Q:

How many satellites does the sun have?

A:

There are over a dozen man-made satellites orbiting the sun. Natural satellites orbiting the sun include planets, dwarf planets, asteroids and comets. There are eight planets orbiting the sun, and as of January 2015, six dwarf planets and almost 700,000 comets and asteroids have been discovered.

A satellite is defined as any object in orbit around another object. An object orbiting the sun is said to be in "heliocentric" orbit.

The natural objects orbiting the sun include the eight planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune), the dwarf planets (including Pluto and Ceres), comets and asteroids. The asteroids are mainly found in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Thousands more celestial objects orbit the sun in the Kuiper belt, and comets are hypothesized to come from the Oort cloud.

Space agencies from all over the world have sent satellites into space to study the sun and celestial bodies orbiting it, such as comets. There are also several abandoned satellites and satellites that went into a heliocentric orbit by mistake, such as Luna 1.

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