The solar system contains the Sun, planets and other objects such as comets.
The Sun, which forms the centre of our solar system, is the closest star to Earth. It takes just over eight minutes for light from the Sun to reach the Earth.
The 8 planets in the solar system are:
This is the order of the planets, starting with the one closest to the Sun. So, Mercury is closest to the Sun.
An easy mnemonic to remember the order is:
My Very Easy Method Just Speeds Up Naming
Out of the eight planets, there are four rocky planets:
There are also four gas planets:
All of the planets have slightly elliptical orbits, meaning they do not orbit the Sun in a perfect circle. The shape resembles a squashed circle.
Pluto was initially classified as a planet; however, it was later demoted to a dwarf planet. Many scientists believe there could be potentially hundreds of dwarf planets in our solar system.
Planets have strong gravitational fields, allowing them to clear out most other objects from their orbital paths. In contrast, dwarf planets, despite having their own gravitational pull, haven’t been able to fully clear their paths of other objects.