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Solar system planets

The Sun and the surrounding celestial bodies constitute the "solar system". The Sun alone makes up 99.8% of the total mass of the entire solar system. Among the bodies that orbit around the Sun, we can list in order of importance:

  • The eight planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune).
  • 175 "Moons" that orbit around these planets,
  • Dwarf planets (like Pluto or Ceres).
  • Billions of small bodies (asteroids, comets, planetesimals, dust), mainly in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and beyond Neptune (Kuiper belt, and Oort cloud).

Large telescopes and space missions are changing our knowledge of the solar system. New bodies are discovered that we classify according to a more and more precise nomenclature. Thus, Pluto, discovered in 1930, was considered as the ninth planet of the solar system, but the International Astronomical Union decommissioned Pluto to "dwarf planet" in 2006 bringing back the number of planets of our solar system to eight. Another example is the discovery of rings and even arches around Neptune and Uranus.

There are probably billions of star systems like the solar system in our galaxy (the Milky Way) and other galaxies.

The proportions of the planets in front of the Sun in the menu on the left are respected. The appearance of Jupiter is simplified. The movements of the "cloudy" masses are more complex than the animation suggests: For evidence, watch this sequence of photos taken by Voyager 1 in approach

Select a planet in the left menu. Click and drag to rotate.

Credits for the textures of the planets: http://planetpixelemporium.com/planets.html

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