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             A planet is a celestial body that revolves around a central star and does not shine by its own light. The only planetary system that is known to man is our solar system. It is made up of nine planets, which range in size and characteristics. The nine major planets in our solar system are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. There are also many other minor planets which are also in our solar system, but they are unimportant compared to the nine major planets. In this paper I will discuss the planets and how they are each unique.
             Mercury, which is the planet that is closest to the sun, is the first planet I will discuss. Mercury is the smallest of the inner planets. It is speculated that the heat from the sun made it impossible for the gases present to become part of the planetary formation. The surface of Mercury is extremely hot. It is approximately 470 degrees Celsius on the surface and is thought to be even hotter at the two " hot spots." These " hot spots " are on opposite ends of the equator. It is the heat of the surface that makes it impossible for Mercury to have any type of atmosphere.
             Mercury orbits the sun once every 88 days and has a true rotation period of 58.6 days. Since it is the closest planet to the sun it orbits faster than any other planet. It is said that Mercury rotates Three times for every two trips around the sun. It is speculated that it was the solidification of Mercury's metallic core that caused this global shrinkage. Mercury is also enriched in metal or depleted of rock. It is also believed that some of the inner core of Mercury is still in a fluid state. Scientists also believe that Mercury's surface is made partially of silicate rock. The best way to describe Mercury is in fact small, heavily cratered and airless.
             Venus is the second closest planet to the sun and is said to most closely resemble Earth in size, density, and distance from the sun.

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