All About The Solar System

All About The Solar System

The Sun is at the center of a neighborhood of planets called The Solar System.

Earth is in the middle of the Solar System, it’s the third of the eight planets that each makes a special journey, called an orbit, around the Sun.

All the planets travel in the same direction around the Sun but at different speeds. Every planet spins on a tilt, although some tilt more than others.

A planets year is how long it takes to journey around the Sun, called orbits. The further a planet is from the Sun, the longer it’s orbit will be. The planets with the longest orbits have the longest years.

It takes Earth 365.26 days to orbit the Sun : One Year.

It takes Earth just under 24 hours[23.93] to do one full spin : One Day

The Solar System is made up of the Sun, the eight planets that orbit it, the many moons that orbit the planets, asteroids, and comets, which are all racing at different speeds around the Sun.

A moon is a large rocky object in space that orbits a planet. Moons come in all different shapes and sizes and most look like small planets. All planets apart from Venus and Mercury have one or more moons. Earth has one moon, while it’s believed Jupiter has the most, with an astonishing 67 known moons.

All the planets in the Solar System are held in formation by gravity. The Sun has the strongest gravity of all so it forces the planets to keep their paths around it. It’s also gravity that keeps a moon in orbit around it’s planet.

Gravity is defined as the pulling force that works in space.

There are two names for the eight planets, the Inner Planets and the Outer Planets.

Earth, Venus, Mercury and Mars make up a group called the Inner Planets.

Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune make up a group called the Outer Planets.

The planets nearest to the Sun travel a lot faster than those which are further away.

Even though Jupiter is the largest planet in the Solar System, it turns the fastest. It makes one full rotation of the Sun in less than 10 hours. Earth takes 23.93 hours.

The Solar System was formed around 4.6 billion years ago.

The 8 planets in the Solar System are called Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

The 5 dwarf planets in the Solar System are called Pluto, Ceres, Haumea, Makemake and Eris.

Pluto, up until 2006, was the ninth planet in our Solar System, this is when it was demoted to a dwarf planet by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). A decision that still remains controversial.

Pluto was demoted because it did not meet the three criteria the IAU issued to define a full-sized planet. They are firstly, it must orbit the Sun, secondly, it must be round in shape and lastly, it must have be able to clear its neighborhood of smaller objects around it’s orbit.

Also in the Solar System there are up too 181 moons, 566,000 asteroids and 3,100 comets.

The Sun is a star along with billions of other stars in the Solar System.

Scientists believe there are trillions of other stars which have their own Solar Systems and quite possible, that they may contain life.

Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun, is as wide as the Atlantic Ocean and would would fit into Earth about 18 times.