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Explore the four gas giant planets, as Jessi and Squeaks take you on a tour of our solar system!

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(Intro music)

Welcome back! If you were with us last time then you got to join Squeaks and me on the first half of our tour of our amazing solar system.

The solar system is the sun and all the things that orbit around it. The biggest of these are our eight planets. Last time we started with the star at the middle of our solar system: the Sun. And we stopped by on visits to Mercury, the smallest planet, followed by Venus, which is the hottest planet, then our home, Earth, the only planet that we know that has living things on it and finally Mars.

Those four planets are the only rocky planets in our solar system. That means that they have hard, rocky surfaces and if you could fly there, you could actually stand on them. But way out beyond Mars, you'll find a totally different kind of planet, ones that are made almost completely out of gas. Scientists call these the gas giants and the first one we'll bump into is by far the biggest planet in our solar system, Jupiter.

This planet is made up entirely of thick layers of gas and it's so big that Earth could fit into it more than 1,300 times over. It even has more than 60 moons of it's own. Jupiter is also a very stormy planet with wild winds whipping all over all the time. One storm called the Great Red Spot has been raging on Jupiter for hundreds of years. The storm sometimes get smaller or bigger, but it has been there for as long as people have been studying Jupiter with telescopes. See you later storm!

Our next planet Saturn is also really really big and made of gas, but you can tell it apart from Jupiter and other gas giants because of its big, beautiful rings. Actually all 4 of the gas giants have rings around them, but most of them are so small and faint that it is hard to see them. But Saturn has the biggest and brightest rings. And they might look fancy, but they're really just made of dust, rocks and ice.

And even though Saturn is really big, it's also very light. Some scientist think that because the gases that make it up are so lightweight that the whole planet would actually be able to float in water! If only we could find a bathtub big enough! Saturn is furthest planet from Earth that you can actually see with your own eyes. You'll need a telescope to spot our next gas giant, Uranus. 

Unlike all the other planets in our solar system, Uranus spins on its side. Nobody is exactly sure why, but it could be that a large object smashed into the planet a long time ago and knocked it sideways. Besides moving differently Uranus is also a lot colder than the other planets and is sometimes called an Ice Giant. It has reached the coldest temperature ever measured in our solar system, dipping almost as low as 223 degrees below zero! Oh, burr. But it's not getting much warmer where we're headed!

Come on Squeaks let's find our last gas giant, Neptune. Neptune is the furthest planet from the Sun. It could take up to 12 years to fly to Neptune from Earth. And Neptune takes a really long time to orbit the Sun, over a 160 Earth years to go around a single time. But it has at least one thing in common with its big brother Jupiter. It also has giant storms swirling on it.

Scientist called one fo these storms the Great Dark Spot because it looked like a big blotch of dark blue and this storm was fierce. Scientists think that the winds inside the storm were the strongest, fastest winds anywhere in our solar system! But this storm didn't last as long as the one on Jupiter. The last time astronomers pointed their telescopes at the Great Dark Spot to take a picture of it, it had disappeared. But a new storm has formed on another part of the planet. 

Whew! That was an awesome trip! Now we've seen all of the planets in our solar system. But what else is out there? Plenty! Those rocky planets and gas giants are just a few of the things in our massive solar system. It also has asteroids and comets and other small planets made of dust and ice and almost certainly tons of other things that scientists haven't even discovered yet. So grab a telescope and start looking! Maybe you'll discover a new world out there! 

Thanks for exploring with us and remember if you have a question for SciShow Kids let us know by leaving a comment or emailing us! Thanks guys.

(Outro music)