Q:

What is the name of the smallest planet in our solar system?

A:

Only a little larger than Earth's moon, Mercury is the smallest of the eight planets in the Solar System and is also the closest to the Sun. With a surface area of 28,879,000 square miles, Mercury's circumference at its equator is 9,525.1 miles.

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In contrast, the Solar System's largest planet, Jupiter, has a surface area of 23,713,907,537 square miles and an equatorial circumference of 272,945.9 miles. For many years, Pluto was considered the system's smallest planet, but it was demoted to dwarf planet status in 2006. The planets in order of size from smallest to largest are Mercury, Mars, Venus, Earth, Neptune, Uranus, Saturn and Jupiter.

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  • Q:

    What is the smallest planet in the solar system?

    A:

    The smallest planet in the solar system, according to the International Astronomical Union's classification, is Mercury, with a radius of approximately 1,516 miles, which is 38 percent the size of Earth. The next smallest is Mars, with a radius of approximately 2,460 miles, or 53 percent the size of Earth.

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  • Q:

    What planet has the longest year?

    A:

    As the furthest orbiting planet in the Solar System, Neptune has the longest year, taking 164.8 Earth years to complete a single orbit of the Sun. Prior to its reclassification as a dwarf planet in 2006, Pluto was the planet with the longest year, equal to about 248 Earth years.

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  • Q:

    What is the order of the planets?

    A:

    Beginning with the planet closest to the Sun and moving outward, the order of the planets is Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Before its reclassification as a dwarf planet by the International Astronomical Union in 2006, Pluto was considered the ninth and most distant planet.

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  • Q:

    What is our solar system called?

    A:

    The planetary system, containing Earth, is officially named the "Solar System," which consists of the Sun and its orbiting objects. PlanetsOfTheSolarSystem.net explains that the Sun does not have a scientific name, but is alternately called "Sol," based on Roman mythology. The name "Solar System" derives from the ancient Roman alternative.

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