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  • Elizabeth Cocking

Did you know? The Most & The Least of the planets

in our solar system

The most tilted planet… Uranus has the largest tilt with an axial tilt of about 98 degrees. Its north pole is nearly on its equator. It is believed this extreme tilt was caused by a collision with an Earth-sized planet billions of years ago, soon after Uranus formed. Image left showing the extreme tilt courtesy NASA.

The least tilted planet… Mercury's tilt is a miniscule 0.027°. This is by far the least tilt of any planet in the Solar System.

The most dense planet… It’s us! Earth wins the prize for being the most dense planet with a density of 5.51 g/cm3

The least dense planet… Is Saturn, which has an average density of only 0.7 g/cm3. Saturn is often described as being able to float in a bath tub, if you could find one big enough! Image left courtesy NASA.

The most largest moon… Jupiter’s moon Ganymede is the largest moon in the solar system coming in at 5,268 kilometres in diameter, making it even larger than the planet Mercury. Image left is courtesy NASA/JPL and is a view of Ganymede from the Galileo spacecraft.

The least largest moon… Deimos, one of the moons of Mars, is only 12.4 kilometres in diameter, although its size is now rivalled by the small shepherd moons of Saturn, Jupiter and the other giant gas planets in the outer Solar System.

The most fastest planet… Mercury is the winner, zipping through space at about 47.87 kilometres per second, completing an orbit of the Sun in 88 days.

The least fastest planet… Prior to 2006 Pluto would have won the prize with an orbital speed of 4.74 kilometres per second. However, since its demotion from planet status the least fastest planet is now Neptune moving at a leisurely 5.43 kilometres per second taking about 163 years to orbit the Sun.

The most eccentric orbit… Mercury has the most eccentric orbit ranging from 46 million kilometres when closest to the Sun to 69.8 million kilometres at its furthest distance.

The least eccentric orbit… Venus has an almost circular orbit with an eccentricity of .007. Its orbit ranges between 107 million kilometres and 109 million kilometres from the Sun. The Gif at left is courtesy Brabor.


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