Learn About Our Awesome Solar System
April 30, 2023

The mystery and beauty of the Solar System has fascinated humans throughout time.The Solar System consists of the Sun, eight planets and their natural satellites, dwarf planets, asteroids, and comets. The large gas planets are Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. The smaller rocky planets are Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars. The order of planets from the closest to the Sun is Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Until 2006, Pluto was classified as a planet, but is now considered a dwarf planet. Jupiter is the largest planet and named after Jove, the chief god of Roman mythology. Jupiter is three times brighter than Sirius, the brightest star. In the book, The Substitute from Jupiter, Freddie, Liza, and Bert solve the mystery of a "far out" teacher!

So what else do we know about Jupiter? It is two and a half times more massive than all the other planets in the Solar System combined and is one of five planets visible to the naked eye from Earth. The ancient Babylonians were the first to record their sightings of Jupiter. This was around the 7th or 8th century BC.

The Great Red Spot is a huge storm on Jupiter. It has raged for at least 350 years. It is so large that three Earths could fit inside it. Jupiter’s moon Ganymede is the largest moon in the Solar System. Jupiter’s moons are sometimes called the Jovian satellites and the largest of these are Ganymeade, Callisto, Io, and Europa.

These four large moons were discovered by Galileo in 1610. Jupiter also has dozens of other smaller moons that are thought to have originated from passing asteroids. Currently there are 67 confirmed moons of Jupiter. Io is the fifth moon of Jupiter and the fourth largest moon in  the Solar System.

Io, which is the focus of this month’s video, is the most volcanically active body in the Solar  System with more than 400 active volcanoes. It also has 100 plus mountains, some larger than Mount Everest.

So now that you know a little more about Io, enjoy painting volcano eggs with Chloe and Ms. Terri. Also take time to read the fun story of The Substitute from Jupiter where the substitute teacher, Beatrice Bumfuzzle, enjoys the last laugh.