The Solar System, Planets, and Stars

The Sun

  • The gravity center of the entire solar system
  • The closest star to Earth
  • Its mass is approximately 99.87% of the mass of our entire system
  • Constant thermonuclear reaction provides light, heat, and radiation

The Sun is a typical G-class star, about 150 million kilometers from Earth. The distance and the angle toward it determine the time of the season and the climate on Earth. In a few billion years, it will increase in volume and change its temperature.


  • The closest planet to the Sun
  • The most elongated orbital rotation around the Sun
  • Lacks a full-fledged atmosphere
  • One of the least studied planets

Due to the closeness to the Sun and its huge temperature, exploring the planet is very difficult. The only rocky planet in our system with its magnetic field besides Earth, though a hundred times smaller. The temperature difference on the surface can be from very low to very high.


  • Diameter almost equal to Earth’s
  • Has a dense, cloudy atmosphere of carbon dioxide
  • Pressure at the surface is equivalent to 90 atmospheres
  • No magnetic field, surface temperature greater than 470° C.

The Venusian year is shorter than the local day, as the planet revolves around its axis more slowly than around the Sun. Long considered an option for colonization because of the potential presence of water (Kruijer et al., 2020). According to some theories, Mercury may have once been its satellite.


  • Lithospheric plates on the surface are constantly in motion
  • More than 70% of the planet is water
  • Atmosphere extends up to 10,000 kilometers
  • Unique magnetic field thanks to the molten iron core

The movement of tectonic plates shapes the landscape; the percentage of water increases due to climate change and melting glaciers (Kollmeier & Raymond, 2019). With a large radius of the atmosphere, most of it is contained up to a few kilometers from the planet’s surface. The magnetosphere is the main reason for the planet’s current state, suitable for life.


  • Gravity is 37% of Earth’s
  • Magnetized portions of the crust reveal the planet’s magnetic field in the past
  • Temperature regime is closest to Earth’s.
  • Lots of ice and carbon dioxide

Mars is slightly larger than Mercury but much smaller than Earth or Venus. It is the most researched planet in our system. It has the largest volcanoes of any planet in the system. It has an asymmetric shape, which may indicate that it was columnar at the beginning of the system’s formation (Nesvorný et al., 2018).


  • The largest planet in the solar system
  • Consists of hydrogen and helium
  • Has at least 69 satellites.
  • Has a faint ring system of cosmic dust

Jupiter has no solid surface, but according to many scientists, hydrogen takes on metal properties under pressure and forms around a rocky core. Contrary to myth, Jupiter is not a potential star-it would need to weigh at least 13 times as much to become a brown dwarf (Kruijer et al., 2020). Nevertheless, it emits more energy than it receives from the Sun.


  • The most faraway planet visible to the naked eye
  • Almost thirty earthly years are a year of Saturn
  • The least dense planet.
  • Has rings of water ice particles

The formation of the Saturn rings most likely contributed to the destruction of one of the satellites. Because of its lowest density, it has a flattened shape, and the difference in diameter along the equator and the poles is ten thousand kilometers.


  • Unique axis of rotation, perpendicular to the other planets
  • Has only two seasons: summer and winter
  • The coldest planet, with temperatures down to -224° C
  • Has 13 rings, left over from a destroyed satellite.

One of the most distant and mysterious planets, with a rocky core with ammonia ice and a gas shell. The planet’s color is provided by glaciated methane and ammonia in the atmosphere. The planet’s rotation is in the format of a bowling ball rotation.


  • The most distant planet in the solar system
  • One revolution around the Sun – 164 Earth years
  • An ice giant 17 times larger than Earth
  • Has five reddish rings

The planet was found due to mathematical calculations because of the deviation of Uranus from the calculated position. It emits nearly three times as much energy as it receives from the Sun and has winds reaching supersonic speeds. Scientists have not yet defined the source of internal heat.


  • Its orbit differs in inclination from all other planets
  • Was included and removed from the list of planets
  • Smaller in size than the Moon
  • Has five satellites

This planet was excluded by chance, as it is very far away and small in size. Despite its size, it has an atmosphere of nitrogen and methane. Under the influence of sunlight is formed a blue haze at the height of up to 200 kilometers.

The Moon

  • Fifth place among the satellites of the solar system
  • It faces Earth with one side
  • In the past had a stronger magnetic field than Earth’s
  • Causes the flow of the tide

The Moon is one of the biggest satellites in the solar system. Its importance for the current conditions on the planet is very high. Only a few people have set foot on its surface. Most of the satellite is covered by craters from the impacts of other space objects.


  • Saturn’s largest satellite
  • Has a dense atmosphere
  • Has rivers and lakes of liquefied ethane and methane
  • It rains methane

This satellite is interesting because it is large and has an ocean of very salty water with an admixture of ammonia. Scientists speculate the existence of methane-producing bacteria. The weight of this satellite represents most of all Saturn’s satellites.

The composition of the planets themselves and their atmospheres

  • The system was formed over 4 billion years ago
  • Abundance of heavy metals
  • The whole system revolves around the center of the galaxy
  • Only Earth, Venus, and Titan have dense atmospheres

Some planets in the solar system are rock formations, and some are gas giants, theorized to have rock-metal cores. In terms of the presence of water, the Earth is surpassed only by the satellites of Jupiter – Europa (Schörghofer & Hsieh, 2018).

Climatic conditions

  • Extremely high or low temperatures
  • Extremely high atmospheric pressure
  • Lack of atmosphere or poisonous atmosphere
  • Presence or absence of a magnetic field

Most planets in the solar system do not have a magnetic field of their own. Since this factor is essential for forming atmospheres and other things, the likelihood of life or colonization is minimal in such a case.

Satellites of celestial bodies in the solar system

  • The largest satellite is Ganymede, a satellite of Jupiter
  • The most unusual relief is Miranda, the satellite of Uranus
  • Callisto, Jupiter’s satellite with no geologic activity
  • Io, the most volcanized satellite, Jupiter

There are a considerable variety of satellites in the solar system. Many have special features, and some are even larger than certain planets in our system.


Kollmeier, J. A., & Raymond, S. N. (2019). Can moons have moons?. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, 483(1), L80-L84.

Kruijer, T. S., Kleine, T., & Borg, L. E. (2020). The great isotopic dichotomy of the early Solar System. Nature Astronomy, 4(1), 32-40.

Nesvorný, D., Vokrouhlický, D., Bottke, W. F., & Levison, H. F. (2018). Evidence for very early migration of the Solar System planets from the Patroclus–Menoetius binary Jupiter Trojan. Nature Astronomy, 2(11), 878-882.

Schörghofer, N., & Hsieh, H. H. (2018). Ice loss from the interior of small airless bodies according to an idealized model. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 123(9), 2322-2335.

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