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Our Solar System


NASA/JPL - Solar System Exploration

 

    Our solar system is made up of our sun and the nine planets, with their moons, around it.  The solar system formed from a cloud of interstellar (between stars) gas, also known as a nebula.  Regions of high density gas collapse because of gravity, causing a sort of chain reaction that can result in a star forming.  Planets and moons then form in orbits around the star out of the same type, although less dense, of material.  The other eight planets and various moons are only visible to us because they reflects sunlight.  Planets do not produce their own light.   

 

    The ancients knew about many of the planets.  The word planet actually comes from the Greek word "asteres planetai" meaning "wandering star".  Planets were named this because they moved in the sky in an unusual manner compared to the rest of the stars.  The planets and the moon seem to follow the sun around a narrow band on the celestial sphere known now as the ecliptic.  This is also where zodiac signs, used in astrology, are located.  To learn a little more about our neighbors in the solar system, click on one of the links below.

 

        Sun

        Mercury

        Venus

        Earth

        Mars

        Jupiter

        Saturn

        Uranus

        Neptune

        Pluto (not shown in image)

 

 

*Image from http://sse.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/display.cfm?IM_ID=2167.

 

Our Sun

Our Moon

Solar System

Deep Sky Objects

Gallery

 

                                      


Website last updated March 16,  2006.  Hosted by Anthony Watts, KMXI Radio.  Webmasters Tiara Norris and Brendan Diamond.