100+ Facts about our Solar System
There are many things that few people know about the solar system, in this article we will introduce you further more to the solar system with a few facts, so lets start.
1. According to research, our solar system formed around 4.6 billion of years ago from the gravitational collapse of a giant molecular cloud.
2. Our Sun takes 240 million years to complete one orbit around the galactic center.
3. Since our Sun was formed, it completed nineteen orbits around the galactic center.
4. Our star, the Sun, rotates counterclockwise.
5. The surface temperature of our Sun is about 5505º Celsius.
6. Since its formation, our Sun has used up about half of the hydrogen in its core.
7. The vast majority of the solar systems mass is within the Sun over 99 percent, while the remaining mass is contained on Jupiter.
8. Jupiter’s magnetic field is about fourteen times stronger than Earth’s.
9. Jupiter’s gigantic storm is one of the biggest mysteries of astronomy, scientists have almost no information about it. It is a mystery what powers it, what caused it and why its…red.
10. The great red spot on Jupiter is in fact a anti-cyclonic storm that started some 300-400 years ago.
11. The solid objects of the solar system; planets, moons, etc., comprise 0.0001% of the Solar System’s total mass.
12. Even though our Sun is gigantic, it is relatively small when compared to VY Canis Majoris; a red hyper-giant located in the constellation Canis Major. If it would be placed in our Solar System, its surface would extend beyond the orbit of Jupiter. It is estimated to be 1,000,000,000 bigger than our Sun.
13. Jupiter saved the Earth. Lexells Comet was traveling towards Earth following a trajectory that would make it impact our planet. Due to the extreme gravitational pull that Jupiter has, the comet was pulled towards the planet.
14. Our Sun is composed of roughly 98% hydrogen and helium.
15. We practically live WITHIN the Sun; The Sun’s outer atmosphere extends far beyond its visible surface, it is enormous. Earth orbits within this delicate atmosphere.
16. Practically a million of Earths’ could fit into the Sun.
17. The distance from the Sun to Earth is one Astronomical Unit.
18. The Heliosphere which is the Sun’s outer atmosphere is believed to extend to around 100 Astronomical Units; One Astronomical Unit equals 92,955,807.5 miles or 149,597,871 kilometers.
19. Scientists suggest that the limit of the Heliosphere, referred to as Heliopause is located approximately fifteen billion kilometers from our Sun.
20. Scientists believe that the Sun’s atmosphere extends billions of kilometers downwind, as they believe Sun’s atmosphere has in fact a “teardrop” shape.
21. Compared to the rest of our solar system, the Sun’s mass is only one trillionth of a percent of the entire volume of our Solar system.
22. Astronomers propose that within our solar system are more than ten thousand objects that may be large enough to have been rounded by their own gravity.
23. In the Universe, our solar system is located in the Orion arm, located around 26,000 light years away from the center of the Milky Way.
24. There are eight planets in our solar system.
25. The moon is the closest astronomical object to Earth.
26. Out of the eight planets in our solar system, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars are made out of rock and metal.
27. Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune and Saturn are mostly made out of hydrogen and helium.
28. Neptune has the fastest winds in our Solar System; The winds on Neptune can reach up to 1304.88 miles per hour, scientists have yet to determine the reason.
29. Uranus is the coldest place in our solar system with temperatures that can drop to -224º Celsius.
30. Jupiter is the fastest planet in our Solar System. It takes Jupiter little under ten hours to complete a full rotation around its axis.
31. Comets are usually referred to as “Dirty Snowballs” because of their composition, ice and rock.
32. There are 176 known natural satellites that orbit planets in our solar system out of which 168 moons orbit full size planets. 8 moons orbit dwarf planets.
33. Jupiter is the planet that has the most moons; a total of 63 confirmed satellites have been discovered.
34. Jupiter, being the largest planet in our solar system is believed to have the largest ocean; scientists believe that it is about 40,000 km deep.
35. Researchers have discovered several objects that orbit the sun that are located considerably further than Pluto.
36. The Kuiper Belt is one of the two reservoirs of cometary material extending over fifty astronomical units.
37. The Oort comet cloud is believed to extend to 50,000 Astronomical Units from the Sun.
38. The Oort cloud is believed to contain TRILLIONS of icy bodies.
39. At the outer edge of the Oort cloud, objects are believed to have more gravitational influence from nearby stars than from the Sun.
40. Saturn could actually “float”, well at least partially, since the overall density of Saturn is 0.69 – seventy percent the density of water.
41. Saturn isn’t the only planet that has rings, Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune also poses beautiful rings.
42. Jupiter’s dar rings are composed mostly of dust particles and are thus not easily detected. Researchers even believe that located in these rings are particles ejected by Jupiter’s volcanic moon Io.
43. The ring system of Uranus is very much like Jupiter’s, although the content of Uranus ring system is mostly composed of material that resulted from collisions of relatively small “satellites”.
44. Saturn has another gigantic ring, discovered in 2009, it can only be seen via infrared.
45. Dwarf Planet pluto was actually discovered by accident in 1930 after astronomers noted small and unexpected deviation from the predicted orbit of Uranus and decided to look into this; thus Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto.
46. Pluto was considered the ninth planet of our solar system for seventy six years.
47. Pluto is actually very small; Astronomers estimate that Pluto is just over 2,253 kilometers across, smaller than the United States of America.
48. Even though Mercury is the closest planet to our Sun, it isn't the hottest. Since Mercury does not have an atmosphere, there is nothing that would keep the Suns heat on the planet.
49. The hottest Planet in our solar system is Venus. The second closest planet to the Sun has a very thick atmosphere; scientist calculate it to be a hundred times thicker than Earth’s atmosphere. Because of this, large amount of heat from the Sun are retained on the planet, scientist calculate that the average temperature on Venus is over 468º Celsius.
50. Even though Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun, researchers believe that near Mercury’s poles Ice can be found
51. Venus is the only planet in our Solar System that actually spins in the opposite direction of every other planet.
52. A day on Venus is longer than its year; It takes Venus much more time to rotate on its own axis than to orbit our Sun.
53. Saturn’s moon Titan has a remarkably similar atmosphere to Earth’s atmosphere. Titan’s atmosphere is twenty percent more extensive than Earths atmosphere.
54. Scientists suggest that given the similarities to Earth, may have biologic activity; making it an ideal place to search for life outside Earth.
55. Ganymede, Jupiter’s natural satellite is in fact the largest moon in our Solar system with a diameter of 5,268 km which is 8 percent larger than that of the planet Mercury.
56. The diameter of Ganymede is 2% larger than that of Saturn’s Titan which is the second largest moon.
57. Ganymede has the highest mass of all planetary satellites, with 2.02 times the mass of the Earth’s moon.
58. Ganymede is the only moon in the Solar System known to possess a magnetosphere which is an area of space near an astronomical object in which charged particles are controlled by that object’s magnetic field.
59. Saturn’s moon Mimas is one of the most heavily cratered objects in our Solar System, it also resembles the “Death Star” (the fictional space station known from the film Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope) due to the gigantic impact crater on its surface, a 130 kilometres across.
60. Mimas is the smallest astronomical body that is known to be rounded in shape because of self-gravitation.
61. Asteroid 243 Ida has a satellite orbiting it called Dactyl. 243 Ida is also one of the most cratered objects in the solar system.
62. The largest dwarf planet that orbits our Sun is called Eris, orbiting the Sun at three times the distance of Pluto.
63. Eris was discovered recently (2005), and is the ninth most massive body known to directly orbit the Sun.
64. Eris is estimated to be 27 percent more massive than Pluto but there are uncertainties about its size; to properly calculate it, more research is needed.
65. Dysnomia is the only known natural satellite of Eris, its diameter is estimated to be between 350 and 490 km.
66. Saturn’s moon Hyperion is the largest nos-spherical known moon in our Solar System.
67. In its composition, Hyperion is half as dense as water meaning that it would actually float if placed in water (hypothetically).
68. Researchers believe that Hyperion is actually a fragment of a much larger object that was broken up in the distant past thus obtaining its irregular shape.
69. Hyperions surface contains a large amount of depp, sharp craters that together with its irregular shape, give the moon the appearance of a giant sponge.
70. Ceres is the only known dwarf planet located in the inner part of the solar system and is closer to the Sun than Neptune.
71. It is considered the largest asteroid in the inner part of our solar system.
72. Researchers estimate that Ceres contains an internal ocean of liquid water under its surface.
73. This dwarf planet contains more fresh water under its surface than all of the freshwater on Earth combined.
74. Sedna, a large planetoid is the first dwarf planet discovered in the Oort cloud.
75. In visible light, Sedna is one of the reddest objects in the solar system.
76. Sedna is one of the most distant objects known in the Solar System.
77. Sedna has the longest known orbital period in the Solar System, its orbit takes around 11,400 years to complete.
78. 2012 VP113 is a planetoid that has the largest known perihelion – (closest approach to the Sun). Researchers suggest that 2012 VP113 is about half the size of Sedna.
79. There are four objects in our solar system that have perihelia larger than 47 Astronomical Units; Sedna, 2010 GB174, 2004 XR190 and 2004 VN112.
80. Olympus Mons, located on Mars is actually the largest Volcanic mountain to have been discovered in our Solar System.
81. Mars has water; Scientists have discovered the traces of water on Mars but not in liquid form.
82. Comet Hyakutake is believed to have had the longest ever discovered tail, over 570 million km in length.
83. Uranus is the only known planet in our Solar System that actually rotates on its side.
84. In space no one would actually hear you if you would scream; since there is no air in space, nothing could carry your voice, thus even if you would actually scream or talk, no one would hear you.
85. Researchers have a hard time explaining the Moons of Mars; Deimos and Phobos, some even theorize that these moons were trapped in Mars’ orbit.
86. Phobos will probably crash into Mars. Due to its low orbit, tidal forces are slowly lowering the orbit of Phobos. Scientists calculate that in about 50 million years, this satellite will crash into the red planet.
87. Mercury and Venus are two planets in our solar system that do not have moons.
88. Earth’s moon has water; Lunar water more accurately. Scientists suggest that water in the form of ice can be present in craters on the Moon.
89. Mercury is actually the least explored of the planets in our solar system.
90. There are over 500,000 minor planets that have been discovered and cataloged by the Minor Planet Center.
91. Venus apart of being the hottest planet is also the most dangerous planet since in its atmosphere is filled with sulfuric acid.
92. Even though there is a possibility that hundreds of dwarf planets exist in the Kuiper belt, the International Astronomical Union has only accepted four: Pluto, Eris, Haumea, and Makemake.
93. Researcher estimate that around 50 tons of space rock and dust fall on Earth each day.
94. One day on Mercury equals to 58 days on Earth.
95. The gravity on Earth is actually six times stronger than on the Moon, so you would weigh less on the Moon than on Earth.
96. The magnetosphere is one of the main reasons why life can exist on our planet, diverting harmful radiation from the Sun away from Earth.
97. Astronomers do not understand Saturn’s rings completely, they could be really old; present since the beginning of the solar system, or they could be relatively new… compared to the age of the planet.
98. Astronomers firmly believe that there is a very high chance that there is life on Saturn’s moon, Enceladus.
99. Mars, the planet that is very similar to Earth has the largest dust storms in the Solar system, they can ever last for months and cover the entire planet.
100. There are relatively few stars within ten light years of the Sun, as the closest is the triple star system Alpha Centauri located around 4.4 light years away.
101. Uranus's winter and summer seasons last the equivalent of 21 Earth years.
102. Some asteroids have other asteroids orbiting them.
103. It would take 29 million years for a car travelling 100 miles per hour to reach the nearest star.
104. Only 55% of all Americans know that the sun is a star.
105. Each day the sun causes about one trillion tons of water to evaporate.
106. Every 238 years, the orbits of Neptune and Pluto change making Neptune at times the farthest planet from the sun.
107. The Earth orbits the Sun at a speed of about 108,000 km per hour.
108. A galactic year is 250 million Earth years. This is the time it takes for our solar system to make one revolution around the Milky Way Galaxy.
109. There are over three trillion craters on the moon, with some being having a diameter over three feet.
110. Uranus has 27 moons.
111. Every day, the Hubble telescope transmits enough data to fit 10,000 standard computer disks.
112. Two objects have struck the earth with enough force to destroy a whole city. Each object, one in 1908 and again in 1947, struck regions of Siberia. Not one human being was hurt either time.
113. The only flying saucer launch pad in the world is located in St. Paul, Alberta, Canada.
114. It takes the Hubble telescope about 97 minutes to complete an orbit of the Earth. On average, the Hubble uses the equivilent amount of energy as 30 household lightbulbs to complete an orbit.
115. It takes eight and a half minutes for light to get from the sun to Earth.
116. Astronomers once believed a planet named Vulcan existed between Mercury and the Sun.
117. One Neptune year lasts 165 Earth years.
118. The sun is approximately 75% hydrogen, 25% helium by mass.
119. Mars is the home of Olympus Mons, the largest known volcano in our solar system.
120. A meteor has only destroyed one satellite, which was the European Space Agency's Olympus in 1993.
121. An amazing feature of the Earth is that it has almost 500 volcanoes worldwide. About 80% of the Earth, that which is found above and below the surface, are made of volcanic soil.
122. One of the most interesting facts about Earth is that it used to have a twin planet, named Theia. Some 4.5 billion years ago, a planetary body which was postulated to be large as the planet Mars, shared the same orbit with Earth. A collision between Earth and Theia transpired soon after, which resulted in the formation of the Moon.
123. Aside from the sun as Earth’s main source of heat energy, humans could theoretically survive without the sun’s heat as the planet’s inner core is hot enough to supply energy to its inhabitants.
124. It is estimated that the core temperature is between 5,000 to 7,000 degrees Celsius. It is just as hot as the sun’s surface.
125. There are over one hundred billion galaxies with each galaxy having billions of stars.
126. Neptune was the first planet in our solar system to be discovered by mathematics.
127. Pluto is the only planet in our solar system that has not been visited by a spacecraft.
128. The Great Comet of 1843 had a tail that was over 186 miles long.
129. The Hubble telescope is so powerful that it is like pointing a beam of light at a dime that is 200 miles away.
130. If you were standing on Mercury, the Sun would appear 2.5 times larger than it appears from Earth.
131. Jupiter is the fastest rotating planet, which can complete one revolution in less than ten hours.
132. Since the Earth is also several million miles closer to the sun at that time of the year than in the summer, sunlight striking the moon was about 7% stronger making it brighter. Also, this was the closest perigee of the Moon of the year since the moon's orbit is constantly deforming. In places where the weather was clear and there was a snow cover, even car headlights were superfluous.
133. A full moon is nine times brighter than a half moon.
134. Astronauts are not allowed to eat beans before they go into space because passing wind in a space suit damages them.
135. Earth is the only planet not named after a god.
136. A Red Giant, a kind of exploded star, has a lower density than any vacuum here on earth.
137. A teaspoon of neutron star material weighs about 110 million tons.
138. A typical lightning bolt is two to four inches wide and two miles long.
139. After the sun, the closest star to Earth is 25,000,000,000,000 miles away.
140. 27% of Americans believe we never landed on the moon.
141. A day on the planet Mercury is twice as long as its year.