What is Solar system: Definition and 307 Discussions

The Solar System is the gravitationally bound system of the Sun and the objects that orbit it, either directly or indirectly. Of the objects that orbit the Sun directly, the largest are the eight planets, with the remainder being smaller objects, the dwarf planets and small Solar System bodies. Of the objects that orbit the Sun indirectly—the natural satellites—two are larger than the smallest planet, Mercury.The Solar System formed 4.6 billion years ago from the gravitational collapse of a giant interstellar molecular cloud. The vast majority of the system's mass is in the Sun, with the majority of the remaining mass contained in Jupiter. The four smaller inner planets, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars, are terrestrial planets, being primarily composed of rock and metal. The four outer planets are giant planets, being substantially more massive than the terrestrials. The two largest planets, Jupiter and Saturn, are gas giants, being composed mainly of hydrogen and helium; the two outermost planets, Uranus and Neptune, are ice giants, being composed mostly of substances with relatively high melting points compared with hydrogen and helium, called volatiles, such as water, ammonia and methane. All eight planets have almost circular orbits that lie within a nearly flat disc called the ecliptic.
The Solar System also contains smaller objects. The asteroid belt, which lies between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, mostly contains objects composed, like the terrestrial planets, of rock and metal. Beyond Neptune's orbit lie the Kuiper belt and scattered disc, which are populations of trans-Neptunian objects composed mostly of ices, and beyond them a newly discovered population of sednoids. Within these populations, some objects are large enough to have rounded under their own gravity, though there is considerable debate as to how many there will prove to be. Such objects are categorized as dwarf planets. The only certain dwarf planet is Pluto, with another trans-Neptunian object, Eris, expected to be, and the asteroid Ceres at least close to being a dwarf planet. In addition to these two regions, various other small-body populations, including comets, centaurs and interplanetary dust clouds, freely travel between regions. Six of the planets, the six largest possible dwarf planets, and many of the smaller bodies are orbited by natural satellites, usually termed "moons" after the Moon. Each of the outer planets is encircled by planetary rings of dust and other small objects.
The solar wind, a stream of charged particles flowing outwards from the Sun, creates a bubble-like region in the interstellar medium known as the heliosphere. The heliopause is the point at which pressure from the solar wind is equal to the opposing pressure of the interstellar medium; it extends out to the edge of the scattered disc. The Oort cloud, which is thought to be the source for long-period comets, may also exist at a distance roughly a thousand times further than the heliosphere. The Solar System is located in the Orion Arm, 26,000 light-years from the center of the Milky Way galaxy.

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  1. A

    B Terminology for motion in the solar system, ecliptic maybe?

    Just looking for terminology here. If an object moves through the solar system, what is the simplest terminology that relates to how the object moves through the solar system? What are the words for if an object moves towards the sun (radially inwards) away from the sun (radially outwards)...
  2. S

    B How long is the start up time for a simulation of the solar system's formation?

    Was reading about a simulation and there isn't any mention about what amount of time it takes to start and to run. Since they're potentially on a supercomputer, maybe not a long time. I have no idea what to expect though. Do you sit at it like a regular desktop and press play, then it starts...
  3. Parziter

    Solar System Forces -- Simulating the planetary orbits for my project

    TL;DR Summary: Solar sytem forces on Unity Hello ! For my last year in my school, I've got a project to do, and I wanted to recreate the Solar system with forces on Unity. My forces are Velocity and Acceleration (I'm using the Frenet's formulas). I'm sorry I'm not a physicist and that's why...
  4. Hoon Sol

    A Does the invariable plane of the Solar system have axial precession?

    As the title asks, does the invariable plane of the Solar system have axial precession? And if so, how much and at what rate? I have tried to find an answer to these questions for a while now, but still haven't found any. I recently asked on reddit too, which pointed me to some speculation...
  5. Astronuc

    B Ivuna meteorite from edge of solar system to Tanzania?

    Scientists find the source of one of the rarest meteorites to fall on Earth https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/scientists-find-the-source-of-one-of-the-rarest-meteorites-to-fall-on-earth/ar-AA13ejQe Terrestrial modification of the Ivuna meteorite and a reassessment of the chemical...
  6. B

    I Would it be possible for a black hole to have a "solar system"?

    Was just wondering if there is anything fundamentally preventing a system of planets being in permanent orbit around a black hole, without ever spiralling in. Assuming that the black hole doesn't absorb any significant amount of additional mass. Of course I know it wouldn't provide any energy to...
  7. TheJP78

    Building a Solar System simulation with python

    Hey'all. First of all, I'm not fluent in English, so forgive me for the spelling mistakes. So, I'm trying to make a simulation of a solar system using python 3.9. It's not complicated, but my teacher wants me to do it using the Basic Verlet method, and that's what is bugging me. He told me do do...
  8. M

    I Does Space Curvature Account for Gravity Between Individual Atoms?

    I am trying to come to terms with the two concepts of gravity, direct attraction between bodies (say dust even) and attribution to the curvature of space (time) Looking at a physical sea coast I can envisage how every instance of the mass gravitational interactions of individual atoms or smaller...
  9. P

    Escape velocity of solar system

    I'm pretty confused by this but I have a few thoughts. Since the sun takes up most of the mass of the solar system, I was thinking maybe I'm really looking for the escape velocity of the sun? So I would use the mass of the sun for M and the radius of the sun for r. My other thought was to add up...
  10. brochesspro

    I The centripetal acceleration of the planets in our solar system

    Relevant formulae:- Angular velocity in uniform circular motion ##=## ##\omega## ##=## ##\frac {2\pi} t##, where ##t## is the time taken to complete one revolution. Centripetal acceleration in uniform circular motion ##=## ##a## ##=## ##\omega^2r##, where ##r## is the radius of the circular...
  11. G

    B Exploring the History of Calculating Solar System Body SGPs

    does anyone have a good reference on the history of calculating the standard gravity parameters of solar system bodies? My guess is a rough estimate of Jupiter's SGP can be gained from observing the motion of its moons, in which case the first estimates could have been made soon after Newtonian...
  12. S

    I If one of the dimensions of our solar system contracted ....

    ... by a factor of 10, then would it operate exactly the same way as if it did not contract? I ask this because there could be an observer at a sufficient speed for which our solar system contracts by a factor of 10. Wouldn't our solar system and its contents have to behave differently for the...
  13. yucheng

    I Issue with Stellarium: transit of Venus (find the parallax)

    These are the two snapshot (on Stellarium) of the Third Contact between Venus and the Sun at the same time at different locations on Earth. The top image is viewd from Quito, Ecuador, the bottom image is from Harrisburg. I am supposed to determine the parallax. The angles were calculated using...
  14. fresh_42

    I Comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein enters inner solar system

    I start this thread about a comet that probably (hopefully) will be of common interest in the coming months (or years). And, no, Earth orbit will not be affected. https://arxiv.org/pdf/2109.09852.pdf
  15. S

    B Question about the solar system and gravitational forces

    Alright, so I have a question. Now, on planets such as our Earth, there are a longitude and latitude as well as altitude. If I am not mistaken, I believe the latitude and altitude are part of what affects gravity, or weight, on a planet. Latitude makes it so that the object in question is...
  16. G

    I Planetary Formation: Could Collisions Explain Our Solar System?

    I'm very much an amateur with a keen interest in space/the universe and it occurred to me the other day that our solar system could have been formed in exactly the same way that it is hypothesised that the Moon/Earth system formed through the (proposed) collision of Theia and the proto-Earth...
  17. Zeeshan Ahmad

    I Evidence for existence of a 9th Planet in the solar system

    Could the existence of the 9th planet of the solar system is possible under these arguments of existence of it some where in the out scurt of solar system? The evidence for Planet 9 comes from its gravitational pull on other bodies. If the planet exists, its gravity will affect the orbits of...
  18. G

    I Entropy question involving our Solar System

    Which is a higher entropy state: solar system as it is today with planets going around the sun at fixed distances in an orderly fashion OR all the planets and sun bumping into one another and forming a single body? If the entropy of the combined single body is higher, why doesn't the solar...
  19. T

    B Some visuals for Size of Solar System, Galaxy, Universe

    I was cleaning out my email archive after being notified I was out of storage. I decided to keep these. Enjoy. (original at: https://dingo.care2.com/cards/flash/5409/galaxy.swf) This one would be impossible on a phone and slow on a laptop, use a fullsize computer if available. I couldn't...
  20. R

    I Why does entropy grow when a solar system is formed?

    On page 50 of "From eternity to here", Sean Carroll writes that the protostellar cloud had a lower entropy than the solar system it produced. That strikes me as odd. A solar system looks more arranged than a dust cloud. When talking about entropy, someone always mentions the milk in the coffee...

    How fast must Voyager travel to leave the solar system?

    I have read articles about the Voyager probes leaving the solar system (or not) depending on what definition is used. So, another definition - do the Voyagers have sufficient velocity to escape the Sun's gravitati0nal influence?
  22. E

    I Solar System Diameter: Calculating Distances & Multi-Star Systems

    What is the method of calculating the diameter of a solar system knowing each of its planets distance to the star? Is it a matter of doubling the distance of the furthest planet? What about when a solar system has more than one star?
  23. A

    Ship thrust required to move out of the plane of our solar system

    Hello, We know that most celestial objects in our solar system are in the equatorial plane of the sun. So too, does most of our spacecraft orbit in this plane as it explores our solar system. For a spacecraft already traveling away from the sun and towards the outer solar system, how hard...
  24. S

    I Astronomy in a Simple Solar System

    It seems to me that Galileo and his successors benefitted from there being other bodies in the solar system other than the Earth and the Sun to prove that the Earth (and other bodies) orbited the Sun, and not the other way round. In an imagined solar system where the Earth has no moon, and...
  25. T

    Orbit calculations in the solar system (journey to Mars)

    I cannot understand the solution at https://www.aapt.org/physicsteam/2015/upload/E3-2-5-solutions.pdf, because the solution is terse and skip steps (at least i think so). I figured out that the name of this transfer is "Hohmann-Transfer Orbit". A detailed walkthrough would be appreciated. If I...
  26. J

    Stargazing Planetary orbits -- Why do planets orbit at same “level”?

    Why is it that all of the planets in our solar system (to our knowledge) orbit the sun in such a way that they all go around the sun in roughly similar orbital planes? Why don’t we have planets with orbital planes at significantly different angles?
  27. S

    B Does Removing Planets Affect the Sun's Energy?

    If I take away the planets in the solar system and leave the sun alone, would the sun have less energy than before?
  28. T

    Solar System Dynamics page at NASA/JPL

    Stumbled across this and found it interesting. Solar System Dynamics pages at JPL (Jet Propulsion Lab)/NASA. Has Bodies, Orbits, Physical Data, Tools, etc. https://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/?site_map Cheers, Tom
  29. G

    Is Venus the key to economic success in our solar system?

    I am writing a space opera, that is meant to be hard, except some alien magic. So far, i have the following points : asteroid belt is the most valuable for rare material mining, there they live in O Neil cylinders. Travel is done by fusion ships, that can maintain miliG-s of constant...
  30. xpell

    B How hard is it to detect extinct comets?

    Hi! I have read that cometary nuclei have a very low albedo, even lower than coal or asphalt. Because of this, they absorb lots of light and heat rather than reflecting them. So I was wondering how hard is it to detect extinct comets. Could the solar system be full of dead nuclei buzzing around...
  31. ZapperZ

    I Ptolemaic Model of the Solar System

    OK, this is more on history of astronomy than anything else. I hope someone has an insight on how they were thinking of things back then. The Ptolemaic model of the Solar system, i.e. the Geocentric model, placed Venus inside the sun's orbit around the earth. And to account for the retrograde...
  32. Moises

    I The solar system and the Coriolis effect

    After concluding an investigation about the coriolis effect, I wondered how this phenomenon affected the solar system and in particular the moon. Since the moon is a body that moves within the rotating system formed by the sun and the earth, an apparent deviation in the moon's path would be...
  33. K

    I Does gravity act differently on a Solar System, a Galasy, and the Universe?

    Since acceleration due to Newton's law decreases as the inverse of distance, it becomes very weak at large distances. Our Sun was unable to pull in matter in the Oort cloud in over 4 billion years. Above about 0.11 light years, using modified Newtonian dynamics equations, gravity decreases by...
  34. X

    I Building a solar system simulator

    Hiya Hiya. I'm trying to build a solar system simulator for research purposes, and this does not seem to be all that easy. As in, my firsts tests have the moon shooting out of the solar system... I was wondering if you folks could offer some guidance. So, since it's for research, accuracy is...
  35. Comeback City

    I Angular Momentum in a Solar Nebula

    Hello all! Hope everyone's been doing well! My question relates to the nebular theory of solar system formation. It is generally accepted that via the nebular hypothesis, matter in a nebula contracts on its own gravity and begins to spin, but I'm having trouble understanding why it must begin...
  36. D

    Building a Planet: Considerations for a Habitable Solar System

    I am building a planet that will orbit a sun and I need help My world has 11 planes/asteroids. the planet Le Bear has multiple life forms on it. It takes 378 days to rotate around the sun. My planet has a circumference of 8199.49 miles. there are 12 months of 28 days and then 1 1/2 months of...
  37. Ralph Rotten

    B Juno -- Coolest space ship in the solar system?

    So Juno is on her downhill run towards Jupiter. Only doing about 8k right now, but by the time she rounds Jupiter she'll be doing 100k or more. We are going to get so much science from Juno. Personally I am eagerly awaiting the results of what Jupiter looks like under all those clouds.
  38. Leonardo Muzzi

    B Why can't we see dark matter in the solar system?

    If the distribution of elements in the universe is also the distribution of elements in the solar system for regular matter, and being dark matter so overwhelmingly prevalent in the universe, why can't we see it overwhelmingly in the solar system?
  39. wolram

    B Searching for the Ninth Planet: Solar System Migration

    Does our solar system host a Ninth planet, If so has our solar system under gone planetary migration?
  40. Jozefina Gramatikova

    Python: Simulation of the Solar System and Total energy

    Homework Statement I have a project to make the Solar system on Python, which I have done, but they also require from us to calculate the total energy of the system. We don't have to make the orbits of the planets elliptical, they should be circular and I believe I made them like that. Since...
  41. Jozefina Gramatikova

    Python Simulating Gravitational Interactions in a Particle System

    I have a project to make the solar system. I am trying to start from somwhere. On the notes it says that we need to start by creating a System of Particles Two-body simulation (Circular motion) Implement Gravitational acceleration Each particle (planet) could have its own field. I.e. Each...
  42. shimun

    B Thank you for understanding. Have a great day!

    Hello Dear Ones. 1. How Scientists exactly calculated movement speed of solar system ? thank you very much.
  43. J

    I Harmonic Convergence of Major Planets: Exploring the Solar System Barycenter

    During a harmonic convergence of the major planets does the barycenter ever leave the suns sphere?
  44. BiGyElLoWhAt

    Other Research Proposal For Senior thesis - GR Solar System Model

    Hi All. On Tuesday I have to present my research proposal for my undergrad research. I intend to model our solar system using general relativity and compare and contrast my results with observations. Attached is my paper that I had to submit to my adviser. He suggested that I talk about some...
  45. Toreno

    Calculating orbits of planets in Solar System

    Hi, I am about to write a simple application, simulating in 3D current location of the planets in Solar system. Honestly, I do not know even how to start. Can you please guide me where could I find some good information on planet orbits, current locations and how to make all of the calculations...
  46. S

    I Calculate Voyager trajectory using JPL data

    Hey everyone, I've recently programmed an animated simulation of the main elements (core planets and Sun) of our solar system: by using the initial coordinates from the JPL database, and then calculating the combined gravitational perturbations and the relativistic effects from the Sun...
  47. D

    Is the Relationship Between Energy and Distance Always Direct in Earth Science?

    I know that energy increases with distance, but what is the relationship? What are different ways to measure something decreasing over distance or time. I really don't have the time to help my younger sister do her homework so I need someone to help me explain to her the relationship concerning...
  48. M

    I Orbit simulations, tidal forces and planetary oblateness

    How does one correct for tidal forces when (classically) simulating the orbits of solar system bodies?
  49. wolram

    B How did Jupiter and Saturn disrupt our solar system

    This article suggests that exoplanets are the same size and have equal orbital spacing ,so what is different from our solar system. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180109141918.htm An international research team led by Université de Montréal astrophysicist Lauren Weiss has...
  50. wolram

    B Can the Solar System's Chaos Lead to Earth's Sudden Demise?

    Can anyone predict where the planets will be in 1 million years time, could the Earth be kicked out of orbit a far quicker way to die than waiting for the sun to go nova?