Difference between revisions of "Solar System"

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{{Solarsystem}}
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The Solar System is the [[Sun]] and all the objects in orbit around the sun.<ref>Freedman, Kaufmann: ''Universe'', 7th edition</ref> Objects orbiting the sun include planets, moons, asteroids, and comets.
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==Planets==
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A [[planet]] is defined as an object that orbits the [[sun]], is massive enough that its own gravity pulls it into a nearly round shape, and is dominant enough to clear away objects in its neighborhood. <ref>http://www.nasa.gov/vision/universe/solarsystem/planetsf-20060824.html</ref> There are 8 planets in the solar system.  They are, in order of increasing distance from the sun:<ref>The third grade</ref>
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*[[Mercury]]
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*[[Venus]]
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*[[Earth]]
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*[[Mars]]
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*[[Jupiter]]
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*[[Saturn]]
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*[[Uranus]]
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*[[Neptune]]
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The first four planets are [[terrestrial planets]], the last 4 planets are [[jovian planets]].  Terrestrial planets are small in size, have high densities, and consist of rocky materials.  Jovian planets are large in size, have low densities, and consist of gaseous materials.
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==Dwarf Planets==
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A [[dwarf planet]] is an object that orbits the sun and has a round shape. The crucial difference between a planet and a dwarf planet is that a dwarf planet is not large enough to clear the neighborhood of its orbit.  Currently recognized dwarf planets are:<ref>http://www.answers.com/topic/dwarf-planet</ref>
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*[[Pluto]]
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*[[Eris]]
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*[[Ceres]]
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==Asteroids==
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[[Asteroids]] are irregularly shaped chunks of rocks in the solar system. They exist mostly in 2 places:
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*The [[asteroid belt]], which is between the orbits of [[Mars]] and [[Jupiter]]
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*The [[Kuiper belt]], which shares its orbit with [[Pluto]]
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==Comets==
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[[Comets]] are chunks of dust and ice.  Some are in an [[ellipse|elliptical]] orbit around the sun, meaning that they will return someday.  Some are in a [[hyperbola|hyperbolic]] orbit around the sun, meaning that they will only come into the solar system once and will never return.
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==References==
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<references/>
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[[Category:Astronomy]]

Revision as of 18:19, 16 November 2007

The Solar System is the Sun and all the objects in orbit around the sun.[1] Objects orbiting the sun include planets, moons, asteroids, and comets.

Planets

A planet is defined as an object that orbits the sun, is massive enough that its own gravity pulls it into a nearly round shape, and is dominant enough to clear away objects in its neighborhood. [2] There are 8 planets in the solar system. They are, in order of increasing distance from the sun:[3]

The first four planets are terrestrial planets, the last 4 planets are jovian planets. Terrestrial planets are small in size, have high densities, and consist of rocky materials. Jovian planets are large in size, have low densities, and consist of gaseous materials.

Dwarf Planets

A dwarf planet is an object that orbits the sun and has a round shape. The crucial difference between a planet and a dwarf planet is that a dwarf planet is not large enough to clear the neighborhood of its orbit. Currently recognized dwarf planets are:[4]

Asteroids

Asteroids are irregularly shaped chunks of rocks in the solar system. They exist mostly in 2 places:

Comets

Comets are chunks of dust and ice. Some are in an elliptical orbit around the sun, meaning that they will return someday. Some are in a hyperbolic orbit around the sun, meaning that they will only come into the solar system once and will never return.

References

  1. Freedman, Kaufmann: Universe, 7th edition
  2. http://www.nasa.gov/vision/universe/solarsystem/planetsf-20060824.html
  3. The third grade
  4. http://www.answers.com/topic/dwarf-planet