Inside the Solar System

Our Solar System is made up of the Sun and all the planetary system that orbit around it. The Sun which contains 99.86% of mass and gravity accounts as the principal component of the whole solar system Next to the sun, the eight planets are the biggest members of the Solar System. The smaller bodies are the dwarf planets, comets and asteroids. Some of the nine planets have secondary systems which are being orbited by Moons. Moons are natural satellites. The first four planets nearest to the Sun are the Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. They are referred to as the terrestrial planets because they are mainly solid and composed of rock and metal.

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The four outer planets which are the Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are called the giant planets because they are more massive than the terrestrial planets. Jupiter and Saturn which are the two largest are called the gas giants because they are primarily composed of hydrogen and helium. Uranus and Neptune which are composed of water, ammonia and methane are called ice giants. Pluto which used to be the ninth planet has been discovered to be a dwarf planet because of its relatively small size.

The progression of the Solar System began about 4.6 billion years ago when a giant cloud of dust and gas collapse under the weight of its own gravity. The fusion of the collapsing mass collected in the center of the system created the Sun. The rest of the smaller cluster of dust and gas that also collapsed became the planets, asteroids, moons and other celestial bodies in the Solar System. The Asteroid Belt is located between Mars and Jupiter. It consists of the dwarf planet Ceres, Vesta, Pallas and Hygiea which consist of half the mass of the whole belt. The remainder of the belt’s mass is confined in other minor planets and millions of small asteroids. The Kuiper Belt is located on the outer Solar System and extends to the orbit of Neptune.

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The bodies that are contained in this belt are mostly made of ice or frozen volatiles such as methane, ammonia, water and nitrogen. Some of the resident bodies of this belt are the dwarf planets Pluto, Haumea and Makemake. Comets with orbital periods of approximately 200 years are tracked to have originated in the Kuiper Belt. Another shell of icy objects is located beyond the outermost part of the Solar System. This is the Oort Cloud and has been home to most of the tracked nd observed long-period comets.