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How does angular momentum relate to our solar system?

Last updated date: 20th Jun 2024
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Hint: The solar system consists of the sun, the eight planets, their moons and all the other asteroids, meteoroids, etc. All the components of the solar system are bounded by the sun due to gravitational forces of attraction and all of them exhibit rotation in a particular sense, including the sun due to which angular momentum comes into play.

Complete answer:
Angular momentum of a body is the product of its moment of inertia and angular velocity. As we calculate linear momentum for bodies exhibiting linear motion, we can calculate angular momentum for bodies exhibiting rotational motion and can be said as rotational equivalent of linear momentum. Everything in our solar system exhibits rotational motion and that too in the same sense i.e., in the anti-clockwise sense. According to the solar nebula theory, the solar system is formed from a gaseous cloud which was flat and disc shaped, rotating in the anti-clockwise sense due to which all the components of the solar system i.e., the planets, sun and the moons also rotate in anticlockwise sense due to the conservation of angular momentum.

The conservation of angular momentum means that the angular momentum of a system remains constant even if the configuration of the system changes. The angular momentum of the solar system can be calculated by summing up the angular momentum of its components, due to the gigantic size of the sun, it contributes the most to the angular momentum of the solar system.

Note: The angular momentum is conserved only when there is no net external torque. Since our solar system does not experience any net external torque therefore its angular momentum is said to be conserved.