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    Solar System

    Our solar system consists of 8 planets and their moons. These masses orbit around the sun and other large non-stellar objects. Our solar system was formed 4.6 billion years ago. This formation occured from the gravitational collapse of a large molecular cloud. The solar system is located within an outer arm of the Milky Way galaxy. This galaxy contains about 200 billion stars.

    The sun is the largest object in our solar system. The closest planets to the sun are the four smallest plants. These plants are Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. They are referred to as the terrestrial plants because they are made up of rock and metal.

    The four furthest planets from the sun are referred to as the gas giants. Jupiter and Saturn are the largest planets. They are made of primarily Hydrogen and Helium. The two furthest most planets are Uranus and Neptune which are composed primary of substances with high melting points, which are called ices. Uranus and Neptune are sometimes called “ice giants”.

    All of the planets orbit the sun in a flat disc like rotation plane called the ecliptic plane. Each planet orbits at a different speed. It takes the Earth one year to orbit completely around the sun. The orbits are what dictates time in the universe. 

    The solar system does contains regions populated by smaller objects such as the asteroid belt, Kuiper belt and scattered disc. These regions contain several objects.Some of the objects are large enough to be rounded by their own gravity.

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    BrainMass Categories within Solar System


    Solutions: 237

    A planet is an object orbiting a star or stellar remnant that is large enough to be rounded by its own gravity.


    Solutions: 34

    Asteroids are minor planets that are not comets.

    BrainMass Solutions Available for Instant Download

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