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Solar system


In astronomy, the Solar System is the Sun and the objects that orbit the Sun. These are a planetary system of eight planets and various secondary bodies, dwarf planets and small Solar System objects that orbit the Sun directly, as well as satellites (moons) that orbit many planets and smaller objects like asteroids and comets

The Solar System formed 4.6 billion years ago from the gravitational collapse of a giant molecular cloud. 

The vast majority of the system's mass is in the Sun, with most of the remaining mass contained in Jupiter. 

The overall structure and scale of the solar system. image: wikipedia

The four smaller inner planets:

Are also called the terrestrial planets, are primarily composed of rock and metal. 

The four outer planets, called the gas giants, are substantially more massive than the terrestrials. 

The two largest, 

are composed mainly of hydrogen and helium. 

The two outermost planets

are composed largely of substances with relatively high melting points (compared with hydrogen and helium), called ices, such as water, ammonia and methane, and are often referred to separately as "ice giants". 

All planets have almost circular orbits that lie within a nearly flat disc called the ecliptic plane.