sun.

Mercury looks like a gray ball with lots of volcanic craters - a bit like the Moon. Mercury looks like a gray ball with lots of volcanic craters - a bit like the Moon.
© NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Arizona State University/Carnegie Institution of Washington

Venus

Venus Also called Earth's twin sister; The planet is about the same size, it's also rocky and the gravity is similar. However, the atmosphere shows significant differences: A Thick layer of clouds Of sulfuric acid enveloping Venus. This means that you cannot see the planet's surface from space. The thick layer of clouds gives our twin sister a white/silver colour.

Flower color is white/silver.Flower color is white/silver.
© NASA

Jupiter

The largest planet in our solar system so far: Jupiter. This gas giant has no solid surface; The colors we observe on Jupiter are affected by the composition of the atmosphere – mainly hydrogen, helium, and cloud layers – which also contain frozen ammonia crystals.

Storms that occur on Jupiter also add some color to the atmosphere. They can release substances such as red phosphorus and sulfur into the air. This combination ensures that we see Jupiter from space as a ball with white, brown and red spots.

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An image of the giant gas planet Jupiter, which looks like a ball with white, brown, and red spots.An image of the giant gas planet Jupiter, which looks like a ball with white, brown, and red spots.
© NASA, ESA, and A. Simon (Goddard Space Flight Center), M. H. Wong (University of California, Berkeley) and the OPAL team

Saturn

Just like Jupiter Saturn A massive gas planet with an atmosphere composed mainly of hydrogen and helium – with trace amounts of ammonia, phosphine and hydrocarbons. Together they give Saturn a yellow glow. (See image at top of this page.)

Image (header): NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute