PLANETARY GUIDE

Our infinite universe is made up of countless galaxies, of which our Milky Way is just one. Before showing you the special power of its stars, we think it’s important that you get to know the solar system. First of all, we bring you some interesting information about the most important celestial bodies.

Celestial Bodies:

The Sun

Planets

The moons of planets

Asteroids and comets

Meteoroids and interplanetary dust, gases

The Sun

It is the central star of our Milky Way, with a volume 750 times greater than the total volume of all planets. Due to this, its gravitational field creates a larger force than that of its neighbouring stars. This force holds the entire solar system together and rules the movement of the surrounding celestial bodies and planets.

Since antiquity, the Sun has been treasured for of its warmth and light. It was endowed with supernatural powers and respected as a god. Later, many began observing the enormous star through a telescope in order to unravel its mystical secrets.

The Planets

Planets are listed according to their distance from the Sun. All of them move on a near identical plane, in a straight direction together and their axial rotation is also the same – which is anticlockwise from the polar north of the Earth, with the exception of Venus and Uranus. Their elliptic field is due to the Sun’s gravitational force. On the long term, they complete a stable course, though there can be minor variations.

 

Mercury is the smallest and closest moving planet. Its name comes from the Roman god, Mercurius, who is the equivalent of Hermes in Greek mythology. He was worshipped as the messenger of gods, the leader of dead souls and the protector of travellers and merchants.

The second most luminous object of the night sky is Venus, the only planet of the solar system named after a female figure. She was identified with Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty in Greek mythology. As a guiding star it provided great help in navigation, so it was often called the morning star and the evening star as it was the first one that appeared in the sky at sunrise and at nightfall.

The Earth

Our home, the Earth, is the third closest planet to the Sun. To our knowledge it is the only planet with life on it. Its protective magnetic field shields us from high energy cosmic radiation. According to earlier sources, Mother Earth, Gaia, gave birth to the sky, the mountains and the seas.

Mars was named after the Roman god of war and is known as the „red planet” because of its special colour. The ancient Egyptians depicted it as „Horus of the horizon”. In 300 B.C. Aristotle declared that it was situated further from us than the Moon.

 

Jupiter, the giant planet, has a volume two and a half times more that of the total volume of all the other planets. After the Moon and Venus, it is also the brightest point in the sky. The king of the Roman gods ruled over the sky, storms and daylight. His Greek equivalent is Zeus, meaning „bright sky”.

Saturn, visible to the naked eye from Earth, has a ring of ice and debris. Galileo Galilei noticed it in 1610 but was unable to identify the phenomenon. 45 years later a Dutch astronomer, Christiaan Huygens, observed that Saturn was surrounded by a thin and wide ring which didn’t touch the planet. Saturn (Kronos) was a symbol of agriculture, sowing, seeds and cruel times.

Uranus was considered to be a comet and a star before it was recorded as the seventh planet of the solar system. The lord of the sky, the husband of Earth Mother, Gaia, he represents the most ancient generation of gods. His children are Saturn (Kronos), the Titans and the Cyclops.

Neptune, the furthest and smallest giant planet, was named after the Roman god of the sea. His Greek equivalent is Posseidon.

Did you know?

Until 24thAugust 2006, Pluto was the ninth and smallest planet of the solar system. The dwarf planet, smaller than Earth’s moon, was named after Hades, the god of the underworld.