Q:

What does "solar system" mean?

A:

Quick Answer

The term "solar system" refers to the sun and all the bodies that are caught in its gravitational field. This includes the eight planets, several dwarf planets, the moons and a variety of asteroids and comets.

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What does "solar system" mean?
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Full Answer

The eight planets of the solar system in order of their distance to the sun are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. The three largest dwarf planets include Pluto, Eris and Ceres.

Pluto was originally classified as a ninth planet, but this changed in 2006 when the International Astronomical Union (IAU) stopped recognizing Pluto as a planet and downgraded it to a dwarf planet.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the weight of Pluto?

    A:

    Pluto does not have a weight, because weight is a force exerted by one gravitational body on another gravitational body. The dwarf planet Pluto has a mass of 1.31 x 10^22 kilograms, and it's weight would depend on the acceleration at the surface of another planet.

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  • Q:

    What is a white hole?

    A:

    A white hole is a point in space that expels matter just as powerfully as a black hole vacuums matter in. It is a hypothetical opposite of a black hole, but, as of 2014, it is only considered a plausible theory.

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  • Q:

    What are black holes made of?

    A:

    A black hole is not, strictly, made of anything in the conventional sense. Black holes are so exotic that they defy commonsense ideas about matter. While an object such as Earth can be described in terms of its atoms and molecules, the unchecked gravity of a black hole shreds atoms until what remains is describable only as a quantum singularity.

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  • Q:

    How did the solar system form?

    A:

    The formation of the solar system began with the creation of the sun after an exploding supernova caused spherical accumulation of dust particles and gas in a huge swirling cloud called nebula. Planets and other components of the solar system formed in the flat plane of the rotating disc of dust.

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