QuickCheck: Do all the planets spin counter-clockwise?

THE Sun and all the planets in the solar system spin counter-clockwise.

Is this true?

Verdict:

FALSE

The Sun spins counter-clockwise on its axis along with most of the objects in the Solar System.

This is due to the initial conditions in the clouds of gas and dust in which our Solar System formed.

The clump of primordial dust and gas that eventually became the Solar System is theorised to have spun counter-clockwise, and as the various bits of it condensed into the Sun, planets and everything else it kept this direction in both their spin and in the case of everything that is not the Sun, its orbit.

Of the larger objects with enough gravity to pull themselves into a sphere and mass to be considered a planet, there are two outliers: Earth’s evil twin Venus and the gas giant Neptune.

Uranus rotates about its axis that is nearly parallel with its orbital plane, meaning it’s on its side, whereas Venus actually spins counter-clockwise and has the slowest rotation of all the planets. A day on Venus is equivalent to 116 days on Earth.

It’s theorised that these two odd-balls got their strange spin after being hit by something else during the Solar System’s formational period.

As a side note, it’s also hypothesized that Earth was hit by another planet, which scientists have called Thea, 4.5 billion years ago.

This impact obliterated much of the ancient Earth and Thea, whose parts reformed into both our home planet and the Moon.

The Thea impact hypothesis explains why the Earth has such an unusually large satellite and why our planet has such a large core compared to its size.

Also, if Thea formed in the outer Solar System it would also explain our planet’s massive amount of water as the inner Solar System is actually fairly dry.

References:

1. https://public.nrao.edu/ask/why-do-the-planets-in-our-solar-system-orbit-the-sun-counter-clockwise/

2. https://www.science.org/content/article/scienceshot-venus-slowing-down

3. https://www.sciencefocus.com/news/the-formation-of-the-moon-brought-water-to-earth/

.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.