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The Planets in the Solar System

The planets in the solar system and most of the satellites of the planets and the asteroids revolve around the sun in the same direction in nearly circular orbits. When looking down from above the Sun's North pole the planets orbit in a counter-clockwise direction. All the eight planets in the solar system move around the sun in fixed paths. These paths are elongated, called orbits.


The Sun

The Sun is the largest object in our solar system and it contains approximately 98% of the total solar system mass. It is the star at the center of the system. The Earth and other matter (including other planets, asteroids, meteoroids, comets, and dust) orbit the Sun. Energy from the Sun orbit (Sunlight) supports almost all life forms on Earth via photosynthesis and drives the Earth's climate and weather.

Sun converts hydrogen to helium in its core. The Sun is the center of the solar system. It consists of hot plasma interwoven with magnetic fields. The part of the Sun that we can see is known as the photosphere.

The outermost part of the Sun is called Corona, which is visible only at the time of a solar eclipse. When the storm of hot atoms overcomes its gravity and goes into outer space, then it is known as solar flares.

These solar flares reach the Earth's atmosphere and produces a spectacular colorful effect. In South-pole a region this effect can be seen as Aurora Australis and in North-pole region as Aurora Borealis. In the regions from where the solar flares originate (photo-sphere), some dark spots are seen these are called Sun-spots. Sun-spots appear and disappear after 11 years, which is called Sun-spot cycle.


It is the innermost and smallest planet in the solar system, orbiting the Sun once every 88 days. It can only be seen in morning or evening twilight. Physically, Mercury is similar in appearance to the Moon as it is heavily centered. It has no natural satellites and no substantial atmosphere. The planet has a large iron core which generates a magnetic field about 0.1% as strong as that of the Earth.

Mercury is one of the four terrestrial planets amongst the planets in the solar system, being a rocky body like the Earth. It consists of approximately 70% metallic and 30% silicate material. The density of the planet is the second-highest in the solar system at 5.43 g/cm3, only slightly less than Earth's density.


Venus is the second planet from the Sun and the sixth largest amongst the planets in the solar system. Venus's orbit is the most circular of any planet. It is known as the Goddess of love and beauty because it is the brightest of the planets are known to the ancients.

Venus is sometimes regarded as Earth's sister planet. Venus is only slightly smaller than Earth (95% of Earth's diameter, 80% of Earth's mass). Both have few craters indicating relatively young surfaces. Their densities and chemical composition are similar.


Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the fifth largest amongst the planets in the solar system. Home to the human species, it is also referred to as planet Earth, Gaia, Terra, and the world.

The Earth formed around 4.57 billion years ago. At present, the Earth orbits the Sun once for every 366.26 times it rotates about its axis (which is equal to 365.26 solar days). The Earth's axis of rotation is tilted 23.5° (away from the perpendicular to the plane of its orbit), producing seasonal variations on the planet's surface.


Mars is the fourth planet in the solar system from the sun in the solar system. The planet is renamed after Mars, The Roman God of war. It is also referred to as the red planet because of its reddish appearance as seen from Earth (Due to the presence of iron oxide). Mars has a thin atmosphere comprising nitrogen and argon. It is the site of Olympus Mons, the highest known mountain in the solar system, and of Valles Marineris, the largest canyon.

In addition to its geographical features, Mars rotational period and seasonal cycles are likewise similar to those of the Earth. Of all the planets in our solar system, Mars is the most likely, other than Earth, to harbor liquid water. It has two satellites Phobos and Deimos.


Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and by far the largest amongst the planets in the solar system also called the Lord of Heavens (the mass of Jupiter is 318 times that of Earth). Jupiter is the fourth brightest object in the sky (after the Sun, the Moon, and Venus). It gives off more energy than it receives from the Sun, because of the heat inside it. Jupiter, along with Saturn, Uranus and Neptune is classified as a gas giant. It is not primarily composed of solid matter but is 93% hydrogen and 7% helium; it may also have a rocky core of heavier elements. Because of its rapid rotation, the planet is an oblate spheroid.


Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second-largest amongst the planets in the solar system. Galileo was the first to observe it with a telescope in 1670; he noted its odd appearance but was confused by it. Early observations of Saturn were complicated by the fact that the Earth passes through the plane of Saturn's rings, every few years as Saturn moves in its orbit.

Like Jupiter, Saturn is about 75% hydrogen and 25% helium with traces of water, methane, ammonia, and rock. Two prominent rings (A and B) and one faint ring (C) can be seen from the Earth. Though they look continuous from the Earth, the rings are actually composed of innumerable small particles each in an independent orbit. The ring particles seem to be composed primarily of water ice, but they may also include rocky particles with icy coatings. The space probe Cassini is on Saturn these days.


Uranus named after the Greek God of the sky, is the seventh planet from the Sun. It is a gas giant, the third-largest by diameter and fourth-largest by mass amongst the planets in the solar system. Uranus was discovered by William Herschel, while systematically searching the sky with his telescope on 13th March 1781. Uranus is composed primarily of rock and various ices, with only about 15% hydrogen and a little helium. Its atmosphere is about 83% hydrogen, 15% helium, and 2% methane.

Uranus the blue color is the result of the absorption of red light by methane in the upper atmosphere. There may be color bands like Jupiter's but they are hidden from view by the overlaying methane layer. Like the other gas planets, Uranus has rings. Like Jupiter's, they are very dark but like Saturn's, they are composed of fairly large particles ranging up to 10 meters in diameter in addition to fine dust.


Neptune is the eighth and farthest known planet from the Sun in the solar system. It is the fourth-largest planet by diameter and the third-largest by mass amongst the planets in the solar system; 17 times the mass of Earth. The planet is named after the Roman God of the sea and it has 13 satellites.

Neptune's temperature at its cloud tops is usually close to -208°C, one of the coldest in the solar system, due to its long distance from the Sun. However, Neptune's center is about 7000°C hotter than the Sun's surface. This is due to extremely hot gases and rocks in the center.


Pluto is no longer considered a planet in the solar system. Pluto orbits beyond the orbit of Neptune. It is much smaller than any of the official Planets and is now classified as a dwarf planet. It is the second-largest dwarf planet in the solar system. In Roman mythology, Pluto (Greek Hades) is the God of the underworld.


Wonders of Our Solar System

Rings of Saturn: 

Planet Saturn is a gas giant made largely of hydrogen and helium surrounding a small core of solid rock. It is surrounded by rings, which are composed of key chunks, the rings range in size from centimeters to a few meters.

Geysers of Enceladus: 

Enceladus, The Moon of Saturn, is etched with holes and fractures. Its small body, less than 5% of the size of the Earth. It has the biggest geysers in the entire solar system.

Sun, The heat of fire Sun is a ball of fire in the sky that the Earth goes around. Through solar fire and coronal mass ejection, Sun spews a lot of energy up from its belly.

The Eurpan Ocean: 

Europa is Jupiter's Moon cracks in the crust of Europa are stained red and brown, which suggests the presence of organic chemicals.

Titanic Lakes: 

Titan is the largest moon of the planet Saturn and only the Moon in the solar system known to have an atmosphere - thick smog of nitrogen and methane.

Civilization on Earth: 

Planet earth is the only place in the entire universe, where life is found.

Asteroid Belt: 

It is between Mars and Jupiter ceres are the largest asteroid of this belt. Some asteroids orbit closer to the Sun. Asteroids, that closely approach Earth are called near-Earth asteroids.


The Planets in the Solar System


Specific Fact


1 Au = 149597871 km

Radius(w.r.t Earth's rad.)







Shining star




25 days




Fastest revolution /smallest planet



88 days

58.65 days




Clockwise rotation



224.7 days

257 days




Planet of life



365 days

24 hours




Red planet



687 days

24.6 hours




Biggest planet



12 years

9.8 hours




Second largest planet



29 years

10.3 hours




Rotates East to West



84 years

10.8 hours




First planet found by mathematical prediction



165 years

15.7 days




  Some Important Facts

Biggest Planet


Smallest Planet


Biggest Satellite


Smallest Satellite


Blue Planet


Green Planet


Brightest Planet


Brightest Planet Outside Solar System

Sirius(Dog Star)

Closest Star of Solar System

Proxima Centauri

Coldest Planet


Evening Star


Farthest Planet from Sun


A planet with a Maximum Number of Satellites


Fastest Revolution in Solar System


Hottest Planet


Densest Planet


Fastest Rotation in Solar System


Morning Star


Nearest Planet to Earth


Nearest Planet to Sun


Red Planet


Slowest Revolution in Solar System


Slowest Rotation in Solar System


Earth's Twin


Only Satellite with an Atmosphere like Earth







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