The Solar System is a strange place with its distant planets, strange satellites and even stranger phenomena that are difficult to explain. Some of the Solar System’s planets are inclined, suffer from storms or volcanic eruptions on their satellites. In addition, it is worth knowing that the largest volcano in the solar system is not on Earth, the Moon is not the most active satellite and Earth does not have the strongest winds. Interestingly enough, researchers have not found the explanation for the majority of these specificities. Here are the 5 strangest facts about the Solar System:
Uranus strange rotation
Seemingly Uranus is inexpressive blue ball. However, this gas giant has one odd thing. This planet rotated around its axis leaning on the side and scientist do not have the explanation for this. The most likely explanation is that long time ago Uranus collided with one or more, about five Earth masses, bodies. Furthermore, Uranus has several rings. This fact was confirmed in 1977, when scientists saw that the light was blocked not just by the planet, but also by its rings. In addition, astronomers recently found out that there are storms in Uranus atmosphere
Jupiter satellite’s Io volcanoes
For those of us who are accustomed to a rather sedentary Earth satellites, Jupiter’s satellite Io landscape may seem really chaotic and full of surprises. Hundreds of volcanic eruptions take place in this satellite and it is considered to be the most active in the Solar system. Furthermore, some of the volcanoes caused the smoke burst of up to 250 miles. Some spacecraft managed to capture this phenomenon. “New Horizons” recorded one such burst in 2007. Io volcanic eruptions causes a huge thrust force acting on the satellite. This leads to enough energy to such volcanic activity. Researchers are still seeking to find out how heat spreads inside the satellite Io, although it is difficult to predict where the volcanoes are using purely scientific modeling.
Biggest volcano in the Solar System
Although Mars looks calm at the moment, it is known that something in the past led to the formation of enormous volcanoes. Among them there is a Mount Olympus called volcano, which is the largest ever discovered volcano in the solar system. Its diameter is 602 kilometers, and its size is equivalent to the US state of Arizona. This volcano is also 25 kilometers in height – three times higher than Mount Everest, which is the highest mountain on Earth. Volcanoes on Mars can grow to such an impressive size because of the weaker gravity force than on Earth. However, it is unknown, how these volcanoes formed in the first place. There is debate about whether Mars is a tectonic plate system, and whether it is active.
Crazy winds on Venus
Venus is harsh planet, which has a very high temperature and a high pressured surface. 10 of the Soviet Union’s highly protected spacecraft were able to stay for only a few minutes on the surface of this planet. However, a strange environment is above the planet’s surface. Scientists have discovered that there is a breeze blowing 50 times faster than the planet rotates itself. Unmanned spacecraft “Venus Express”, which orbit Venus from 2006 to 2014, recorded winds and found their periodic changes. It also found that the power of the wind is increasing over time.
Previously it was thought that the ice is a rare material in space. But now it is known that scientists were not looking in the right places. In fact, Solar System is full of ice. For example, ice is common component in comets and asteroids. It is in Mercury’s craters and even the Moon itself, although it is not known whether there is enough to maintain the entire colony. There is ice even in the smaller Solar system bodies such as Jupiter’s moon Europa, Saturn’s moon Enceladus, and even the dwarf planet Ceres.