The Solar System created approximately 4.6 billion years ago, consists of the Sun and other objects such as planets, asteroids, meteoroids, comets and moons that rotate around it.

  • The Solar System includes eight planets. The inner planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars, also known as the “terrestrial planets” are made of rock and metal. The outer planets: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, also known as the “gas giants” are composed of helium, hydrogen and other gases. Besides them, there are five dwarf planets such as Pluto, Eris, Makemake, Ceres and Haumea.
  • Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun, but it’s not the hottest. With 470 degrees Celsius, Venus is the planet with the highest average temperature in the Solar System.
  • The Caloris Basin on Mercury with 1,550 kilometers in diameter is one of the biggest impact basinsin the Solar System formed when 100 km wide object crashed into the planet surface with over 512,000 kilometers per hour.

Surprising Facts about the Solar System

  • With a height of 27 kilometers, the Olympus Mons on Mars is the biggest Volcanic Mountain in the Solar System. It looks fascinating compared to the Mount Everest on Earth with 8.5 kilometers high.
  • Martian rocks have been found on Earth when analyzing meteorites in Antarctica and Sahara Desert. There are assumptions that the meteorites have been blasted away from Mars when larger meteoroid impact on Mars or by a massive volcanic eruption.
  • Between Mars and Jupiter lies an asteroid belt composed of a large number of asteroids with irregular shape.
  • Saturn has very low density and if put in water it would float.
  • Pluto with 2,250 kilometers across is smaller than the United States. The greatest distance across the United States is around 4,670 kilometers from Northern California to Maine.
  • Pluto needs 248 Earth years to orbit around the Sun.
  • The Great Comet of 1843 with tail over 800 million kilometers (it’s the same distance as between Earth and Jupiter) is the comet with largest tail ever recorded.
  • In the past people believed that Earth is the center of the Universe before the astronomers like Nicolaus Copernicus, Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei and Isaac Newton explained that the Sun is the center of the Solar System and the other objects orbit around it.