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  • Welcome to Socratica Station. Well be departing soon on our tour of the Solar System. Along

  • the way, well see our Star, orbited by eight planets, at least five dwarf planets,

  • and tens of thousands of asteroids. Maybe a few comets if we get lucky.

  • Remain seated with your safety restraints in place. To have the best view, put on your

  • goggles and keep them on for the duration of our trip.

  • Well start our tour at Sol, our Star. That means were going to the center of our Solar

  • System. To get there, well be making a quick jump into hyperspace to travel the 150

  • million kilometers. Don’t let it throw you. Ready? Steady...Go.

  • Here we are. Our Sun. There are much larger stars out there, but this one is ours.

  • It’s a giant ball of gas, held together by gravity.

  • The Sun makes up 99.8% of the mass of the entire solar system. This huge mass keeps

  • everything in its orbit, from the largest planets to the trillions of bits of space

  • debris. The Dark Sunspots you see are areas of intense

  • magnetic activity. Electric currents in the sun generate a HUGE

  • magnetic field. This sets up a stream of electrically charged gas blowing out from the Sun in all

  • directions. We call this the Solar Wind. Hold on to your boots. Were jumping to

  • planet number one, MERCURY.

  • Mercury is the planet closest to the Sun - the

  • first of the four terrestrial planets. It’s also the smallest planet, around the same

  • size as Earth’s moon. Mercury goes around the Sun very quickly.

  • One year on Mercury takes 88 days on Earth. But at the same time, it spins very slowly

  • on its axis. One Mercury Day takes 59 Earth Days. So there’s a long Mercury Day, but

  • a short Mercury year. Best of both worlds! Next stop: Venus. Named for the goddess of

  • LOVE. Will you lose your heart to this dangerous beauty?

  • Here she is. Venus. Bright. Beautiful. DEADLY. Venus is a hot, dangerous planet, with an

  • atmosphere of toxic gas. I know, she’s gorgeous, but I’m telling you, we can’t get any

  • closer or our ship will melt. Youll have to admire her from here. Notice that the planet

  • spins backwards - so on Venus, the Sun rises in the West and sets in the East.

  • Okay, time to go home. Just for a moment, to cool off. Were going to visit Earth,

  • but this time as a space tourist.

  • Are you a resident of Earth? I’ve never

  • been myself, personally. But it sure looks pretty. 70% of its surface is covered with

  • water. It’s the only planet we know of in our Solar System that supports life.

  • Were busy setting up more and more stations for humans to live off-world, but right here

  • is where life began. Earth lies in a so-called Goldilocks zone, within a habitable distance

  • from the Sun, and it has a protective atmosphere that keeps the temperature relatively stable.

  • Next on our tour comes our best hope for life off-planet - the Red Planet MARS.

  • Okay, Red Planet isn’t quite right - it’s more brownish/yellow - but Mars looks red

  • from Earth, and so the nickname stuck. Do we have any prospective Martians with us here

  • today? That’s right, plans to move in are underway.

  • What will life be like on our new home? Light. Mars has only one-third the gravity of Earth.

  • Also, be prepared for some excitement - Mars has giant volcanoes like Olympus Mons and

  • massive, planet-wide dust storms. Don’t forget to pack a broom.

  • Time for a little interlude before our next planet. This next stop might be a little ROCKY.

  • Were talking asteroids. Lots of them. Everyone still buckled in? Good.

  • Here we are in the Asteroid Belt. Asteroids are rocky irregular bodies - left over from

  • the formation of the Solar System. Most asteroids are found right here, orbiting the Sun between

  • Mars and Jupiter. Weve found about 800,000 of them so far.

  • The total mass of all the asteroids here in the Asteroid Belt is less than that of Earth’s

  • moon. As you can see, the asteroids come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The largest

  • known asteroid is Ceres - about 950 kilometers in diameter. But most are much smaller - some

  • are only 10 meters across. Okay, brace yourself. It’s time to visit

  • the big guy. The Titan. The Big Kahuna. You know him better as - JUPITER.

  • Weve arrived at the largest planet in the Solar System. It’s a handsome planet, dressed

  • in swirly bands of gas. Don’t let the strange beauty fool you. This is no paradise planet.

  • It’s completely inhospitable. There’s nothing solid to land on. Just gas, gas, and

  • more gas. And Jupiter has impressive storms that last for centuries, including the Giant

  • Red Spot. That’s not to say we won’t move into the

  • neighborhood one day. Jupiter has many moons that are promising candidates for colonization.

  • I’m considering Europa myself. Moving on. Our next planet has a certain RING

  • to it. Wink wink. Saturn coming up in 3..2..1.. Saturn is a lot like Jupiter, made mostly

  • of hydrogen and helium. It’s funny, you know, lots of planets have rings, made up

  • of chunks of ice and rocks. But Saturn’s rings are so impressive, it’s really the

  • first thing we think of. We recognize Saturn by its rings, but every now and then, we get

  • to enjoy an optical illusion where the rings disappear. Saturn’s rings are so thin that

  • they disappear if you view them on edge. Our next planet has a way of changing your

  • perspective on things. Youll see what I mean when we get there. Ready or not, here

  • it comes!

  • See what I mean? This is Uranus. It rotates

  • on its side. OK - I’m not really supposed to do this - but hey, who’s gonna know.

  • Let’s turn on our side to get another look.

  • Whooooaaahhhh!

  • Now were properUranians!”

  • Uranus was the first planet discovered by telescope back in 1781. It’s remained a

  • bit of a mystery since then. We know it’s mostly hydrogen, helium, and methane, with

  • a small rocky center. Maybe one day well figure out why it’s such a tilty world.

  • Tilt a world! I crack myself up sometimes. Moving on to a planet named for the Roman

  • God of the Sea. It’s quite see-worthy! Hahahaha. Worth seeing. See worthy! Get it?

  • This blue blue world is Neptune. Did I mention it’s very blue? Maybe that’s why it reminds

  • people of an ocean. It’s dark, icy, and windy. Down below the atmosphere is supposed

  • to be a solid center about the size of Earth. Brrr. I’m not going down there.

  • Were in luck my friends. A comet is gracing us with her presence. Where’s its tail you

  • ask? Comets are like dusty snowballs orbiting the Sun. When they get to perihelion, the

  • closest point to the Sun, THAT’S when you see them develop their tails. The radiation

  • from the Sun causes the comet to partly vaporize, and the dust particles stream behind, carried

  • by the solar pressure and the solar wind. That’s why comet tails always point away

  • from the Sun. Some comets have short orbits and some have

  • long orbits. One example is Halley’s Comet, with a short period of about 75 years. Do

  • you know where short period comets come from? That’s right, the Kuiper belt. We must be

  • getting close. Hang on, let’s go take a look.

  • We made it to the Kuiper Belt. This is a ring of icy objects circling around the Sun. We

  • call all the interesting bodies out here Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs)

  • Short-period comets come from here (those with orbits around the Sun less than 200 years)

  • Here we also find Dwarf planets, including Pluto. Remember Pluto? It’s smaller than

  • Earth’s Moon, with Blue skies, Mountains, and red snow. Like a picture postcard, isn’t

  • it? Love ya, little guy. Other Dwarf planets include Makemake, Haumea,

  • and Eris. Can’t wait to explore all these little worlds.

  • Sorry folks. We don’t have enough fuel to visit the Oort Cloud today. Let’s head back

  • to base. Were going to go hyper-hyper speed to get back in time for lunch.

  • And don't forget to stop by the giftshop!

  • Everyone here in one piece? Good, good, we take our safety record very seriously here

  • at Socratica Space Tours. Just think about how much you saw today - practically

  • our whole Solar System! It’s a beauty isn’t it?

  • And imagine - our solar system is moving with an average velocity of 828,000 kilometers

  • per hour. But even at that speed, it takes us over 200 MILLION YEARS to complete one

  • orbit around the Milky Way. We’d better save the trip around the galaxy for our next

  • tour. ...Were going to need a bigger ship. Thank you for voyaging with Socratica today.

  • We know you have a choice in space travel, and we appreciate your patronage. If you’d

  • like to collect your frequent flier space miles, you can join our 7 billion mile club

  • by visiting Patreon.com/socratica. So long space travelers, and come again soon.

Welcome to Socratica Station. Well be departing soon on our tour of the Solar System. Along

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