Solar System Facts

Solar System consists of the Sun and all its associated celestial objects.

Each object orbits the Sun in an elliptical pattern, from planets to asteroids and comets.

The Solar System is a spectacular, mesmerizing spectacle for us earthlings to observe and explore.

It’s an incredible place with immense diversity and complexity, where nothing stays still or stands still for long.

Recent discoveries have revealed that there is much more to this dynamic system than it originally seemed.

Our ongoing exploration continues to uncover amazing secrets about our Solar System, mystery by mystery.

The Solar System showcases the grandness and wonder of our Universe – a truly majestic sight!

Solar System Facts for Kids

  • The Sun is at the center of the solar system.
  • Earth is the third planet from the Sun.
  • The solar system has at least five dwarf planets.
  • The solar system has many moons and asteroids.
  • The solar system is part of the Milky Way galaxy.
  • The solar system is about 4.6 billion years old.
  • Pluto was once considered a planet but is now classified as a dwarf planet.
  • The solar system is constantly in motion, with the planets orbiting the Sun.
  • The outer planets are made up of gas and ice, while the inner planets are mostly rock.
  • The solar system is located in a suburb of the Milky Way galaxy called the Orion Arm.

Mercury

Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun, and its width is just about as wide as the Atlantic Ocean! 18 Mercuries could easily fit within the Earth.

This planet has no atmosphere, like all of its planetary companions, and no water either, which makes it a dangerously inhospitable environment. Temperature extremes can reach from -180°C/-290°F to 430°C/842°F.

The fastest planet in our solar system, Mercury accelerates through space with a speed of 50km/sec or 31 miles per second. Scientists launched the BepiColombo mission to investigate and discover answers about Mercury’s origin in October 2018 which will be observed when it reaches its destination by 2025.

Its orbit will hopefully unravel questions about how planets form into systems surrounding each other.

Venus

Venus is the second brightest object in the night sky, outshone only by the Moon. Named after the Roman goddess of beauty, its yellow clouds are made of sulfur and sulfuric acid that reflect light off its surface.

Despite being similar in size and material to Earth, Venus holds the title as the Solar system’s hottest planet, with temperatures reaching an unbearably hot 460°C/480°F. Surface features like volcanoes, craters, and super-high mountain ranges make Venus intriguing to study and explore.

Over the course of the 1970s and 1980s, the Soviet Union landed eight space probes on the surface of Venus. Although, many questions still remain unanswered today.

Spotting Venus can be tricky as it appears alongside tens of thousands of stars in a completely dark sky, but you don’t need to strain your eyes too hard!

If the International Space Station is overhead, it will be brighter than Venus — appearing like a very bright star — so look out for it! Find out when you can get a glimpse at this beautiful natural phenomenon in your area.

Earth

Our planet is listed fifth, bigger than those before it, and with the only known Moon of its kind.

It’s strange to realize that all planets except ours were named after gods and goddesses of Roman and Greek mythology, for Earth simply has been known as ‘ground’ for over 1,000 years already.

Despite all the mysteries left unsolved by space exploration, here on Earth, we uncover very remote secrets every day, from fossils to history from around the globe.

A whopping 70% of our surface is covered in water – incredible! – yet still, one thing remains clear: We can say with certainty that life thrives here on Earth.

The diversity of species intertwines so strongly and persistently, making our home a fascinating site to learn and explore more about life itself. In its beauty and its resilience, Mother Nature astonishes us every single day here on Earth, which no other place in the Universe can quite compare to.

Understanding this simple yet grounding fact grants us an appreciation for how precious a gift life really is.

Mars

Mars is an unforgiving environment, with extremes of temperature and vast dust storms that can cover the entire planet. But while it may be dry and cold, there is evidence of water in the form of ice at both the North and South poles.

The surface of Mars is full of remarkable features, with craters, deep valleys, and the massive Olympus Mons volcano – a mountain three times higher than Mount Everest on Earth. It’s no wonder that ‘mons’ is Latin for the mountain!

The gravitational field of Mars has also created two moons, Phobos and Deimos, which are believed to be asteroids.

Two rovers are currently exploring Mars, while six spacecraft orbit above, taking essential readings and searching for signs of previous ancient life – a mystery yet to be revealed.

Jupiter

Jupiter is the biggest planet in our Solar System, with a storm that’s been raging for 350 years called the Great Red Spot. It’s known to have some of the largest moons around, and one, in particular, could potentially host life beneath its ice.

We’ve sent a spacecraft, Juno, to get to know Jupiter better – learn how it formed and gain insight into its powerful winds. On this adventure, we hope to find out more about the secrets of our ever-unpredictable Universe.

Sending Juno has certainly been ambitious, with promises of exploration into what no one knows about Jupiter. We can only hope that Juno gives us the answers we need, so that science can continue to expand our knowledge of what lies beyond our planet.

Meanwhile, humans on Earth are also exploring Jupiter while they gaze up at its famous red atmosphere from ground level. Are there any answers lurking within? Many think so, and hopefully, Juno will reveal them soon!

We eagerly anticipate each step as new information comes back from Jupiter as well as other planets far away across Space exploration. With each discovery made by modern sciences, we get closer and closer to unlocking the vast mysteries of our solar system and beyond!

Saturn

Saturn is a gas-filled planet like Jupiter, Neptune, and Uranus. It doesn’t have a solid surface but instead consists mostly of gases with a small rocky core.

It is the second-largest planet in the solar system and is famously known for its iconic rings. These rings aren’t exclusive to Saturn; other gas giants also have them — they just don’t appear as distinct because they are fainter.

Titan, one of Saturn’s moons, is particularly noteworthy. It’s the second largest Moon in the solar system and, in 2005, was studied by Huygens — a spacecraft sent on the Cassini-Huygens mission commissioned by NASA and ESA (European Space Agency).

Huygens’ findings about Titan revealed both its composition and its unique landscape. This journey ended when Cassini intentionally crashed into Saturn recently.

Images from Cassini provided us with clues that another moon of Saturn’s, Enceladus, may be habitable too!

Uranus

Uranus takes 84 years to make one full orbit around the Sun – much longer than our own planet, Earth! Its ice-blue color comes not from oceans but from hydrogen and helium in the atmosphere.

But Uranus has an odd orientation: instead of orbiting upright like most other planets, it orbits on its side. This means that its poles experience seasons that last for 21 years at a time – for half a century before summer or winter begins again!

It’s this odd angle, coupled with its long orbit, that can help scientists learn more about space, constellations, and even our neighboring solar system.

Uranus hosts 27 moons and the deepest level of clouds in any planet located in our solar system, creating a unique atmospheric ecosystem among all of its peers. As we continue to unravel mysteries about this special planet, we can uncover secrets about the Universe we live in and beyond.

Our knowledge advances each day as researchers strive to understand what lies beyond reality – and Uranus is a testament to these discoveries. Who knows what truths await us just beneath the ice-blue clouds surrounding this enigmatic world?

Neptune

Named after the Roman god of the sea, Neptune is a deep blue planet, like its neighbor Uranus. Its atmosphere is made up of almost the same gases, yet its hue is strikingly different.

It’s the farthest planet from the Sun, and it takes 165 years for it to complete a single orbit around our star.

Neptune and Uranus have not yet been explored by space probes, but Voyager 2 made a brief pass in 1989.

This fly-by offered some valuable data about both planets but much more remains unknown.

The grandeur of our solar system still remains an enigma waiting to be explored – and understood – in greater depth.