Fun facts about The Solar System

Fun interesting Solar System facts and pictures

What is the Solar System?

A solar system is made up of one or more stars and every object that orbits around it/them. A solar system that has 2 stars is called a binary star system. A solar system that has 3 or more stars is called multi-star system. Solar systems are made up of planets, their moons, dwarf planets, comets, asteroids and other smaller objects. Our Solar System is in the Milky Way Galaxy and our solar system’s only star is called The Sun. There are 8 planets that orbit around The Sun (there may be more we have not found yet), the 8 planets in our solar system that we have found, in order of distance from the sun are: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune

The Solar System was created 4.6 billion years ago when a large cloud of spinning gas and dust in space collapsed. Hydrogen and helium started to collect at the center of the swirling mass, this ball of material that collected at the centre of the spinning cloud is known as a protostar. Over 50 million years the pressure and temperature inside this ball increased, as they did, hydrogen atoms began to join together to make helium, releasing huge amounts of energy.

This is how our Sun was born and this "fusion" of hydrogen atoms is what powers The Sun. Most of the material in the cloud was eventually swallowed up by The Sun. The rest of the material orbiting around the centre came together to make smaller objects, the objects that were large enough to became spheres due to their gravity became planets. The smaller objects became asteroids, comets and meteoroid.

Fun facts about the solar system

  • The solar system has 8 planets.
  • Pluto used to be a planet but the definition of what a planet is, changed in 2006 and Pluto no longer met the criteria. Pluto is now categorized as a dwarf planet.
  • The Solar System has 5 dwarf planets Ceres, Pluto, Haumea, Makemake & Eris
  • Ceres is the largest asteroid in the Solar System, 946 km / 588 mi in diameter. Vesta is the second largest asteroid, 525 km / 326 mi in diameter
  • The Solar System has more than 700,000 asteroids.
  • The Solar System has over 3000 comets.
  • The planets closest to The Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars, are known as terrestrial planets. These planets are made of rocks and metals.
  • The planets farthest away from the sun, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are known as gas giants. These planets are made of gas and ice.
  • Over 99% of the Solar System’s mass is in the Sun.
  • The largest planet in the solar system is Jupiter. Jupiter has a diameter of 139,822 km / 86,881 mi.
  • The smallest planet in the solar system is Mercury. Mercury has a diameter of 4,879 km / 3,031 mi.
  • The hottest Planet in the solar system is Venus, 462 °C / 864 °F.
  • The planet with the coldest average temperature is Neptune, the average temperature on Neptune is -214 °C / -353 °F, but the planet with the coldest temperate ever recorded is on Uranus, -178 °C / -353 °F.
  • The planet with the shortest day is Jupiter: 9.9 hours.
  • The planet with the longest day is Venus: 243 earth days.
  • The Planet with the shortest year is Mercury: 87.97 earth days.
  • The planet with the longest year is Neptune 164.8 earth years.
  • The only planet we know of that has life on it, is Earth.
  • Jupiter has the most moons of any planet, we have found 67 of Jupiters moons so far.

Solar system Images

Mercury taken by Mariner 10
Radar image of the surface of Venus
The Earth seen from Apollo 17
Valles Marineris on Mars
Jupiter as taken by Cassini
Saturn during Equinox taken by Cassini
Uranus taken by Voyager 2
Neptune taken by Voyager 2
Ceres taken by NASA Dawn
Vesta taken by NASA Dawn