The natural world truly is a wonderful place and it doesn’t matter if you are looking at things on a microscopic level or on a universal level, there are amazing things to see and learn. One of those things that are close to us in the solar system, and just taking a look into this unique area is going to help you have a greater appreciation for what the universe has to offer as well.
Our Solar System And The Planets
The first stop in this overview of our solar system is the orbits of the planets. Up until recently, there were nine planets but now, there are only eight that are recognized, thanks to the decision to remove Pluto from the list. It also contains the sun, which is an average size star and it is located in the centre of our solar system. Along with the planets are also dwarf planets as well as satellites that revolve around the planets.
The inner and outer solar systems
The inner solar system consists of 5 planets and the sun. Those planets are Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars. Outside the orbit of Mars is the main asteroid belt and then you have the outer planets of the solar system, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and the dwarf planet, Pluto.
The orbits of the planets are not circular but rather, they are elliptical. The only exception is Mercury, which is very close to circular. In addition, most of the orbits of the planets are on a very similar plane, which is approximately 7 degrees from the sun’s equator.
Another interesting thing about the solar system is the fact that the majority of it is not made up of matter but rather, it is empty space. There are vast gulfs between the planets and in some cases, those distances may be much larger than others. That is especially true when you get into the outer solar system.
All of the planets orbit the sun in the same direction. If you are looking down from the north pole to the sun, you would see that it was a counterclockwise motion for those orbits. In addition, the majority of the planets also rotate in a counterclockwise direction when looking down from the North Pole. The exception is Venus and Uranus. Pluto also rotates in a clockwise direction.
It can sometimes be difficult to truly envision the size and scope of the solar system in which we live. Some of the planets are so large in relation to the earth where we live that the earth itself could fit inside of them many times over. In addition, once you begin to look outside of the solar system, you see that the distances become so vast that they really are hard to envision when you try to consider the scale.
Interestingly, it is from the observation of our solar system and the various star constellations that has resulted in the theory of astrology and the use of horoscopes.
The solar system truly is a marvelous place to live. Our Earth, however, is a unique planet and it is one that is well-suited for life. You will not find a similar planet anywhere else in the known universe. It is a part of this wonderful system that is known as our solar system.