Our Solar System At A Glance


INTRODUCTION
From our small world we have gazed upon the cosmic ocean for untold
thousands of years. Ancient astronomers observed points of light that
appeared to move among the stars. They called these objects planets,
meaning wanderers, and named them after Roman deities -- Jupiter, king of
the gods; Mars, the god of war; Mercury, messenger of the gods; Venus, the
god of love and beauty, and Saturn, father of Jupiter and god of
agriculture. The stargazers also observed comets with sparkling tails, and
meteors or shooting stars apparently falling from the sky.

Science flourished during the European Renaissance. Fundamental
physical laws governing planetary motion were discovered, ...

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to explore the Moon. Our automated machines have orbited and
landed on Venus and Mars; explored the Sun's environment; observed comets,
and made close-range surveys while flying past Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn,
Uranus and Neptune.

These travelers brought a quantum leap in our knowledge and
understanding of the solar system. Through the electronic sight and other
"senses" of our automated spacecraft, color and complexion have been given
to worlds that for centuries appeared to Earth-bound eyes as fuzzy disks
or indistinct points of light. And dozens of previously unknown objects
have been discovered.

Future historians will likely view these pioneering flights through
the solar system as some of the most remarkable achievements of the 20th
century.

AUTOMATED SPACECRAFT

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's)
automated spacecraft for solar system exploration come in many shapes and
sizes. While they are designed to fulfill separate and specific ...

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antennas pointed toward Earth.
The thrusters can also be used to fine-tune the flight path and speed of
the spacecraft to ensure that a target body is encountered at the planned
distance and on the proper trajectory.

Between 1959 and 1971, NASA spacecraft were dispatched to study the
Moon and the solar environment; they also scanned the inner planets other
than Earth -- Mercury, Venus and Mars. These three worlds, and our own,
are known as the terrestrial planets because they share a solid-rock
composition.

For the early planetary reconnaissance missions, NASA employed a
highly successful series of spacecraft called the Mariners. Their flights
helped shape the ...

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Our Solar System At A Glance. (2005, August 5). Retrieved January 20, 2018, from http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Our-Solar-System-At-A-Glance/31167
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"Our Solar System At A Glance." Essayworld.com. August 5, 2005. Accessed January 20, 2018. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Our-Solar-System-At-A-Glance/31167.
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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 8/5/2005 11:41:46 AM
Category: Science & Nature
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 4469
Pages: 17

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