The shape of Earth's orbit is an ellipse, which resembles a stretched circle. Earth's orbit lies on the plane of the ecliptic, an imaginary plane in which the sun and the planets move. Earth revolves around the sun in a period of 365 days.
Earth orbits the sun partly because of its own motion and partly because of the sun's gravity. The formation of the solar system was so forceful it shot Earth out on a path that it would still be traveling on if not for the gravity of the sun. The sun's gravity acts like a giant string and keeps Earth on its elliptical orbit.
Earth does not always orbit the sun at the same distance. Perihelion is the spot where Earth is closest to the sun; aphelion is the place where Earth is farthest from the sun. At aphelion, Earth is approximately 156 million kilometers away; at perihelion, Earth is about 146 million kilometers away from the sun.Learn More
Eris, the dwarf planet whose orbit is beyond Neptune's orbit, has one small moon named Dysnomia. The dwarf planet was first spotted in 2003 and confirmed in 2005.Full Answer >
While the distance between Saturn and the sun varies depending on Saturn's location along its orbit, it averages a distance of 886 million miles from the sun. Saturn is 838 million miles from the sun at the closest point in its orbit and 938 million miles away at its farthest.Full Answer >
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 >
Perturbations in the orbit of the planets Neptune and Uranus point to the existence of Planet X in the region of the proto-planet Pluto. Planet X is beyond Uranus and Neptune and likely resides within part of the sky that hosts the constellations Scorpius or Taurus.Full Answer >