Solar System

Interesting Facts About The Solar System

The solar system has its own orbit around the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, traveling 514,000 mph, which takes 230 million years to make a complete orbit.

There are eight planets in the solar system: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.  Pluto was reclassified in 2006 as a dwarf planet.

Venus is the hottest planet in the solar system at 842 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mercury is the smallest planet, slightly larger than our Moon, and the closest to the Sun, but because of its atmosphere, it is not the hottest planet.  Hit by asteroids and comets over billions of years, Mercury has the most craters of any planet.

Mars, known as the red planet, is 33.9-47.5 million (depending on its orbit position) miles from Earth and is thought to be the most hospitable to life.  It is around a quarter of the size of Earth.

Jupiter is the largest planet with 23.71 billion square miles of surface area, which is 120 times the size of Earth with 196.9 million square miles of surface area.

Saturn, known for its seven large rings, is the least dense planet in the solar system and has been visited four times by spacecraft.  Saturn has 62 moons, which is second to Jupiter’s 62 moons.

Neptune, the most distant planet from the Sun, is the coldest planet with a surface temperature of -366.6 degrees Fahrenheit.  Neptune is also the windiest planet with wind speeds reaching as high as 1,300 mph.  Neptune has a surface gravity similar to Earth’s.

Referred to as the “ice giant” planet, Uranus is the second most distant planet in the solar system.  Unlike Saturn, its rings rotate vertically.

The Sun is one of 250 billion stars in our galaxy, the Milky Way Galaxy.

The circumference of the Sun is 2,713,406 miles.

The Sun is 25,000 light-years from the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, or 147 quadrillion miles (147,000 trillion).

The Sun’s surface temperature is 9,941 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Sun’s mass takes up 99.86 percent of the mass of the solar system.

Sunlight takes an average of 8 minutes and 20 seconds to travel from the Sun to the Earth.