Journey Through the Cosmos: Insights from Janet Ivey's
Live Stream

AMC recently hosted an exciting live stream with Janet Ivey, the dynamic founder of Janet's Planet and a NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Solar System Ambassador. For over two decades, Janet has inspired students worldwide with her passionate storytelling and extensive knowledge of space science. Today, we invite you to explore some fascinating insights we learned from Janet about our solar system, from the sun to the Kuiper Belt.

 Janet opened her lecture with captivating facts about the sun, the massive star at the center of our solar system and a constant source of wonder for all. “Did you know,” she asked, “you can fit over 1 million Earths inside the sun?” It takes just 8 minutes for the light from the sun to reach us here on Earth, and at its core, the sun reaches a staggering 27 million degrees Fahrenheit. Janet explained that we are currently in a period of solar maximum, an eleven-year peak in solar activity that impacts everything from satellites to power grids on Earth.

The first stop from the sun is Mercury, the smallest and fastest planet in our solar system. Mercury zips around the sun at over 100,000 miles per hour but despite its speed, a day on Mercury (one rotation) is almost as long as its year (88 Earth days). Janet described the planet’s extreme temperatures, with daytime highs reaching 800 degrees Fahrenheit and nighttime lows plummeting to -290 degrees Fahrenheit. 

The next stop in Janet’s Solar System adventure brings us to Venus. Venus is often named Earth’s sister planet due to its similar size and composition, but it is far from hospitable. “Imagine,” she said, “a planet where it rains sulfuric acid, and surface temperatures soar to nearly 900 degrees Fahrenheit.” Venus is the brightest object in the sky after the Sun and Moon due to its highly reflective dense cloud cover.

Janet’s enthusiasm for the planet we all call home was contagious. Earth, unique in its rich biodiversity and abundant liquid water, is perfectly positioned in our solar system’s habitable “Goldilocks zone.” Its delicate balance tilted on an axis of 23.5 degrees, gives us our seasons and diverse climates. Janet urged viewers to appreciate, preserve, and protect our beautiful planet. While we search for life elsewhere, we must not forget that Earth remains our only known haven for life.

Mars, the red planet, has captured the human imagination for centuries. Janet spoke about the numerous missions that have explored Mars, including the Sojourner rover and the more recent Perseverance rover. Mars’s thin atmosphere and surface features, such as the largest volcano in the solar system, Olympus Mons, and the deep Valles Marineris canyon, present both

challenges and exciting possibilities for future exploration. Janet expressed her enthusiasm about the prospects of humans setting foot on Mars, a goal of NASA’s Artemis program.

Janet concluded the live stream with an inspiring message about the future of space exploration. “You are the Artemis generation,” she declared, referring to NASA’s mission to return humans to the moon and eventually journey to Mars. She highlighted the roles of future astronauts like Christina Koch, who will be the first woman to orbit the moon, and Victor Glover, the first person of color to do so. Janet encouraged young viewers to dream big, envisioning a future where humanity thrives on multiple planets. 

To experience Janet’s infectious enthusiasm and wealth of knowledge firsthand, we invite you to watch the full live stream on the AMC YouTube channel here.

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