The solar system consists of the sun, eight planets and sixty-seven satellites of the planets and a large number of small bodies (comets and asteroids). Earlier, Pluto was considered as the smallest planet but now Pluto is not recognized any more as a planet. The inner solar system comprises Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune form the outer solar system. These four planets are massive in size; hence they are called Giant Planets. Each planet revolves around the sun in their own orbits at their own speed.
Let us explore all the celestial bodies present in the Solar system.
The Sun was born 4.6 billions of years ago and it was formed from a giant rotating cloud of gases and dust known as solar Nebula. The sun is the biggest star present at the centre of the solar system. It is a self-luminous sphere of gases. Its gravitational force holds the entire solar system. It has a radius of 695,508 kilometers and is 150 million kilometers away from Earth.
Mercury is the smallest and closest planet to the sun. It is also called Swift planet because it completes its revolution in 88 earth days. Its diameter is only one third of Earth but its density is about the same. The temperature of this planet is as high as 450 degrees Celsius in the mornings and nights are freezing cold. The surface of this planet is filled with craters, mountains and valleys.
Venus is the second closest planet to the sun and the hottest. Venus is the brightest planet and hence called the morning star. Venus is named after the Roman Goddess of love and beauty. Venus completes one revolution around the sun in 255 earth days. Venus spins clockwise on its orbits unlike other planets. Its surface is covered with clouds, craters, mountains and lava plains.
The third planet in the solar system is Earth. This is the only planet that sustains life. It is called the Blue planet because 70% of the earth's surface is covered with water. Earth takes 365 days to complete one revolution around the sun. This planet has only one natural satellite, the Moon.
The fourth planet from the sun in the solar system is Mars. It appears as a red orange ball because of the presence of iron oxide and so it is called the Red planet. It is the second smallest planet after Mercury. Mars is named after the Roman God of war. Its surface is covered with volcanoes, craters all over.
Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system. Jupiter is rich in hydrogen and helium gas and so it is also called a Gas Giant planet. Jupiter takes 4333 earth days to complete one revolution around the sun. This planet has 79 satellites. Jupiter has four rings.
Saturn is the least dense planet in the solar system. It is the second largest planet. Saturn can float in water because it is made up of gases like helium. The beautiful rings around the planet are made up of bits of ice, rock and dust. Saturn revolves very slowly around the sun. This planet is named after the Roman God of agriculture and wealth.
Uranus is the coldest planet in the solar system. It takes 84 earth years to complete one revolution around the sun. Uranus is called an ice giant planet because its layer is made of ice and hydrogen, helium and methane. Uranus looks blue in color because of the presence of methane. Uranus has 27 satellites.
Neptune is the eighth and the farthest planet from the sun in the solar system. Neptune is named after the Roman God of the sea. Its atmosphere is made up of hydrogen, helium and methane and the presence of methane gives the color blue to the planet. It takes 165 earth years to complete one revolution. Neptune has 6 rings.
Comets and Asteroids:
Comets and Asteroids are the small celestial bodies that rotate around the sun. Asteroids are made up of rocks, metals and water. Comets are made up of frozen ammonia, methane and small amounts of rocky material.
1. How many planets are there in the solar system?
There are eight planets in the solar system.
2. Is the sun a planet or star?
The sun is a big star located at the centre of the solar system.
3. Which planet sustains life?
The Earth planet sustains life.
4. Which is the coldest planet in the solar system?
Uranus is the coldest planet in the solar system.
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