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The Planets

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Bc video: Virgin Galactic prepares private space tours. The Solar System. Our solar neighborhood is an exciting place.

The Solar System

The Solar System is full of planets, moons, asteroids, comets, minor planets, and many other exciting objects. Learn about Io, the explosive moon that orbits the planet Jupiter, or explore the gigantic canyons and deserts on Mars. What Is The Solar System? The Solar System is made up of all the planets that orbit our Sun. In addition to planets, the Solar System also consists of moons, comets, asteroids, minor planets, and dust and gas. Everything in the Solar System orbits or revolves around the Sun. How Did The Solar System form? This is an important question, and one that is difficult for scientists to understand. Scientists believe that the Solar System evolved from a giant cloud of dust and gas.

At the center of this spinning cloud, a small star began to form. Further away from the center of this mass where the star was forming, there were smaller clumps of dust and gas that were also collapsing. A Great Storm Beyond The Oort Cloud. Welcome to the Planets. The Nine Planets Solar System Tour. Planets. Planets: The planet count in our solar system has gone as high as 15 before new discoveries prompted a fine tuning of the definition of a planet.

Planets

The most recent change was in 2006 when scientists reclassified Pluto as a new kind of object - a dwarf planet. Dwarf Planets: This new class of worlds helps us categorize objects that orbit the Sun but aren't quite the same as the rocky planets and gas giants in our solar system. There could be hundreds more of these small worlds far out there waiting to be discovered. Moons: This count includes only the moons orbiting the eight planets in our solar system. Asteroids: New asteroids are discovered on an almost daily basis. Comets: Orbiting spacecraft such as SOHO have raised this tally in recent years by catching the comets as they plunge toward the Sun - and sometimes vaporize. Your Weight on Other Worlds. Before we get into the subject of gravity and how it acts, it's important to understand the difference between weight and mass.

Your Weight on Other Worlds

We often use the terms "mass" and "weight" interchangeably in our daily speech, but to an astronomer or a physicist they are completely different things. The mass of a body is a measure of how much matter it contains. An object with mass has a quality called inertia. If you shake an object like a stone in your hand, you would notice that it takes a push to get it moving, and another push to stop it again. If the stone is at rest, it wants to remain at rest.

Weight is an entirely different thing. If you are in a spaceship far between the stars and you put a scale underneath you, the scale would read zero. The Relationship Between Gravity and Mass and Distance As stated above, your weight is a measure of the pull of gravity between you and the body you are standing on. The two "M's" on top are your mass and the planet's mass.