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Solar System Today

The Solar System Planets Educational Tutorial for Kids

Hello everyone! Today we're going to learn about the Solar System. As you know, the Sun is a star, one of the many stars that form the Milky Way. But for us, it is the most important star shining in the sky. Planets move around the Sun, and so do comets and asteroids. Well, the Sun and everything that revolves around it is what we call the Solar System. The most interesting things that we should know about in the solar system are the Planets. Let's look at them, starting with the ones closest to the sun, and then getting further away!.

The closest planet to the Sun is Mercury. then there is Venus. then comes the Earth. Yes, our planet where we live. Then there is Mars. Jupiter, the largest planet. Saturn. Uranus. and then the furthest away is Neptune. As you can see, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars are closer to the sun and also smaller than Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. One important thing you should know is that the journey that all planets make around the sun is called an orbit. Now, a question do you know where the days of the week. get their names from.

Well, if we think about it for a minute. the Moon, which is not actually a planet itself, but Earth's natural satellite. gives it name to Monday. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday come from ancient British gods that were related to the planets Mars, Mercury, Jupiter and Venus. Saturday gets its name from Saturn. and of course, the Sun itself gives us the name Sunday. So if you remember that there is also Uranus, Neptune and our own Earth, then you know all the names of the eight planets in the solar system.

How Many Planets Are in the Solar System

How Many Planets are in the Solar System I'm just going to warn you, this is a controversial topic. Some people get pretty grumpy when you ask how many planets are in the Solar System Is it eight, ten, or more I promise you this, though, we're never going back to nine planets. ever. When many of us grew up, there were nine planets in the Solar System. It was like a fixed point in our brains. As kids, memorizing this list was an early right of passage of nerd pride Mercury, Venus,.

Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. But then in twothousandfive, Mike Brown discovered Eris, an icy object thought to be about the same size as Pluto, out beyond its orbit. That would bring the total number of planets to ten. Right There's no turning back, textbooks would need to be changed. In order to settle the dispute, the International Astronomical Union met in twothousandsix, and argued for, and against Pluto's planethood. Some astronomers advocated widening the number of planets to twelve, including Pluto, its moon Charon, the Asteroid Ceres, and the newly discovered Eris.

In the end, they changed the definition of what makes a planet, and sadly, Pluto doesn't make the cut Here are the new requirements of planethood status 1. A planet has to orbit the Sun. Okay fine, Pluto does that. 2. A planet needs enough gravity to pull itself into a sphere. Okay, spherical. Pluto's fine there too. 3. A planet needs to have cleared out its orbit of other objects. Uh oh, Pluto hasn't done that. For example, planet Earth accounts for a million times the rest of the material in its orbit,.

While Pluto is just a fraction of the icy objects in its realm. The final decision was to demote Pluto from planet to dwarf planet. But don't despair, Pluto is in good company. There's Ceres, the first asteroid ever discovered, and the smallest of the dwarf planets. The surface of Ceres is made of ice and rock, and it might even have a liquid ocean under its surface. NASA's Dawn mission is flying there right now to give us close up pictures for the first time. Haumea, named after the Hawaiian goddess of fertility, is about a third the mass of Pluto,.

And has just enough gravity to pull itself into an ellipsoid, or egg shape. Even though it's smaller, it's got moons of its own. Makemake, a much larger Kuiper belt object, has a diameter about twothirds the size of Pluto. It was discovered in twothousandfive by Mike Brown and his team. So far, Makemake doesn't seem to have any moons. Eris is the most massive known dwarf planet, and the one that helped turn our definition of a planet upsidedown. It's twentysevenpercent more massive than Pluto and the ninth most massive body that orbits the Sun. It even has a moon Dysnomia.

And of course, Pluto. The founding member of the dwarf family. Want an easy way to remember the eight planets, in order Just remember this mnemonic my very excellent mother just served us noodles. For all you currently writing angry tweets to Mike Brown, hold on a sec. Changing Pluto's categorization is an important step that really needed to happen. The more we discover about our Universe, the more we realize just how strange and wonderful it is. When Pluto was discovered eighty years ago, we never could have expected the variety.

A New Planet in our Solar System NASA Takes a Look

Hi, I'm Jim Green, Director of Planetary Science at NASA. NASA works with the international science community to explore our solar system and beyond. We look to unravel the mysteries that intrigue us all as we explore and answer big questions, like How did Earth originate and change over time, and how did the solar system begin and evolve, and what will be its destiny. What will be our destiny Last July 14th, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft flew past Pluto, capping a half century of exploration of our solar system. It piqued our interest about what lies beyond Pluto, and what can we learn about the origins.

Of the solar system. The idea of a new planet is certainly an exciting one for me as a planetary scientist and I think for all of us. The January 20th paper in the Astronomical Journal is fueling our interest in planetary exploration and stimulating a healthy debate that's part of the scientific process. I couldn't be more please about what's happening. It's the start of a process that could lead to an exciting result. It is not, however, the detection of a new planet. It's too early to say with certainty.

There's a socalled Planet X out there. What we're seeing is an early prediction based on modeling from limited observations. What's exciting is that, like NASA's journey to Mars or New Horizons' flyby of Pluto, you will have a front row seat to see how the scientific process unfolds. Theories like this serve to stimulate ideas and conversation. They tap into our innate curiosity. It's important for us to continue the work, and we will. Anytime we have an interesting idea like this, we always apply Carl Sagan's rules for critical.

How Big Is The Solar System

I'm Fraser Cain, the publisher of Universe Today. For most of us, stuck here on Earth, we see very little of the rest of the Solar System. Just the bright Sun during the day, the Moon and the planets at night. But in fact, we're embedded in a huge Solar System that extends across a vast amount of space. Which begs the question, just how big is the Solar System Before we can give a sense of scale, let's consider the units of measurement. Distances in space are so vast, regular meters and kilometers don't cut it. Astronomers use.

A much larger measurement, called the astronomical unit. This is the average distance from the Earth to the Sun, or approximately 150 million kilometers. Mercury is only 0.' astronomical units from the Sun, while Jupiter orbits at a distance of 5.5 astronomical units. And Pluto is way out there at '.2 astronomical units. That's the equivalent of 5.9 billion kilometers. If you could drive your car at highway speeds, from the Sun all the way out to Pluto, it would take you more than 6,000 years to complete the trip. But here's the real amazing part. Our solar system extends much, much farther than where.

The planets are. The furthest dwarf planet, Eris, orbits within just a fraction of the larger Solar System. The Kuiper Belt, where we find a Pluto, Eris, Makemake and Haumea, extends from 30 astronomical units all the way out to 50 AU, or 7.5 billion kilometers. And we're just getting started. Ever further out, at about 80200 AU is the termination shock. This is the point where the Sun's solar wind, traveling outward at 400 kilometers per second collides with the interstellar medium the background material of the galaxy. This material piles up into a cometlike tail that can extend 230 AU from the Sun.

But the true size of the Solar System is defined by the reach of its gravity how far away an object can still be said to orbit the Sun. In the furthest reaches of the Solar System is the Oort Cloud a theorized cloud of icy objects that could orbit the Sun to a distance of 100,000 astronomical units, or 1.87 lightyears away. Although we can't see the Oort Cloud directly, the longperiod comets that drop into the inner Solar System from time to time are thought to originate from this region.

The Sun's gravity dominates local space out to a distance of about 2 lightyears, or almost half the distance from the Sun to the nearest star Proxima Centauri. Believe it or not, any object within this region would probably be orbiting the Sun, and be thought to be a part of the Solar System. Back to our car analogy for a second. At those distances, it would take you 19 million years to complete the journey to the edge of the Solar System. Even NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, the fastest object ever launched from Earth would need.

A new 9th planet for the solar system

Thousands of years ago the sky gazers of the classical world knew about six planets Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Thanks to the invention of the telescope, Uranus was discovered in 1781. But discrepancies in its orbit meant that something was tugging at it. Sure enough that something turned out to be Neptune. Ever since scientists have wondered if there might be yet another planet in our solar system sometimes called Planet X. Now astronomers have strong evidence for one. A planet roughly the size of Neptune with a mass ten times the Earth's and a thick atmosphere of.

Hydrogen and helium. Just as Neptune was predicted based on its influence on Uranus, the evidence for Planet X is indirect. Astronomers observed six small solar system objects and noticed they come closest to the Sun in a unique configuration. There's only a one in fifteen thousand chance that this orbital clustering is a coincidence. It is much more likely that Planet X has shepherded the six objects into their orbits. This explodes our conception of the solar system because Planet X would loop around the Sun unimaginably far away, in a strange elliptical orbit so far away that it takes fifteen thousand.

What is the Hottest Planet in the Solar System

Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the climate here is just right for life. Here in our Solar System, there are planets both hotter and colder than Earth. So. which one is the hottest You might think it's Mercury, the planet closest to the Sun. Mercury orbits at a distance of only fiftyeightmillion kilometers, travelling in a blastfurnace of scorching radiation. Its temperature can skyrocket to sevenhundred Kelvin, or fourhundredtwentysixdegrees celsius on the sunward side. In the shadows, temperatures plunge down to eighty Kelvin, which is negative onehundredseventythreedegrees.

Celsius Mercury sure is hot, but Venus is hotter. Venus is much further from the Sun, orbiting at a distance of more than onehundredandeightmillionkilometers. Average temperature there is a hellish sevenhundredandthirtyfive Kelvin, or fourhundredandsixtytwo degrees Celsius, hot enough to melt lead. Venus remains that same temperature no matter where you go on the planet. At the North Pole Sevenhundredthirtyfive Kelvin. At night Sevenhundredthirtyfive Kelvin. Daytime at the equator You get the point. So, why is Venus so much hotter than Mercury, even though it's further away from the Sun It's all about the atmosphere.

Mercury is an airless world, not unlike the Moon. Venus, has a very thick atmosphere of CO2, which adds incredible pressure, and traps in the heat. Consider our own planet. When you stand at sea level on Earth, you're experiencing one atmosphere of pressure. But if you could stand on the surface of Venus and trust me, you don't want to you'd experience ninetytwo times as much atmospheric pressure. This is the same kind of pressure as being a kilometer underneath the surface of the ocean. Venus also shows us what happens when carbon dioxide levels just keep on rising.

Radiation from the Sun is absorbed by the planet, and the infrared heat emitted is trapped by the carbon dioxide, which creates a runaway greenhouse effect. You might think a planet this hot with such extreme temperature and pressure, would be impossible to explore. And if you did, you'd be wrong. The Soviets sent a series of spacecraft called Venera, which parachuted down through the thick atmosphere and returned images from the surface of Venus. Although the first few missions were failures, this taught the Soviets just how hellish the Venusian environment really is.

Why is the Solar System Flat

Our sun and the earth, and all the planets and moons and dwarf planets and asteroids and comets. The Solar System in short formed about 4.6 billion years ago from a nebulous cloud of swirling gas and dust which coalesced thanks to the irresistibly attractive force of gravity. However, this nebula started off more or less as a big shapeless blob. So how did our solar system end up with all the planets and their moons orbiting in a flat disk I mean, we've all seen the planetary model of the atom,.

Which is definitely wrong when applied to atoms. But it also kind of suggests that planets might revolve around the sun every which way. So is our solar system somehow special in its flatness Or is the planetary model of the atom doubly wrong Well, our solar system definitely isn't alone. Many exoplanets' star systems are flat, a lot of galaxies are flat, black hole accretion disks are flat, Saturn's rings are flat, etc. So why, when there's all of 3D space to fill, does the universe have this preference for flatness.

The answer has to do with two things collisions and the fact that we live in three dimensions. Bear with me. Anytime a bunch of objects held together by gravity are zooming and circling around, their individual paths are nearly impossible to predict. And yet, collected together, they have a single total amount that they spin about their center of mass. It may be hard to figure out exactly what direction that rotation is in, but the mathematics implies there must be some plane in which the cloud, taken as a whole, spins.

Now, in two dimensions, a cloud of particles rotating in a plane is flat by definition, it's in two dimensions. But in three dimensions, even though the rotation of the cloud is given by one plane, particles can whiz around far up and down from that plane. As the particles bump into each other, all the up and down motion tends to cancel out. It's energy lost in crashing and clumping. Yet, the whole mass must continue spinning inexorably, because in our universe, the total amount of spinning in any isolated system.

Always stays the same. So over time, through collisions and crashes, the cloud loses its loft and flattens into a spinning, roughly 2 dimensional disk shape, like a solar system or a spiral galaxy. However, in 4 spacial dimensions, the math works out such that there can be two separate and complementary planes of rotation, which is both really really hard for our 3Dthinking brains to picture and also means there's no up and down direction in which particles lose energy by collisions. So a cloud of particles can continue being just that. a cloud.

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