Solar System: Sun, Planets, and friends.

 What are the members that make up the Solar System?

The solar system is comprised of the sun and all of the objects that are in orbit around it
that travel through space as part of its system. These members of the Solar System include:

  • The Sun –   A star composed of hydrogen and helium gas which is used for energy through fusion power
  • Planets –   Eight planets orbit the sun, 4 small solid inner planets, and 4 large gas giants
  • Dwarf planets – Smaller minor planets orbiting the sun; they don’t meet the definition of a planet
  • Moons –  Natural objects that orbit a planet; can be formed at the same time or captured later
  • Ring Materials –  Dust, rocks, ice, and other small particles that orbit a planet creating a flat ring
  • Asteroids –  Made of rock, metals, and minerals; they range in size from dust to a few hundred km
  • Asteroid Belt –  A zone between Mars and Jupiter where the majority of asteroids orbit the sun
  • Meteoroids – Small rocks, stony or metal in composition, whose orbits are not in the Asteroid Belt
  • Comets –  Frozen gases, ice and dust orbiting the sun, they are called “Dirty Snow Balls”
  • Kuiper Belt objects –  A thick belt of comets and dwarf planets orbiting in a path beyond Neptune
  • Oort Cloud objects –  A large spherical cloud of icy objects and comets extends 3 LY beyond the sun
  • Natural Satellites –  Any nature made object orbiting another object – moons, asteroids, comets
  • Artificial Satellites –  Any man-made object put into space by man, orbiting the sun, a planet or moon

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Our 8 known Planets
8_planets

Mercury   – The closest planet to the sun
Quick facts 

  1. Rotation: 58.6 earth days   
  2. Revolution: 87 earth days
  3. Diameter: 4,878 km
  4. Distance from Sun: 57,900,000 km
  5. Largest range in temperature
  6. Gray and covered in craters, looks a lot like Earth’s moon

    For more information click here Mercury

 


Venus – The hottest planet

Quick facts 

  1. Rotation: 243 earth days   
  2. Revolution: 225 earth days
  3. Diameter: 12,100 km
  4. Distance from Sun: 108,200,000 km
  5. Hottest planet 470°C due to the greenhouse effect
  6. The brightest object in the night sky, other than the sun and moon

For more information click here Venus

 


Earth   – The third rock from the sun
Quick facts 

  1. Rotation: 24 hours  
  2. Revolution: 365 1/4 days
  3. Diameter: 12,756 km
  4. Distance from Sun: 149,600,000 km
  5. The only planet with liquid water, Earth is in the Goldilocks zone – not too hot, not too cold
  6. Only planet with life, that we know of

For more information click here Earth

 


Mars   – The red planet

Quick facts 

  1. Rotation: 24 1/2 earth days   
  2. Revolution: 687 earth days
  3. Diameter: 6,787 km
  4. Distance from Sun: 227,900,000 km
  5. Two moons: Phobos and Deimos
  6. Iron in the soil has been oxidized (rusted), turning it red 
  7. Largest volcano: Olympus Mons

For more information click here Mars


Jupiter   – The king of the planets

Quick facts 

  1. Rotation: 9.9 earth hours   
  2. Revolution: 11.8 earth years
  3. Diameter: 142,984 km (11 Earths wide)
  4. Distance from Sun: 788,300,000 km
  5. 4 Galilean Moons and over 60 smaller moons
  6. Thin rings
  7. The Great Red Spot: cyclone storm
  8. The largest of planets

For more information click here Jupiter


 

Saturn   – The ringed planet

Quick facts 

  1. Rotation: 10.7  earth hours  
  2. Revolution: 29.5 earth years
  3. Diameter: 120,400 km  
  4. Distance from Sun: 1,427,000,000 km
  5. Over 60 moons
  6. Large multiple ring system
  7. Lowest density, less than 1g/mlFor more information click here Saturn

 


Uranus   – The tilted planet   

How to pronounce “Uranus”

Quick facts 

  1. Rotation: 17  Earth hours
  2. Revolution: 84 Earth years
  3. Diameter: 51,800 km
  4. Distance from Sun: 2,870,000,000 km
  5. Tilted 97.8 degrees
  6. 27 moons
  7. 13 faint, thin rings in two sets
  8. Greenish blue in color due to methane

For more information click here Uranus

 


Neptune  – The blue-green planet

Quick facts 

  1. Rotation: 17.9  earth hours  
  2. Revolution: 165 earth years
  3. Diameter: 48,600 km
  4. Distance from Sun: 4,504,000,000 km
  5. 13 moons
  6. 6 rings
  7. Blue-green from methane

For more information click here Neptune