PLANETS and POINTS
We reside in a different global community. The Solar System consists of 1 planet, 8 planets, 150 moons > 10,000 asteroids of ~1 m to 300 km of diameter and 8 asteroids (including Pluto), more than 300 kilometers of size and a multitude meteoroids < 1 m of width. This roster only grows when our house land is further explored.
Our satellite scheme stretches over almost 80 A.U. with the Earth-Sun range of around 150 million kilometers called an astronomical division, or A.U. It may look big but it was just a thousandth (0.001) of a light-year, just over a millith of our Milky Way’s magnitude. Planetary structures are much less than the spaces between stars — at least in the galactic outskirts in which we live— which makes every single unit a heavenly place.The planetary group live varied lot The Solar System includes star planets moons tens thousands asteroids ranging diameter asteroids Kuiper belt objects including Pluto larger countless comets kilometer dimensions myriad meteoroids That list grow future exploration territory space With Earth Sun distance termed astronomical unit short planetary extends That sound large thousandth 001 light year billionth size Milky Way Planetary systems smaller distances separating stars galactic suburbs live making celestial island The innermost planets Mercury Venus Earth Mars termed Terrestrial Planets physical chemical similarity rocky Earth contrast larger outer bodies Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune called Jovian Planets resemblance gassy Jupiter Between groups broad band belt Sun roughly Mars Jupiter roam stony asteroids labeled minor planets planetoids starlike Pluto decades classified outermost planet doesn fit catagories Well smaller Earth Moon literal odd ball Pluto removed official major planet status considered prominent members Kuiper belt trans Neptunian icy rock objects Sun Figure presents size scale principal members Solar System Figure This family portrait Solar System Sun planets scale Although Jovian Planets larger Terrestrial Planets dwarfed central Sun Prentice Hall From remote vantage point planetary Sun overwhelmingly dominates cosmic neighborhood Jupiter inferior Our star 1000 times Jupiter mass times rest Solar System including Jupiter The Sun houses matter Solar System Everything small Terrestrial Planets notably Earth resembles collection insignificant debris Draw distinction Jupiter case ordinary heavenly body Jupiter fact missed star The composition structure giant planet big Jovian Planets stellar They rich hydrogen helium light gases long escaped smaller Terrestrial Planets But Jovians big ignite start thermonuclear reaction core virtue overlying mass Had Jupiter gathered tens times matter central temperature equal needed commence nuclear fusion converting dwarf star Thus Solar System formed binary star astronomical posture rendered Earth life improbable impossible owe debt gratitude Sun lighting Jupiter Older Models Hitherto growing complications perceived clockwork Solar System retrograde motions planets Mars greatly simplified Renaissance times Looking observation thinking theory combined build objective mental models deduced ancients testing vital process inquiry The 16th century Polish cleric Nicholas Copernicus recognized heliocentric Sun centered model improved harmony tangled geocentric Earth centered models proposed Greeks Romans Despite support empirical data mathematical underpinning 17th century scholars German Johannes Kepler Englander Isaac Newton Copernican model wasn easy accept years Heliocentricity rubbed grain previous logic violated religious teachings time Above relegated Earth noncentral undistinguished location Solar System Universe Earth planets Although realize Renaissance workers correct prove contemporaries centered Sun Earth moves Unambiguous proof mid 19th century German astronomer Friedrich Bessel observed stellar parallax yearly fro artificial motion nearby star caused Earth real motion Sun Heliocentricity Solar System verified repeatedly years increasing number experimental tests culminating expeditions robot space probes toured Sun centered planetary Initial motivation heliocentric model simplicity mind eye Heliocentricity natural explanation observed facts geocentric model Even today scientists guided simplicity symmetry beauty modeling aspects Universe Those models science measure elegance closer reality complicated wrong Development eventual acceptance heliocentric model awesome milestone thinking human beings Discovering framework planetary freed Earth centered view Universe enabled realize planets orbiting Sun Surprisingly century American astronomer Harlow Shapley bold step turn proving resident suburbs Milky Way Sun centralized unique special The test mediocre niche Universe Among observed properties Solar System stand boldly Each planet isolated space bunched planets reside roughly Sun neighbor implying geometric harmony kind order elegance alluded earlier The orbits planets perfect circles exception Mercury noticeable elliptical orbit surely caused innermost planet proximity neighboring tidally wrenching Sun The orbits planets lie plane Earth plane called ecliptic planes swept planets orbits aligns arc degrees excepting Mercury planets shape flat disk The direction planets orbit Sun Sun rotates axis counterclockwise terrestrial north virtually angular momentum Solar System planets orbits Sun spin systematized implying high degree unison The direction planets rotate axes mimics Sun spin counterclockwise exceptions Venus spins oppositely retrograde Uranus poles tipped lie plane orbit Most moons revolve parent planets direction planets rotate axes moons Jupiter resemble miniature Solar Systems revolving parent planet roughly plane planet equator evincing unison planetary The Solar System highly differentiated Terrestrial Planets characterized small sizes rocky makeup high densities moderate atmospheres slow rotations moons rings outer Jovian Planets large sizes gaseous makeup densities atmospheres rapid rotations moons rings All observed properties denote high degree order Solar System Although diversity prevails individual planets moons ensemble random assortment objects spinning orbiting Solar System pickup team amassed slow accumulation fashioned interstellar bodies casually captured Sun billions years The architecture Solar System neat tidy ages members uniform result chaotic events haphazard circumstances All signs point single formation product ancient time event billion years comprehensive account properties principal goal astronomers century The Solar System 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