The planets of the solar system revolve around the Sun due to the force of its gravitational pull. The elliptical orbit of the planets is a result of the Sun's gravity, which acts to pull the planets closer, balanced by the forward momentum of the planets.
The solar system was formed billions of years ago from a large cloud of gas and dust. As this cloud began to collapse under its own gravity, it formed a spinning disk with the Sun located at its center. The planets were created from this accretion disk, forming from particles that began to accumulate until they merged into planet-sized objects. The newly formed planets retained the same rotational inertia as the accretion disk from which the solar system was formed.
There are two opposing forces that determine the orbit of a planet: planetary inertia and the gravitational pull of the Sun. In order to create a stable orbit, these forces must remain perfectly balanced. The Sun is the most massive object in the solar system, and it has the strongest gravitational pull. Without the Sun's gravity, the forward momentum of the planets would carry them into deep space, just as their sideways momentum keeps the planets from falling inward and being consumed by the Sun.Learn More
Dictionary.com defines the adjective "solar" as "of or pertaining to the sun." A second and less utilized definition is "a private or upper chamber in a medieval English house."Full Answer >
Columbia University explains that energy from the sun travels to other planets through electromagnetic waves in a process called radiation. This way, energy can be transferred through empty space without relying on matter.Full Answer >
Solar energy comes directly from the sun. It is light and heat captured from the sun that can be used for heating, electricity, photovoltaic energy and artificial photosynthesis.Full Answer >
Solar winds are caused by variance in the magnetic field of the sun. Certain lines in the magnetic field allow particles to travel outward easily and to pick up speed as they move.Full Answer >