The Solar System

Our Solar System in whole, is the combination of the sun, eight planets and many other objects such as dwarf planets that orbit the sun. The solar system is 4.6 billion years old, making it extremely old when you consider how long life is on planet Earth.

The Solar System also contains several asteroid belts as well as ice particles that comprise comets.

For thousands of years on Earth, humanity did not recognize that the solar system existed. Everyone believed that the Earth was the center of everything, and all the objects people saw at night when they looked up moved around planet Earth. Eventually around the 17th century, the acceptance that the Sun was the center of the Solar System finally became normal.

The eight planets that make up our Solar System are:

Mercury is the first planet of our Solar System and is also the closet planet to the Sun. It also happens to be the smallest planet, and has no natural moons orbiting it. Mercury is made of a huge Iron core with a very thin mantle that covers it. Scientists think this outer layer is so thin because of an impact that may of happened a long time ago.

Venus is the second planet in our Solar System. It is very similar to Earth's size and has a very thick mantle around an iron core. It is not a livable planet as its temperature is extremely high around 400 degrees Celsius.

Earth is the third planet in our Solar System and is the most well known to us humans. It is the only place scientists know that life exists. It has one Moon that we all see almost every night.

Mars is the fourth planet in our Solar System. And is smaller than both Venus and Earth. Its atmosphere is made up of mostly carbon dioxide. The surface has many volcanoes and valleys. Mars has been Geologically active as close as 2 million years ago. The red colour is from rust in its soil.

Jupiter is the fifth planet of our Solar System and considered the first of the outer planets. Jupiter is a huge planet that is made up of mostly helium and hydrogen. Jupiter's internal heat creates most of the surface features we can see.

Saturn is the sixth planet in our Solar System and also the second outer planet. It's always easy to distinguish Saturn because of it's rings. Its Atmospheric conditions are similar to Jupiter. Its rings are made up of rock and ice particles that free float in orbit around the planet.

Uranus is the seventh planet in our Solar System and also the third outer planet. It is a much colder planet as it is farther away from the sun.

Neptune is the eighth planet in our Solar System and also the fourth outer planet. It is smaller than Uranus. Neptune has a total of 14 known satellites (moons).