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The planets of the outer solar system

The planets of the outer solar system

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SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

The outer Solar System. Computer composite image of the four 'gas giant' planets of the outer solar system, shown in their relative sizes and (at a different scale) their relative mean orbital distances. The planets are (left to right): Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. A representation of the Sun is at far left. The outermost planet, Pluto, is too small to be shown at this scale. The 'Gas Giants' appear to lack defined, solid 'surfaces', although the gases from which they are made may form liquid and solid phases in the intense pressures closer to their cores. Most of the planetary images come from data gathered by NASA's Voyager spacecraft.

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