Related topics: planets · nasa · earth · orbit · asteroid

Organic solar cells that last 10 years in space

Scientists from the Skoltech Center for Energy Science and Technology, the Institute for Problems of Chemical Physics of RAS, and the Department of Chemistry of MSU have presented solar cells based on conjugated polymers ...

Five reasons future space travel should explore asteroids

On the same day that the Earth survived an expected near-miss with asteroid 367943 Duende, Russian dashcams unexpectedly captured footage of a different asteroid as it slammed into the atmosphere, exploded, and injured more ...

The mission of a lifetime: a drone on Titan in 2034 (Update)

Elizabeth Turtle was overjoyed when, on June 26, she received a call from NASA: her project to send a drone quadcopter to Titan, Saturn's largest moon, was given the green light, which came with a budget of nearly a billion ...

Video game designer establishes lab for renewable energy

A Dutch video game designer and entrepreneur has established a laboratory on the Big Island that is focused on developing alternatives to fossil fuels for energy, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported.

Gaia's asteroid discoveries

Animated view of more than 14 000 asteroids in our Solar System from the catalogue in the second data release of ESA's Gaia satellite, published in 2018.

NASA's TESS mission finds its smallest planet yet

NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has discovered a world between the sizes of Mars and Earth orbiting a bright, cool, nearby star. The planet, called L 98-59b, marks the tiniest discovered by TESS to date.

Plant seeding and panspermia

The first detection of an interstellar asteroid/comet-like object visiting the Solar system two years ago has sparked ideas about the possibility of interstellar travel. New research from the Technion–Israel Institute of ...

The extreme technology transforming space engineering

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first Apollo moon landing. This was possible thanks to an extraordinary acceleration of space technology. Within a remarkably short period of time leading up to the event, engineers ...

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Solar System

The Solar System[a] consists of the Sun and those celestial objects bound to it by gravity, all of which formed from the collapse of a giant molecular cloud approximately 4.6 billion years ago. The Sun's retinue of objects circle it in a nearly flat disc called the ecliptic plane, most of the mass of which is contained within eight relatively solitary planets whose orbits are almost circular. The four smaller inner planets; Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars, also called the terrestrial planets, are primarily composed of rock and metal. The four outer planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, also called the gas giants, are composed largely of hydrogen and helium and are far more massive than the terrestrials.

The Solar System is also home to two main belts of small bodies. The asteroid belt, which lies between Mars and Jupiter, is similar to the terrestrial planets as it is composed mainly of rock and metal. The Kuiper belt (and its subpopulation, the scattered disc), which lies beyond Neptune's orbit, is composed mostly of ices such as water, ammonia and methane. Within these belts, five individual objects, Ceres, Pluto, Haumea, Makemake and Eris, are recognised to be large enough to have been rounded by their own gravity, and are thus termed dwarf planets. The hypothetical Oort cloud, which acts as the source for long-period comets, may also exist at a distance roughly a thousand times beyond these regions.

Within the Solar System, various populations of small bodies, such as comets, centaurs and interplanetary dust, freely travel between these regions, while the solar wind, a flow of plasma from the Sun, creates a bubble in the interstellar medium known as the heliosphere, which extends out to the edge of the scattered disc.

Six of the planets and three of the dwarf planets are orbited by natural satellites, usually termed "moons" after Earth's Moon. Each of the outer planets is encircled by planetary rings of dust and other particles.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA