Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Planets of the Solar System: Tilts and Spins


How does your favorite planet spin? Does it spin rapidly around a nearly vertical axis, or horizontally, or backwards? This video animates NASA images of all eight planets in our Solar System to show them spinning side-by-side for an easy comparison.

In the time-lapse video, a day on Earth (one Earth rotation) takes just a few seconds. Jupiter rotates the fastest, while Venus spins not only the slowest, but backwards. The inner rocky planets across the top underwent dramatic spin-altering collisions during the early days of the Solar System.

Why planets spin and tilt as they do remains a topic of research with much insight gained from modern computer modeling and the recent discovery and analysis of hundreds of exoplanets: planets orbiting other stars.

Video Credit: NASA, Animation: James O'Donoghue (JAXA)

Music Credit: Adam Weller 

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