The Outer Planets

Traditionally known as the "superior planets", the outer planets are those with orbits outside that of the Earth. Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn were the furthest prominent lights recognized by man in ancient times. Saturn, the most distant from the Sun, was seen as the ultimate outpost, marking the end of the Universe.

MARS, JUPITER, AND SATURN

Mars, in orbit between the Earth and Jupiter, resembles Earth more closely than any other planet though it is only half its diameter. Its two satellites or moons, Phobos and Deimos, are named after the children of Ares and Aphrodite; Ares is the Greek name for Mars. The names mean "fear" — hence "phobia".

Jupiter's orbit lies between Mars and Saturn. It was aptly named after the Father of the Gods, for it is the giant of the solar system, with a diameter 11 times that of Earth. It has 16 known satellites: one of them, Ganymede, is the largest satellite in the solar system. In mythology, Ganymede became the cup-bearer to Jupiter under his Greek name of Zeus.

Saturn, almost the same size as Jupiter, has many moons, including Titan, the only known satellite in the solar system that has an atmosphere. Eighteen of the satellites have been named, though after running a gamut of mythical personalities, astronomers ran out of steam and retreated to a system of numbers such as S161980S27.

Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn take considerably different periods of time to orbit the Sun. Like the other planets, they travel through the 12 signs of the zodiac; as they do so their influence is exerted on the signs and also in the way they form and break away from angular relationships with each other — this is known as the Aspects (see pp264—83).

According to Greek mythology, Aphrodite bore two children by Ares, Phobos and Deimos, and the two moons of Mars were named in their honour.

According to Greek mythology, Aphrodite bore two children by Ares, Phobos and Deimos, and the two moons of Mars were named in their honour.

Saturn with Dione, one of the planet's many moons, in the foreground.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
The Art Of Astrology

The Art Of Astrology

Get All The Support And Guidance You Need To Be A Success With Astrology. This Book Is One Of The Most Valuable Resources In The World When It Comes To A Look at Principles and Practices.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment