SOLAR SYSTEM AT A GLANCE –
SOLAR SYSTEM AT A GLANCE
- Our solar system or ‘The Family of sun’ comprises of one star, the sun, eight planets and their satellites. It also consists of several thousands minor rocky fragments called Asteroids or Planetoids and a large number of
- In order of their distance from the sun, the planets of the solar system are :
- The largest planet is Jupiter and Mercury is the smallest planet of the system.
- Mercury is the fastest planet and it has no moon (satellite).
- Venus, which is also popular as an evening star and morning star, is the brightest celestial body in the universe after Sun and Moon.
- Venus is the Hottest Planet of the solar system. It is closest to the Earth.
- Venus has no satellite and it spins in the opposite direction of the Earth’s spin
- Mars is known as the ‘Red Planet’ of the solar system.
- Mars has two satellites namely Phobos (means fear) and Deimos (means terror).
- Jupiter has 63 natural satellites/moon, significant of them are Europa, Ganymede, Callisto, etc. Among all, Ganymede is the largest satellite in the whole solar system.
- Saturn is the largest planet after Jupiter in the solar system.
- Saturn is popular for its spectacular rings system.
- The rings system of Saturn is made up of a variety of separate particles that rotate in circular orbits independently.
- Saturn has total 47 satellites/moons; among them, Titan is the biggest
- Uranus is first identified as planet by William Herschel in 1781.
- Like Saturn, Uranus also has a system of five faint rings.
- Uranus has 27 satellites; significant of them are Miranda, Ariel, Umbriel, Titania, etc.
- Neptune is the farthest planet which appears greenish through a telescope.
- Neptune is discovered by Berlin scientist J. G. Galle in 1846.
- Neptune has 13 satellites/moons; significant of them are ‘Triton’ and ‘Nereid.’
- Until 2006, there were nine planets (including Pluto), but in 2006, the ninth planet Pluto is categorized as the dwarf planet by International Astronomical Union (IAU).
- Meteors, also popular as ‘Shooting Star’ or ‘Falling Star,’ is the passage of a comet, asteroid, or meteoroid into the Earth’s atmosphere. It is heated (because of the collisions with air particles) and normally seen in the upper atmosphere (as shown in the following image).
- Meteoroids are the small rocky or metallic bodies that normally travel through outer space. Meteoroids are expressively smaller than asteroids, and its size ranges from small grains to 1-meter-wide objects.
- Comets are the icy small Solar System body; normally while passing close to the Sun, heats up and starts to outgas, displaying a visible atmosphere (i.e. basically coma) along with a tail (as shown in the following image – in the insat view).