The Sun is a yellow dwarf star. It is the star in the middle of the solar system. It is almost perfectly spherical and consists of hot plasma interwoven with magnetic fields. The Sun has a diameter of about 1392000 km. The temperature of the Sun ranges from 4100K to 20000000K.
Mercury is innermost and smallest planet in the solar system. It orbits the Sun once every 87.969 Earth days. The orbit of Mercury has the highest eccentricity of all the solar system planets. It has the smallest axial tilt. Its rotation is so slow it only rotates on its axis 3 times for every two orbits of the sun.
Venus orbits the Sun every 224.7 Earth days. Venus is named after a Roman goddess of love and beauty. Its elongation reaches a maximum of 47.8. Venus reaches its maximum brightness shortly before sunrise or shortly after sunset. Venus is sometimes called the Morning Star or Evening Star.
Earth is the fifth largest planet in the solar system. Earth was formed 4.54 billion years ago. Life appeared on its surface within one billion years. About 71 of the surface is covered with salt water oceans. Earths only known satellite is the Moon which began orbiting it about 4.53 billion years ago.
Mars is named after a Roman god of war. Its the fourth planet from the sun. Its described often as the Red Planet. Mars is a terrestrial planet. It has a thin atmosphere.
Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system. It is a gas giant. The Great Red Spot is an anticyclonic storm that is larger than Earth. Jupiter is primarily composed of hydrogen. A quarter of its mass is helium.
Saturn is the second largest planet in the solar system. It is named after the Roman god of agriculture and harvest sector. Saturn is a gas giant. It has an average radius of about 9 times that of Earth. Saturn is 95 times more massive than Earth.
Uranus has the third largest planetary radius. It has the fourth largest planetary mass in the solar system. Its named after the ancient Greek deity of the sky the father of Saturn and the grandfather of Jupiter. Uranus revolves around the Sun once every 84 Earth years. It is visible to the naked eye in dark skies.
Neptune is named after the Roman god of the sea. It is the largest planet in diameter. It is the third largest in mass. Neptune is 17 times the mass of Earth. Its symbol is a stylized version of the god Neptunes trident.
Pluto is a dwarf planet. Plutos atmosphere consists of a thin envelope of nitrogen. Plutos atmosphere also contains methane and carbon monoxide gases. Pluto has 4 moons named Charon Nix Hydra and s/2011/P1. Pluto is part of the Kuiper belt.
Asteroids are a class of small Solar System bodies in orbit around the sun. Individual asteroids are classified by their characteristic spectra. The largest asteroid is the Vesta. The Hygeias surface temperature is 164K. The Ceres rotation period is 9.07.
Vesta asteroid 13 Meteors
A meteor is the visible path of a meteoroid that has entered Earths atmosphere. Meteors typically occur in the mesosphere. Most meteors range in altitude from 75km to 100km. Most meteoroids that cause meteors are about the size of a pebble. Millions of meteors occur in the Earths atmosphere everyday.
A comet is a small icy solar system body orbiting the sun. It consists of a nucleus tail and coma. When a comet comes close to the sun the coma and tail become visible. As of January 2011 there were 4185 reported comets. Particularly bright or notable examples are called Great Comets.
15 Solar System
The Solar System is located in the Milky Way Galaxy and consists of the Sun and the astronomical objects gravitationally bound in orbit around it. There are 4 inner or terrestrial planets and 4 outer planets called gas giants. Beyond the outer planets there are dwarf planets. Other orbital bodies include asteroids comets meteors and moons.
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