|Mercury||Venus||Our Earth||Mars||Jupiter||Saturn||Uranus||Neptune||Pluto and beyond|
Painting by Adolf Schaller, OmniCosm Studios
Mercury’s rugged surface is an airless desert. It shimmers under the relentless glare of the nearby Sun.
Building the Solar System
During the formation of the solar system, our young star’s heat destroyed nearby ices and gases. Close to the Sun, the rocky materials survived and formed Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, and the asteroids. In the outer solar system, temperatures were cold enough to allow ice and gas to exist as well. These were the building blocks of the gas giants, their frozen moons and rings, and countless comets.