Outer Planets

The Outer Planets

The Outer Planets are the four planets  which have the furthest  orbits to the Sun.  These are Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. They planets formed far out from the Sun warmth past the frost line, where  the low temperatures allowed ice condense. They are all Gas Giants which is different to the Inner Planets which have  rocky surfaces.


Jupiter is the most largest planet in our solar system . It is the 5th planet from the sun. It is composed of 84% Hydrogen and about 15% helium, if it was larger then it may have formed to a star. It has 16 moons and its enormous magnetic field. It resembles a small solar system with the moons on fasts orbits around it. It can be seen with the naked eye and a telescope can bring out details in the bands of swirling cloud and the fast moving moons . Storms can also be seen in the bands; the largest is known as the Great Red Spot which has been seen on for hundreds of years.


Saturn Is the second largest planet and it is the 6th planet from the sun. It is mostly made of hydrogen and helium. It can be seen with the naked eye but a telescope can bring out more detail – like the beautiful rings around the planet, and also cloud bands. The rings are composed of ice and rocks ranging from dust to house sized blocks.


Uranus is the 7th planet from the Sun. It is unusual as its equator is nearly at right angles to its orbit – which is thought to have been caused by collision with another planet. To see Uranus you need a telescope but this will only show a blue disc. It is composed hydrogen, helium and methane gives its blue colour.


Neptune is the 8th and last planet in our Solar System. It is composed of hydrogen and helium an methane gives its blue colour. Neptune is a hard object to find through a telescope. The are white clouds of methane ice crystals and there is a large storm called the Great Dark Spot.







Distance from Sun

483 million miles

886 million miles

1.8 billion miles

2.8 billion miles


89,400 miles

75,000 miles

32,300 miles

32,300 miles

One Rotation

10 hours

10.4 hours

17 hours

18 - 22 hours


 11.6 years

29.4 years

84 years

165 years






Matt Armitage & H.C.O.