Our Solar System is approximately 4.6 billion years old. This includes a star Sun, 8 planets, 5 dwarf planets and some other astronomical objects that are bound in its orbit. 99.86% of the entire mass of the solar system is contained by Sun. There are 181 moons, 3,083 comets, and 552,894 asteroids along with Sun, planets and dwarf planets. All the objects of the solar system orbit the Sun in elliptical paths. The orbit of these objects lies in the same plane called ecliptic plane. Our planet earth is located 93 million miles away from the Sun and the sunlight takes about 8 minutes to reach the earth.
Quick Facts: –
- Mercury is nearest to the Sun but it is not the hottest. This planet has no atmosphere to lose heat back to space.
- Jupiter is the largest planet. It has total 67 recognized moons.
- There are four inner planets, Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars. These planets are also known as terrestrial planets.
- There are four outer planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. These planets are also known as gas giants.
- Saturn is not the only planet with rings. Uranus has rings too that are made of ice and dust.
- Venus is the hottest planet in the entire solar system. This planet has a thick atmosphere that traps the heat created by the Sun.
- Our spacecraft have visited every planet even two of dwarf planets, Pluto and Ceres as well.
- Ganymede is the largest moon in the Solar System.
- Our solar system has two main regions beyond Pluto which are Kuiper Belt and Oort cloud.
- Kuiper Belt is a region similar to asteroid belt that has asteroids. Oort cloud is a spherical region that contains comets.