The Solar System

The Solar System consists of The Sun, nine planets, corresponding moons around the planets and the asteroid belt.

The Sun is a star; it can produce its own light - and like any other star, appears to be blinking when viewed from Earth.

The planets are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

The moon is a satellite and it orbits Earth.

The asteroid belt exists between Mars and Jupiter; it consists of 'fragments' of planets, known as asteroids.

Please move the mouse over a particular object to get more information.

The Solar System The Sun: a star in its own right;Mercury: closest planet to Earth;Venus: the hottest planet;Earth: our own planet-nearly 6000 km in radius;The Moon: the natural satellite of Earth;Mars: the Red Planet;Asteroid Belt - fragments of planetsJupiter: the largest planet;Saturn: a gas giant surrounded by ringsUranus: a distant outer planet, another gas planet;Neptune: a distant gas planetPluto: no longer considered as a planet;Comet - celestial boides made up of ice and dust;

A Mnemonic Phrase for Planets

 

My Very Eager Mother Just Served Us Noodles

 

Solar System Simulation

In this animation, The Sun is relatively stationary at the centre of The Solar System.

Earth is orbiting The Sun in a year - approximately in 365 days. It orbits its own axis which results in day and night within a period of 24 hours.

The Moon orbits Earth in a month - approximately in 28 days. Unlike Earth, The Moon does not move around its own axis.

As a result, the side of The Moon that faces Earth remains the same throughout its orbit - the side that we see.

A snapshot is taken every hour to illustrate the position of Earth in a period of 24 hours.



The simulation is created by HTML5 and JavaScript. Do you want to see the programming code that produced the above? Please visit this page.


Fascinating Facts


  • Mercury is not the hottest planet, despite being the closest to The Sun: Venus is the hottest, due to The Greenhouse Effect; heat is trapped inside it owing to the presence of vast amount of CO2.

  • Earth actually takes 363-1/4 days to complete the orbit around The Sun. So, we get a leap year in every four years - 4 X 1/4 = 1

  • The Sun gets dark spots at regular intervals. So, there are corresponding effects on earth in the form of weather changes and fluctuations in the magnetic field.

Facts of Planets(Metric units)
Physical PropertiesMercuryVenusEarthMoonMarsJupiterSaturnUranusNeptune
Mean diameter (km) 4879 12,104 12,742 3475 6780 139,822 116,464 50,724 49,248
Equatorial & polar diameter (km) 4879 12,104 12,756
12,714
3475 6792
6752
142,984
133,708
120,536
108,728
51,118
49,946
49,528
48,682
Mass (1024kg) 0.330 4.87 5.97 0.073 0.642 1899 568 86.8 102
Density (kg/m3) 5427 5243 5515 3340 3933 1326 687 1270 1638
Gravity (m/s2) 3.7 8.9 9.8 1.6 3.7 23.1 9.0 8.7 11.0
Escape Velocity (km/s) 4.3 10.4 11.2 2.4 5.0 59.5 35.5 21.3 23.5
Mean Temperature (C) 167 464 15 -20 -65 -110 -140 -195 -200
                   
Orbital MotionMercuryVenusEarthMoonMarsJupiterSaturnUranusNeptune
Rotation Period (hours) 1407.6 -5832.5 23.9 655.7 24.6 9.9 10.7 -17.2 16.1
Length of Day (hours) 4222.6 2802.0 24.0 708.7 24.7 9.9 10.7 17.2 16.1
Distance from Sun (106 km) 57.9 108.2 149.6 0.384* 227.9 778.6 1433.5 2872.5 4495.1
Orbital Period (days) 88.0 224.7 365.2 27.3 687.0 4331 10,747 30,589 59,800
Orbital Velocity (km/s) 47.9 35.0 29.8 1.0 24.1 13.1 9.7 6.8 5.4
Axial Tilt (degrees) 0.01 177.4 23.4 6.7 25.2 3.1 26.7 97.8 28.3


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Do you want to get a 3-D feel of the Solar System? Here is the model for you. Just click it to access Amazon:

  1. Why does a star want to go school? -------click here for Answer

  2. If the moon was a clock, how would you call its tick? -------click here for Answer

  3. What is the kind of music heard around Neptune? -------click here for Answer

  4. Why do cows fancy space? -------click here for Answer

  5. Why do aliens prefer cats to dogs? -------click here for Answer

  6. According to a certain well-known author, men are from --- and women are from ---? -------click here for Answer

  7. Why is Saturn often accused of committing polygamy? -------click here for Answer

  8. What do aliens use to keep their food? -------click here for Answer

  9. What does The Solar System wear around its belly? -------click here for Answer

  10. What is the preferred chocolate bars of astronomers? -------click here for Answer

 

 

 

 

Resources at Fingertips

This is a vast collection of tutorials, covering the syllabuses of GCSE, iGCSE, A-level and even at undergraduate level. They are organized according to these specific levels.
The most popular tutorial is the Book of Electricity, which comes at the top of Google search for electricity tutorials for GCSE / AS/ A-Level at present.
In addition, there are a few more which come at the top of Google search.They are all supported by an extensive collection of animations and interactive labs.

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Recommended Reading

 

The best book for both teachers and students to learn physics - exactly like in good old days:concepts are clearly explained in detail;no meaningless cartoons to devour space;the author rendered a great service in his unique approach for generations of students, with this being the fourth edition.

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