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About the Solar System

The Solar System

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The solar system consists of the Sun and all objects gravitationally linked to it - mainly the planets, but also moons, asteroids, comets, meteoroids and other objects.

Sometimes the term "solar system" is used for other stars and their planetary system as well. But the usage should be limited to Earth's system specifically. This is because the word "solar" is derived from the Latin name of our Sun, Sol.

The Sun

The Sun is the greatest object of the solar system, it holds about 99.86% of the system's known mass. Almost three quarters of the Sun's mass is hydrogen, one quarter is helium. Less than 1% of the mass consists of traces of heavier elements.

The sunlight is the most important energy source for life on Earth. It is used via photosynthesis of the plants on Earth, and creates the weather on the Earth and the other planets.

The Sun has a temperature of 5,500K on its surface. This classifies the Sun into the spectral class of G2, and causes the yellow color of the appearance in the sky.

Discussion is going on if Pluto is a planet or a trans- Neptunian object without the status of a planet.

What do you think? Should Pluto remain a planet?

» Yes, it is a planet.
» No, it is not a planet.

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The Sun is surrounded by the following planets (in order of distance to the Sun): Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.

Each of the planets is traveling on an orbit around the Sun, roughly double the distance from the Sun as the planet before it.

Eight of the planet names are derived from gods and goddesses from Roman or Greece mythology. Discussion is still going on if Pluto is a planet at all, and if there are other planets outside of the known solar system.



Asteroid Belt
Trans Neptune