They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but something we can all agree on is that there is a lot of contenders for the title of the most beautiful planet.
Planets are so different from each other because of their composition, size, and even position in relation to their stars that they end up having all kinds of different colors, features, and geology. It’s hard to pick an absolute winner.
Saturn has its rings, Jupiter shows all kinds of shapes on its surface, and we can’t forget about our own Earth with its beautiful blue oceans.
So we are going to show you some incredible photos of each of them and let’s see if we can come to an agreement on which one deserves the title.
For this article, we are going to exclude planets outside the Solar system because they are so far away that we haven’t been able to photograph them yet. We have the technology to know what they are made of so we use that to extrapolate and build 3D models and artwork of how we imagine they look like, but we have yet to confirm it using a telescope or a probe.
For this article, we are going to be using only visible light photos. This means photos that are taken using the light spectrum that we can see with our eyes. Sometimes you will see photos of the planets that have and more varied colors. For example, there are many photos of Mercury that show it with a yellow and blue surface. Those photos are taken using infra-red or ultraviolet cameras and telescopes and show “false-colors” that we would not see if we could look at the planet with our own eyes.
A lot of people get confused when they look at photos of Mercury because they think they are black and white and mistake them for old photos, but the truth is Mercury does not have a lot of color. It hasn’t been geologically active for a long time so its surface is mostly plain, grey, and full of craters. In many ways, Mercury is very similar to the Moon.
The best photos we have from Mercury are from the MESSENGER probe that orbited it from 2011 to 2015.
From the planets in the Solar system, Mercury is probably the most boring one when it comes to looks.
The surface of Venus has a beautiful light yellow/orange tone, however, if you could look at the planet from its orbit, you wouldn’t see any of it because its atmosphere is completely covered by wild white clouds and looks almost like a pearl.
When you process the images a little bit using ultraviolet photos like the following ones from the Mariner 10 probe, you can see a little bit of the color of the surface of the planet.
Blue oceans, clouds, many geological features. Earth has a lot of color and beauty to offer. Here are some photos taken by satellites from outer space of our planet. It’s the home choice, but wouldn’t you say that there is a case for it being the most beautiful planet in the Solar system?
Mars is our red neighbor. While it looks desertic and desolated, its bright red colors give it a certain strength and virtue. So much that it was named after the Greek go of war.
Thanks to the multiple space probes and rovers that humanity has sent its way, we have a lot of high-quality photos to appreciate how it looks. We even have some photos of its surface.
And here’s a really cool 360 degree video of the surface of Mars taken by the Curiosity Rover. You can click over the video and drag left or right to move the image.
Jupiter is the biggest planet in the Solar system. It is a gas giant, which means its exterior is full of all kinds of clouds of many colors swirling and clashing with each other.
The Juno mission launched in 2011 arrived to Jupiter’s orbit in 2016 and has sent us some of the most amazing photos of a planet that we have ever gotten. It’s incredible how Jupiter looks from up close and everything that we have learned about it thanks to these.
Probably the most famous planet in terms of looks. Saturn is another gas giant planet, but it looks very diiferent from Jupiter and not just because of its rings. The outer atmosphere of Saturn looks very uniform, almost as if the color stripes has been painted using a brush. This is because the rotation period of Saturn is extremely fast. It rotates every 10 hours which is even more impressive if you consider that it is about 9 times bigger than Earth.
The photos we have from Saturn are thanks to the Cassini space probe that orbited the planet from 2004 to 2010.
Saturn’s colors change with its seasons so you will see different colors in multiple images and they are all probably correct.
Uranus and Neptune are considerably farther away than the other planets in the Solar system so we don’t have too many good pictures of them. The only “close up” photo we have of Uranus was taken by the Voyager probe as it passed by on its way to the ends of the Solar system, and that was in 1986.
Because of this, can’t see many of the details in its surface and atmosphere, but we do know its a baby blue color.
The farthest planet in the Solar system, it was named after the Roman god of the seas because of its bright blue color. It is the only planet that cannot be seen with the naked eye, so Greeks and Romans didn’t know about it.
The best photos we have of Neptune were also taken by the Voyager in 1989. It has more active weather conditions than Uranus, so you can see different tones of colors in its atmosphere.
Which planet do you think wins the award to the most beautiful one? In my personal opinion, Jupiter takes the first place. Its atmosphere looks like it was taken out of an abstract painting and it is full of color and character.
Hopefully, someday we’ll be able to take a closer look at the exterior planets Uranus and Neptune because Neptune probably looks incredible from up close.
Let us know in the comments if you agree and which one do you like the most.