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Basics of Our Solar System

Our solar system is just one of thousands out there
Our Solar System
There are so many parts to our solar system
Part of Our Solar System

How much do you know about our solar system, the galaxy it's found in, and the universe beyond? Get the quick facts on the solar system right here!

Our Solar System - What's In It?

If the Milky Way galaxy were shrunk down to the size of North America, our solar system would fit inside a coffee cup. Our solar system is made up of a star that we call the Sun , along with eight or nine planets (more on that later): Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and the most controversial: Pluto. The solar system also includes the satellites of these planets, numerous comets, asteroids, and meteoroids.

Our Solar System - How Many Planets?

It has long been taught that our solar system contains nine planets, but that number was cast into doubt in 2006 when the International Astronomical Union voted to reclassify Pluto as a dwaft planet. The reason for it's demotion has to do with Pluto not being "gravitationally dominant" in its orbital zone. What does that mean? For an object to be gravitationally dominant it must exert a gravitational pull on the objects surrounding it. For example, the earth has a stronger pull on the Moon than the Moon has on the earth. That means the earth is gravitationally dominant. There are two other dwarf planets in our solar system besides newly demoted Pluto: Ceres and Eris.

Our Solar System - How Big is It?

In order to get a good visual of the relative sizes of our solar system, imagine a model that has been reduced by a factor of one billion. That means the Earth is now the size of an olive. The Moon is a pepper corn orbiting about a foot away. The Sun is now the height of a man and about a city block from Earth. Jupiter has just become the size of a large grapefruit and is five blocks away from the Sun. Saturn, the size of an apple, is ten blocks away, Uranus and Neptune, both lemons, are twenty and thirty blocks away. A human on this scale is the size of an atom and the nearest star is more than 24,850 miles (40,000 km) away.

Our Solar System - How Was It Created?

The question of how our solar system - and also our universe - were created is a seriously contentious issue! There is a chance that we might never know entirely, but there some well-researched theories as to how it was created. The most famous and believed by astronomers is the Big Bang theory. The theory goes that about 14 billion years ago, the entire universe was thousands of times smaller than a pinhead. It was incredably hot and dense. At some point the micor-universe exploded, the blast made all this debris in the universe. The planets, moons and asteroids today are the survivors from that explosion and our Sun is the central star and the universe is still expanding to this day.

  • Drop us a line if you know something cool about our solar system. It is a great subject for a science project at school.
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Comments

Baby260

Baby260 wrote:

Science is my favorite subject. :x
commented: Fri Aug 09, 2013

Lexi1230_

Lexi1230_ wrote:

I love anything to do with Space, Animals and Maths!!!
commented: Sat Dec 15, 2012

coolnam

coolnam wrote:

:love the solar system :)
commented: Fri Dec 14, 2012

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Black_Ivy
Black_Ivy posted in Debating:
or..uh.. just america will collapse and some nation will move to take us down since we are considered the "Big Dog" and we will lose and people will flip and the world will be thrown into chaos because the nation that tries to take us over will try to take over the rest of the world
reply about 1 hour
Black_Ivy
Black_Ivy posted in Debating:
i agree. i think our nations will collapse and and economy will implode and everyone will be poor and people wont know what to do.
reply about 1 hour
AlphaT
AlphaT posted in Debating:
"Teh_Skittlez" wrote: "Black_Ivy" wrote: i havent seen you throw any opinions in. besides one like two hours ago I occasionally like to do other things that aren't Kidzworld. And by merely preventing this thread from becoming indistinguishable from the threads in general, I've contributed more than what has been contributed in the past several pages.  We know that ultimately the sun will eventually expand and engulf us, but that is not to say that something couldn't happen between now and then that would either destroy Earth or all the life on it. The better and more relevant question seems to be, how will civilization end? Or how will humans go extinct? I don't think it'll be a global nuclear war. I don't think it'll be global warming or the rising seas. Humans are incredibly adaptive and resilient. I think we're adaptive enough to work with most things the natural world throws at us. I just don't know that we can overcome our primitive hierarchical tendencies and instincts to the point that we can prevent ourselves from destroying ourselves.  *in a rising tone* ...Destroying ourselves with global nuclear war!
reply about 1 hour
Teh_Skittlez
Teh_Skittlez posted in Debating:
"Black_Ivy" wrote:i havent seen you throw any opinions in. besides one like two hours ago I occasionally like to do other things that aren't Kidzworld. And by merely preventing this thread from becoming indistinguishable from the threads in general, I've contributed more than what has been contributed in the past several pages.  We know that ultimately the sun will eventually expand and engulf us, but that is not to say that something couldn't happen between now and then that would either destroy Earth or all the life on it. The better and more relevant question seems to be, how will civilization end? Or how will humans go extinct? I don't think it'll be a global nuclear war. I don't think it'll be global warming or the rising seas. Humans are incredibly adaptive and resilient. I think we're adaptive enough to work with most things the natural world throws at us. I just don't know that we can overcome our primitive hierarchical tendencies and instincts to the point that we can prevent ourselves from destroying ourselves. 
reply about 2 hours
Duma
Duma posted in Debating:
Ya know wat? Let's debate.   You see, I just don't get the haters. It's just fun for them to go around being a HATER! I mean like, what's good about haters? Can we ban haters? WHY, HATERS? WHY? WHY DO YOU EVEN EXIST? WHY DO YOU RUIN THE WORLD? ARE YOU GOING TO STARVE US? GEEZ LOUISE, BRO!
reply about 2 hours

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