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The Solar System
Transcript of The Solar System
Our solar system is located in the Milky Way Galaxy. It is comprised of the sun and the many celestial bodies orbiting it. These celestial bodies include the eight well-known planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, the many dwarf planets and moons, meteoroids, comets, and asteroids.
We live on planet Earth. Of all of these celestial bodies in our solar system, the Milky Way Galaxy, or even the universe, Earth is the only place where life exists as we know it. Earth is the third planet from the sun and is the only planet in our solar system with large amounts of liquid water and an atmosphere. Earth is considered to be in the "Goldilocks Zone," since it is not too hot or too cold being able to make life exist on Earth. The Contents of Our Solar System
Our sun is a medium-size light yellow star. Though it is huge compared to Earth. Hydrogen is the sun's fuel for nuclear fusion in which hydrogen is turned into helium and keeps the sun's enormous gravitational force from collapsing on itself.
In orbits close to our Sun are the small, dense, rocky planets of Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars, which are considered the terrestrial planets. Past Mars is the asteroid belt, which is an area filled with rocky leftovers from the time our solar system formed. The dwarf planet Ceres is located in the asteroid belt.
Located beyond the asteroid belt are the gas giant planets, which are Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Those planets are huge balls of frozen gases surrounded by rings and numerous moons.
Beyond the gas giants lies the Kuiper Belt which is an area filled with comets and other objects. In the Kuiper planet are the dwarf planets of Pluto, Haumea, Makemake, Eris, and Sedna. After that comes the heliopause which is is the boundary between the Sun's solar wind and the interstellar medium, all the gas and dust found between stars. Also the heliopause is often considered to be the outer border of our solar system. Beyond that is the Oort cloud, which is an enormous cloud that surrounds our solar system and is filled with comets. And all of these celestial bodies are located in the Milky Way galaxy.
In our solar system, there are numerous dwarf planets; objects that orbit the sun, have enough mass to assume a nearly round shape, are not gravitationally dominant in its orbit, and are not natural satellites, or moons. Some dwarf planets are Ceres, Pluto, Haumea, Makemake, Eris, and Sedna. The Formation of Our Solar System
About five billion years ago, a huge star exploded into a supernova. This explosion sent shock waves rippling through space, creating a swirling cloud of gas and stardust. As the cloud spun faster and faster, it formed disks with glowing red bulges at their centers. One of those bulges began to slowly heat up and it eventually became our sun.
At the same time, not far from the bulge, bits of dust and rock containing carbon, silicon, and ice smashed together to form small objects called planetesimals. These soon merged into the terrestrial, or rocky, planets like Earth. Located close to the Sun, these worlds were rich in metals.
However, in the outer reaches of space, larger planets like Jupiter and Saturn collected ice, hydrogen, and methane gas to become gas giants.
Beyond these worlds, the many dwarf planets, moons, asteroids, meteoroids, and comets formed out of the remaining ice and rock. Interesting Facts About Our Solar System
1. Our moon is the only celestial body in our solar system which humans have visited other than Earth.
2. Venus is considered Earth's "evil twin," since it is covered with thousands of volcanoes, is surrounded with deadly sulfuric acid, and is lit by 100,000,000 volt lightning bolts.
3. The clouds on Jupiter move faster than hurricane winds on Earth, and its Great Red Spot is a hurricane that has raged on for hundreds of years.
4. Saturn's rings are made of bits of dust-covered ice, and some pieces are as small as dust, while some are bigger than houses.
5. Some moons are bigger than some planets, but they are still moons because they orbit planets.
6. Halley's comet comes from the Kuiper Belt, and is visible from Earth every 75 to 76 years, and its next appearance is expected in 2061.
7. Our sun is just one of 400 billion stars in the galaxy, and the Milky Way Galaxy is one of billions of galaxies in outer space.
8. Mars used to be covered with lakes, rivers, and oceans, so it is one of the best places to look for extraterrestrial life.
9. Pluto was renamed as a dwarf planet since it can't clear other smaller rocky or icy celestial bodies out of its way as it orbits the sun.
10. Our bodies are made up from some of the same atoms that formed the sun and the stars and created the planets, moons, asteroids, comets, and meteoroids. We are all part of the universe. Works Cited
Aguilar, David A. 13 Planets: The Latest View of the Solar System. Washington D.C.: National Geographic, 2011.
"Astronomy and Space for Kids." KidsAstronomy.com. <http://www.kidsastronomy.com/academy/lesson110_assignment1_6.htm> March 3, 2013.
Baines, Becky. Every Planet Has a Place.
Wasington D.C.: National Geographic, 2008.
Simon, Seymour. Our Solar System. China: Smithsonian, 2007.
"Solar System Exploration." NASA. <http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/index.cfm> March 3, 2013. The Solar System By Andrew Bilan