Facts About The Solar System

Artist's impression of the planets of our solar system

Above: An artist's impression of the planets of our solar system, with the sun shown bottom middle (Credit: NASA).

8 - the number of planets in our solar system (we used to count 9, including Pluto, but this has now been reclassified as a Kuiper Belt object (KBO).

4 - the number of solid, terrestrial planets in our solar system - Mars, Venus, Earth and Mercury (planets comprised of rock and metal).

4 - the number of gaseous planets in our solar system - Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune (planets with a solid core but whose greatest size is comprised of liquid gasses - hydrogen and helium - surrounded by rings of debris).

828,000 km/h - the speed at which our soalr system is orbiting the centre of the Milky Way (514,000 mph).

230 km - the distance our solar systems travels every second (143 mi/s).

230 million years - the time it takes to complete one orbit of the Milky Way.

28,000 - the distance of the solar system from the centre of the Milky Way, in light years.

4 - the number of planets that have rings; Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

99.8% - the amount of the total mass of the solar system that is contained within the sun alone.

99% - the amount of the remaining 0.2% of the mass of the solar system that is contained with the four giant gas planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune).


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