Q:

Do planets orbit in the same direction?

A:

Quick Answer

All eight planets in the solar system orbit the sun in the same direction and on roughly the same orbital plane. Viewed from a point over Earth's north pole, the planets circle the sun in a counter-clockwise direction.

Know More
Do planets orbit in the same direction?
Credit: Lauren Burke The Image Bank Getty Images

Full Answer

Planets are not the only objects in the solar system to orbit in this counter-clockwise way. Between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, for example, exists a belt of minor planets known as asteroids, nearly all of which follow a similar path around the sun. Outer solar system objects, such as the icy worlds of the Kuiper Belt, also orbit in this way. Comets, on the other hand, arrive in the inner solar system from random angles, suggesting more chaotic orbits among the trillion comets of the Oort Cloud.

Learn more about Planets
Sources:

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is it called when the Earth makes a complete orbit around the sun?

    A:

    When the Earth makes an orbit around the sun, NASA refers to it as a revolution. It takes Earth 365.25 days to make a complete revolution around the sun.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How far are the planets from the sun?

    A:

    The eight described planets all orbit the Sun at different distances; Mercury is the closest planet to the sun, followed by Venus, then Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. The distances of the planets are normally measured in kilometers, because scientists use metric measurements. However, scientists also use a unit called an “astronomical unit,” which is equal to the distance between Earth and the sun.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why do planets stay in orbit ?

    A:

    Planets stay in orbit due to the gravity of the sun. The sun is much bigger and has greater mass compared to planets. This causes the sun to have a greater gravitational pull on planets.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How long is a year on Neptune?

    A:

    One year on Neptune is equal to around 165 Earth years or 60,190 Earth days, which is the amount of time it takes the planet to complete its orbit around the sun. Days on Neptune last about 16 hours, which is 8 hours less than Earth. This is the amount of time that it takes for Neptune to make a complete rotation on its axis.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore