Our solar system was created over 4.6 billion years ago the collapse of a giant molecular cloud. The sun formed in the center of the system, out of the center mass of the molecular cloud while the other planets were formed on a flat disk of dust found around the sun.
This is pretty much common knowledge about our solar system but what other interesting facts are there? Be sure to find out in this top 9 things you probably didn’t know about our solar system.
Pluto is no longer considered a planet and it is smaller than the United States, a huge amount of our solar system’s mass is contained inside the sun and the hottest planet in our system is not the closest planet to the sun.
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1. Almost 99.86% of our solar system’s total mass is found inside the sun while the rest is contained by the other eight planets found in our solar system.
2. Pluto was considered a planet since its discovery in 1930 until 2006 when scientists have decided it was too small to be considered a planet and called it a “dwarf planet” instead.
3. The United States measures about 2,900 miles across if you measure it from Northern California to Maine. Pluto measures approximately 1,400 miles across which makes USA twice the size of the tiny dwarf planet.
4. Mercury is the closest planet to the sun so many people think that Mercury should be the hottest planet in our solar system. However, what they do not take into consideration while assuming that is the fact that Mercury has no atmosphere. On the other hand, Venus, the second closest planet to the sun in our solar system not only has an atmosphere but it is also made out of carbon dioxide which is the number one greenhouse gas. Given all these facts, Venus has the atmosphere necessary to “trap” the sun’s heat and the necessary gas to attract it so Venus is actually the hottest planet in our solar system, with temperatures of over 875 degrees Fahrenheit.
5. The sun’s atmosphere goes way beyond the borders of our planet and it is actually the cause of the Northern and the Southern Lights. Given the fact that also Jupiter, Uranus, Saturn and even Neptune experience auroras the sun’s atmosphere is supposed to extend on almost 10 billion miles around it. This is why you can say that we actually live “inside” the sun.
6. Alongside Pluto, our solar system contains four other dwarf planets: Ceres, Eris, Haumea and Makemake.
7. We experience tides on the surface of the Earth because of the moon. The Moon is our only natural satellite and due to the gravitational force it exerts on our planet while the Earth rotates, it cause tides around the world.
8. Earth is the only planet in our solar system which was not named after a Roman God. During ancient times, only Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn and Venus were visible with the naked eye and they were all named after Roman gods. When scientists were able to notice Neptune and Uranus also as part of our solar system, they named them after Roman gods as well.
9. Jupiter is believed to have the biggest ocean in our solar system. Given the fact that Jupiter is almost entirely made out of hydrogen and helium and due to its mass, the laws of physics apply and Jupiter should have a gigantic liquid hydrogen ocean close to its core. Through computer modeling, scientists have discovered that the said ocean should be located about 40,000 km deep inside the planet.
This was our top 9 list of interesting facts you need to know about our solar system. Which one do you find most interesting?