Santanu Das

Researcher

Astro-QA #7: Which are the largest and the smallest planets in our solar system?

There are 8 planets in our solar system. They are of different sizes. But which one is the largest and which one is the smallest planet of our solar system?

 

The smallest planet in our solar system is Mercury and the largest planet is Jupiter.

There are a couple of different ways to measure how “big” something is. The first is an object’s mass (how much matter it contains) and the second is its volume (how much space it takes up). The smallest planet in regards to both mass and volume is Mercury — its about 20 times less massive than Earth, and its diameter is about 2½ times smaller. In fact, Mercury is closer in size to our Moon than to Earth.

 The largest planet in our solar system by far is Jupiter, in terms of both mass and volume. Jupiter’s mass is more than 300 times that of Earth, and its diameter, at 140,000 km, is about 11 times Earth’s diameter. Jupiter's Great Red Spot is also larger than Earth’s diameter. In fact, Jupiter is 2½ times more massive than the rest of the planets in the solar system combined.

 

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