What are the Colors of the 9 Planets in Our Solar System?


Solar System

Colors of the 9 Planets

Not only is this a trick question, it’s a tricky question to answer.  When you think about the colors of the 9 planets in the Solar System, you are actually thinking about the old definition of the Solar System.  There are now only 8 planets – 5 years ago (on August 24, 2006) Pluto was demoted to the classification of a dwarf planet.  It’s a tricky question because each planet has more than one color so it’s not easy to describe each planet with only one color.  Trick questions and tricky answers never scare us here at Outer Space Universe so we’ll give you the answer! 

Let’s start with the planets closest to the Sun and work our way out to the dwarf Planet, Pluto.

Closest to the Sun is the planet Mercury.  Mercury doesn’t have much of an atmosphere so there is no atmospheric coloring to attribute to it.  It looks grey. 

Next is the planet Venus.  Venus looks yellow-white due to it’s extremely dense, carbon dioxide atmosphere.  It’s bright colored atmosphere and close proximity to Earth make it very easy to spot in the night sky.  In fact, it is the brightest object in our night sky with an apparent magnitude of -4.6.

The Earth is next.  We all know what Earth looks like.  Blue, green, brown and white from clouds can all be seen from space.  In my opinion (and I am admittedly biased) it is the most beautiful planet in the Solar System.

After Earth comes Mars.  Mars is known as “The Red Planet”.  It’s coloring is due to rather large amounts of iron oxide that are found on it’s surface which gives it a rusty color.  You can see white at both the north and south poles which is believed to be frozen carbon dioxide.

Jupiter is the 5th planet from the sun.  I would say that Jupiter is a combination of browns, reds, blues and whites.  These colors form very distinct bands that represent bands of atmosphere at varying heights.  The most notable color on Jupiter is the “Great Red Spot” which, of course is red.

After Jupiter comes Saturn.  Saturn looks a lot like Jupiter.  It has bands of clouds of made of ammonia crystals and possibly water.  Looking at Saturn, you will see brown, white, yellow and red.

Next comes Uranus.  Uranus is referred to as an “Ice Giant”.  It’s atmosphere consists of frozen ammonia, methane and water and appears light blue or green.

Finally, there is Neptune.  Neptune is the farthest planet from the sun and is the 8th planet in our Solar System.  Neptune is another “Ice Giant” and it’s color is similar to Uranus although a darker blue.

Now to the dwarf planet Pluto.  Lowly Pluto is very difficult to image directly because of it’s distance from our planet.  However, scientists have noted a wide range of colors on it’s surface – from dark black to dark orange and even white.

Image Credit:  NASA



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