Top 7 Wonders of our Solar System

Top 7 Wonders of our Solar System

From the rings of Saturn to the tallest mountain on Vesta, our solar system is full of fascinating phenomena.

The vastness of our solar system has a lot of celestial wonders to offer. The advancement of technology has enabled humanity to explore more and more of these beauties. Some of the most amazing and astonishing jewels of our solar system are listed below.

Crater of Utopia Planitia on Mars

Utopia Planitia is the largest known impact basin in our solar system, which covers an area of around 3,300 kilometers across the northern plains of the red planet. Researchers believe that Utopia might have hosted an ancient ocean because evidence suggests that the crater was formed from an impact in the early days of the planet. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter of NASA strengthened this theory in 2016 as it found large deposits of subsurface water ice beneath the impact basin.

Tallest Mountain of the Solar System on Vesta

You might find it difficult to believe but a 530-kilometer wide asteroid called Vesta hosts the tallest mountain of our planetary system. This peak resides at the center of an impact crater and can easily fit two stacked Mount Everests as it is approximately 23 kilometers high. According to a theory, this mountain was formed after an impact with a 48-kilometer wide object and this event took place at around a billion years ago.

Canyon of Valles Marineris on Mars

This vast canyon is the largest in the solar system. It covers an area of more than 4,000 kilometers and goes as deep as 7,000 meters into the Martian surface. According to a theory, the channel was created by the movement of lava from a nearby shield volcano. On the other hand, the astronomers at NASA believe that a tectonic crack in Mars’ crust is the most likely reason for its formation.

Icy Geysers on Enceladus

The 2nd largest moon of Saturn (Enceladus) has a large subsurface ocean of liquid water, which is nearly 10 kilometers deep. The most popular feature of this celestial body is its magnificent geysers that erupt from the cracks in its surface. They send massive plumes into the surroundings. The Cassini spacecraft of NASA analyzed one of these plumes in 2015 and found that this saltwater is quite rich in organic compounds. That’s the reason why it is considered the most habitable place in our solar system after Earth.

The Great Red Spot on Jupiter

This anti-clockwise rotating storm on the Jupiter is bigger than the size of our planet. Scientists have failed to trace the source of the Great Red Spot but one thing is for certain that it is shrinking. It was covering a diameter of about 56,000 kilometers in the 1800s but the size of this storm had reduced considerably in 1979 when Voyager 2 flew past the largest planet of our solar system. Scientists believe that it is very much possible that the Great Red Spot will become the Great Red Memory in the next 20 to 30 years.

Total Solar Eclipse from Earth

Earth is the most suitable place in our solar system to observe a Total Solar Eclipse. It occurs when the moon appears to be shielding the surface of the sun, completely. It was last visible in August 2017across the continent of North America. The fact that the moon is 400 times closer to our planet than the sun creates an illusion that both these celestial objects are of the same size (the diameter of the sun is 400 times greater than the moon). Having said that, the moon is constantly moving away from us and it will not cover the sun at all, 600 million years from now at the rate of 4 centimeters per year.

Rings of Saturn

Saturn’s rings are huge by any stretch of the imagination as they are 386,000 kilometers wide. However, the thickness of these rings is pretty minimal (9-90 meters). Dust, rock, and pure ice water account for 99.9% of these ancient rings. There are multiple theories about their formation. Some people believe that an ancient moon was ripped apart by the attractive forces of the planet and the remains of that moon started circling the planet in the form of rings. Contrary to that, others argue that this material is as old as the planet and it was leftover during the birth of Saturn.

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