Russian     Set your Home PageAdd to the Favorites List
: Unknown Earth
: Ancient civilizations
: Space exploration
: Aliens
: Enigmatic nature
: Mysteries
: Anthropology
: Science parade
: Stories
: Organizations
: Guest Book
Search
Constructor
Russian News
Russian plants
Unexplained / Space exploration / Solar System / 


Solar System

Solar System

Our solar system consists of an average star we call the Sun, the planets Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. It includes: the satellites of the planets; numerous comets, asteroids, and meteoroids; and the interplanetary medium. The Sun is the richest source of electromagnetic energy (mostly in the form of heat and light) in the solar system. The Sun's nearest known stellar neighbor is a red dwarf star called Proxima Centauri, at a distance of 4.3 light years away. The whole solar system, together with the local stars visible on a clear night, orbits the center of our home galaxy, a spiral disk of 200 billion stars we call the Milky Way. The Milky Way has two small galaxies orbiting it nearby, which are visible from the southern hemisphere. They are called the Large Magellanic Cloud and the Small Magellanic Cloud. The nearest large galaxy is the Andromeda Galaxy. It is a spiral galaxy like the Milky Way but is 4 times as massive and is 2 million light years away. Our galaxy, one of billions of galaxies known, is traveling through intergalactic space.

The planets, 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. The planets orbit the Sun in or near the same plane, called the ecliptic. Pluto is a special case in that its orbit is the most highly inclined (18 degrees) and the most highly elliptical of all the planets. Because of this, for part of its orbit, Pluto is closer to the Sun than is Neptune. The axis of rotation for most of the planets is nearly perpendicular to the ecliptic. The exceptions are Uranus and Pluto, which are tipped on their sides.



Rating : 2729     Comments      Discuss in forum

: Comets survive plunge through Sun

A run through the jungle is too easy; for the ultimate reality show contest, try a race through the Sun's atmosphere, where two comets recently lost their heads....
More>>>

: "Solar tsunamis" used to study the solar corona

: New Satellites of Jupiter Discovered in 2003

NASA's Galileo spacecraft serendipitously discovered seven to nine space rocks near Jupiter's inner moon Amalthea when Galileo flew past that moon five months ago. ...
More>>>

: NASA's Odyssey Orbiter Watches a Frosty Mars

: New Moons

In one announcement, astronomers revealed the discoveries of two previously anonymous moons. One is part of a large group of satellites around Uranus, while the other orbits a member of the asteroid belt called 121 Hermione. ...
More>>>

: When Meteors Fell Like Rain

About 500 million years ago, the sky rained meteorites after one of the largest collisions in the asteroid belt caused the breakup of a minor planet known as the "L chondrite parent body."...
More>>>

: The Missing Planet

Is there a yet-undiscovered planet in our solar system slowly circling the Sun that has remained elusive to astronomers on Earth? ...
More>>>

Copyright (c) RIN 2002 - 2005 Feedback
RIN.ru