The Solar System
The Solar System is comprised of 8 planets which all orbit the Sun in elliptical orbits.
The planets are bound to the Sun by gravity.
The planets vary in size. Jupiter is approximately 12 times larger than the Earth.
They receive different amounts of sunlight because they are different distances from the Sun.
They have their own moons.
Their order is:
Pluto is no longer considered a planet because it is very small and made up mainly of ice.
There are other celestial bodies in the Solar System:
An asteroid belt exists between Mars and Jupiter. This is comprised of very large rocky bodies of varying length which can be over 1 km.
Asteroids, Comets, Meteors and Meteorites
Asteroids These are rocky objects less than a 1000 km in diameter and are found in space.
A comet is an icy, small Solar System body that, when passing close to the Sun, warms and begins to release gases, a process called out-gassing. This produces a visible atmosphere or coma, and sometimes also a tail.
Meteoroids range in size from small grains to 1 metre sized objects. Most are fragments from comets or asteroids. Traelling at high speeds they burn in Earth’s atmosphere but will collide with Earths’s surface.
Meteors are small objects travelling at verty high speeds in space. When they make contact with the Earths’s atmosphere their speed is slowed because of friction with atmosphere. This causees them to and glow brightly.
Comet and it’s tail