Are you whimsical about the celestial bodies in the space? Do you want to know what is there in the outer space and what is the system that our earth is a part of? Earth is a part of our Solar System, which comprises of sun, eight planets (including earth) and four dwarf planets, along with their satellites, stars, comets, asteroids and meteoroids, which revolve around the sun. The whole solar system orbits around the center of our home galaxy called the Milky Way Galaxy. Let us get some information on our solar system, its planets and other constituents.
What is Solar System
The sun is the main source of energy in the solar system, which makes life possible on earth. All the objects in the solar system revolve around the sun, which comprises of 99 percent of the mass of our solar system. The sun is believed to be 4 billion years old. It rotates slowly on its axis and revolves around the galaxy. Proxima Centauri is the closest star around the sun, at a distance of 4.3 light years.
The eight planets, according to their increasing distance, from the sun are:
- Mercury- Mercury is the solar system’s smallest planet and has a surface which quite resembles that of the earth. It is also the planet that is closest to the sun.
- Venus- Often referred to as Earth’s sister; Venus has a similar size, mass, density and volume as Earth. It rotates from east to west, while all the other planets rotate the other way around.
- Earth- The only planet which harbors life in the solar system, Earth is the third planet of the solar system. Its distinguishing features are blue waters, brown and green land masses and white clouds, all set against a black background.
- Mars- Commonly referred to as the Red Planet, Mars is the fourth planet around the sun. Its rocks, soil and even its sky has a subtle reddish hue to it. After earth, it is considered the only planet that can favor life.
- Jupiter- Jupiter is the largest planet of the solar system and contains more matter than all the other planets. It is composed mainly of hydrogen and helium, with small amounts of methane, ammonia, water vapor and other compounds.
- Saturn- Saturn is the most beautiful planet in the solar system, with bright rings surrounding it. It is the sixth planet of the solar system and is the second largest one in the solar system.
- Uranus- The seventh and the third largest planet of the solar system Uranus is distinguished by the fact that it is tipped on its side.
- Neptune- Neptune is the outer most planet of the solar system. It is a dynamic planet, with large dark spots around its surface.
Apart from these eight planets, there are four dwarf planets which also revolve around the sun. Ceres is in the asteroid belt, while the other three - Pluto, Makemake and Eris, orbit the Sun beyond Neptune.
The other bodies that are present in the solar system include satellites, stars, comets, asteroids and meteoroids. Satellites are those celestial bodies that revolve around the planets. Like earth has a moon which is its satellite, the other planets also have their own satellites. There are a total of 166 known satellites present in our solar system. Then, we have stars that are enormous, radiant balls of plasma in the solar system.
Asteroids and comets are considered remnants from the giant cloud of gas and dust that condensed to create the sun, planets, and moons, some 4.5 billion years ago. A meteoroid is a piece of stone-like or metal-like debris which travels in outer space. It can make a hole, or crater, in the ground when it hits it. The larger the meteorite, the bigger will be the hole. All these things put together, make up our solar system.