Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Solar System

The Solar System

The Solar System consists of the Sun and those celestial objects bound to it by gravity: the eight planets and five dwarf planets, their 173 known moons, and billions of small bodies. The small bodies include asteroids, icy Kuiper belt objects, comets, meteoroids, and interplanetary dust.

The charted regions of the Solar System comprise the Sun, four terrestrial inner planets, the asteroid belt, four gas giant outer planets, and finally the Kuiper belt and the scattered disc. The hypothetical Oort cloud may also exist at a distance roughly a thousand times beyond these regions.

The solar wind, a flow of plasma from the Sun, permeates the Solar System, creating a bubble in the interstellar medium known as the heliosphere, which extends out to the middle of the scattered disc.

In order of their distances from the Sun, the eight planets are:

  1. Mercury (57,900,000 km)
  2. Venus (108,000,000 km)
  3. Earth (150,000,000 km)
  4. Mars (228,000,000 km)
  5. Jupiter (779,000,000 km)
  6. Saturn (1,430,000,000 km)
  7. Uranus (2,880,000,000 km)
  8. Neptune (4,500,000,000 km)

As of mid-2008, five smaller objects are classified as dwarf planets, all but the first of which orbit beyond Neptune. These are:

  1. Ceres (415,000,000 km, in the asteroid belt; formerly classed as the fifth planet)
  2. Pluto (5,906,000,000 km, formerly classified as the ninth planet)
  3. Haumea (6,450,000,000 km)
  4. Makemake (6,850,000,000 km)
  5. Eris (10,100,000,000 km)

Six of the planets and three of the dwarf planets are orbited by natural satellites, usually termed "moons" after Earth's Moon. Each of the outer planets is encircled by planetary rings of dust and other particles.

The solar system
The Sun
The Sun, an average-sized, middle-aged star, formed almost 5 billion years ago from a cloud of gas and dust.


The solar system
Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun, takes only 88 days to orbit the Sun.


The solar system
The surface of Venus, the brightest object in the sky after the Sun and Moon, is covered with craters, mountains, volcanoes, and lava plains.


The solar system
Earth is the third planet from the Sun and takes 23 hours, 56 minutes to spin on its axis one time.


The solar system
The Moon
The Moon, located 238,000 miles from Earth, has a temperature of 225° F during the day and drops down to –243° at night.


The solar system
Rust in the soil creates the Red Planet's signature color.


The solar system
Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system, with a diameter of 89,000 miles.


The solar system
Saturn, the sixth planet from the Sun, has a ring system made up of ice and rock particles, some as big as a minivan.


The solar system
Uranus, the third-largest planet in the solar system, has an average temperature of –350° F and does not have a solid surface.


The solar system
Neptune has 13 moons, the two largest are Triton and Nereid.


The solar system
Pluto, reclassified as a dwarf planet in 2006, is located nearly 40 times as far from the Sun as Earth.


The solar system
Asteroids, chunks of rock and metal that orbit the Sun, sometimes collide with the Earth. This is one possible explanation for the extinction of dinosaurs.


The solar system
Comets, thought to be leftovers of the early solar system, are made of dust, rocks, organic.

  ©2009 Funspirations All Rights Reserved.

Click here to Subscribe  

No comments:

Post a Comment

You are the Funspirations' Worldwide visitor

Followers of Funspirations Inc.

Custom Search