Table of Contents
The word solar system is The Solar System, there is no other name than that, just the same way the name of our planet is called the Earth and nothing less. The name of our moon is the Moon; the Solar system is called SOLAR SYSTEM.
Our solar system is where we live; it is located in an outer spiral arm of the vast Milky Way galaxy. The solar system consists of the Sun (our star) and everything that orbits around it. This includes all the eight planets and their natural satellites (such as our moon), the dwarf planets and their satellites, as well as asteroids, comets and countless particles of smaller debris.
The solar system is the only one known home that supports live, life exists here on earth, however there are other similar systems in the universe, they are referred to as “Planetary systems” or “Exo-planetary systems” Planetary systems most often orbit a star but can also orbit a black hole or star system.
What is Solar System?
The huge universe beyond our vision is referred to the space. The space is so huge that it is very difficult for us to go round it and study it all at once. There are stars, comets, planets, satellites, meteors and other heavenly bodies in the space. The universe comprises of these innumerable celestial bodies.
The solar system includes the sun, its planets and satellites, billions of meteoroids and thousands of comets. The sun is the centre around which all other members of the solar system revolve, it is recognized as a star of the universe. All the activities of the solar system centre on the sun. The solar system is smaller when compared to the vastness of the amazing universe and the Earth is quite insignificant.
The solar system is many billion times larger than the earth in size. The Solar System comprises of various gaseous substances and dust particles. The Gravitational force of the sun makes all the planets, satellites, comets and meteors to rotate around the sun.
The solar systems can also have more than one star; these are called binary star. However, some stars host their own planets, so there are likely tens of billions of other solar systems in the Milky Way galaxy alone.
You might have read or heard people using the word Luna for the Moon, or Terra or Gaia for the Earth, Sol for the Sun and Sol system for the Solar System, all of these are poetic terms and are only used in science fiction stories and are not used by astronomers in scientific writings. Luna, Terra and Sol are just the Latin names, they are only used as official names in some countries where Romance languages are spoken, and are no more official than Moon, Sun and Earth. Even though there are many moons, suns and perhaps other solar systems (since any system containing a star and a planet or a planet-forming disk can be called a solar system), the moon is our Moon and the sun our only Sun. Therefore, it is very important to always use upper case (capital letters) to describe our only one Solar System, Sun and The Moon just to differentiate them from others. The astronomers have never called them any other name other than the common names Moon, Earth and Sun. However, the moon, asteroids, comets and meteoroids are all parts of the solar system the moon orbits planets, while the comets, asteroid and meteoroids orbits the sun. These luminaries are called planets.
Solar System Related Terms
Stars: If you can take a look at the blue and bright night sky, you will see many dots of light twinkling, there are many of such luminaries in the firmament that are called the stars. Stars are types of astronomical objects consisting of a luminous spheroid of plasma held together by their own gravities. The Sun is the neareststarto Planet Earth. Every star has its own light and heat and apart from the ones we able to see in the night, many other stars exist and these appear as a multitude of fixed luminous points in the sky due to their immense distance from Earth. The stars, which appear singly when viewed from the earth, actually exist in groups or clusters which are better referred to as Galaxies or Nebulas. Some stars are hotter than the sun, while some are cooler. Some are larger than the sun while others are smaller; they are very far away from Earth that when you view them, they appear like tiny points of light. However, we can only see a few thousands of stars with our naked eyes, some of these can only be seen from Earth with the help of a powerful telescope.
The Sun: The sun is the largest yellow star in the solar system that is closest to the Earth. The Sun is a yellow colored star of moderate size that stands out among billions of stars in the Milky Way. The Sun has a surface temperature of over 6,0000C; it is much hotter than all the nine planets with an interior temperature of 20,000,0000C. Its diameter is 1.391016millionkm and it has a mass of nearly 1.99 1013 kilograms. The sun is the most important part of the solar system, it gives warmth and produces visible light for all living things to produce and function properly, the earth would have been totally dark without the sun. However, without solar radiation from the sun called insolation all forms life on the earth surface would not have been possible. When it comes to size, the sun is 300, 000 times as big as the Earth and 10 times bigger than Jupiter, the largest planet. The sun is often called the heated star. With the exception of the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Pluto and all other planets have attendant bodies referred to as satellites. The sun is the only body in the solar system that shines with its own light, all other bodies reflects the light of the sun.
Satellites: The gravitational force causes some luminaries to rotate around a planet. These are called satellites. Satellites have no light or heat of their own but reflect the light and heat of the sun or stars. The moon is the only satellite of planet earth. Not every planet have satellite, Mercury and Venus have no satellite. The satellites of the Saturn are the highest in number.
Meteors : These are a bright streak of light in the sky, they are also called “shooting stars” or “falling stars” and are produced by the entry of a small meteoroid into the Earth’s atmosphere. Majority of the meteors are small in size, very bright meteors are known as fireballs. Sometimes in the cloudless night sky, it looks as if a star is running about or a star has just dropped off. This event is known as drop off of a star. These are not actually stars but meteors. Innumerable physical masses float in the space; the gravitational force causes these physical masses to rush towards the earth with a violent speed. When they come in touch with air, the friction with air makes them flare up.
Constellations: Constellations are a number of stars clustered together; these can be seen when looking at the cloudless sky in a dark night. Aconstellationis a group of stars that is considered to form imaginary outlines or meaningful patterns on the celestial sphere, typically representing animals, mythological people or gods or mythological creatures. The astronomers in the past connected every individual constellation with imaginary lines and imagining different figures gave them strange names. For example Great Bear, Orion, Cassiopeia, Little Bear, Canis Major, Eridanus etc.
Galaxies: Galaxies are billions of stars, dusts, huge pool of vapour, gas and dark matter held together by a gravitational force. There are innumerable galaxies in the space. Galaxies are far apart from each other. The Milky Way for instance is a small part of a galaxy.
The Milky Way: The cluster of stars that look like a brightly illuminated long pathway extending from north to south in the dark sky is called the Milky Way. TheMilky Wayis the galaxy that contains our Solar System. A milky way is formed of millions of stars; some scientists take it to be a huge circular region. Some other scientists consider it to be a coiled up hard nebulae. When observing a clear and cloudless night sky in winter, you will notice a long line of translucent and radiant lustre of light with a wide vicinity extended north to south. That is what is referred to as the Milky Way. Our Solar System including the sun is included in one of such Milky Way. The sun for instance is positioned among billions of stars in this Milky Way.
Nebulae: The covering of the dimly lit stars in the space is called the nebulae. Nebulae are visible with the naked eyes or with powerful telescopes. Some of nebulae are full of gaseous bodies; they have strong forms. These are called gaseous nebulae. The scientists think that many nebulae are far away from our milky way. One nebula may contain billions of stars. Since the nebulae are billions and billions of light years away from the earth, the stars between them cannot be identified separately. The Milky Way for instance is in the same plane with the nebulae.
Comets: Acometis bright, icysmall Solar System object with a long tail that travels around the sun. Whenever this passes round the sun, it gets warm and begins to release gases, a process calledoutgassing. Comets produce a visible atmosphere orcoma and sometimes atail. These phenomena occur due to the effects ofsolar radiationand thesolar windacting upon the nucleus of the comet.
Asteroids: There are many little luminaries in space and all these luminaries have a diameter ranging from 1.6 kilometres to 805 kilometres, they are called Asteroids. Asteroidsare small, airless rocky worlds especially those of the inner Solar System that revolve around the sun. Because they are very small in size, they cant be called planets. Asteroids are also called space rocks. The Scientists have identified the orbits of thousands of Asteroids and all these remain in a group, hence called Asteroids. The larger ones are called planetoids.