Our solar system consists of a sun, eight planets, satellites, dwarf planets, asteroids, meteoroids, and comets. The eight planets are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Earlier it had nine planets. However, Pluto, the ninth planet does not meet the latest standards set for the planets. It has now been termed as a dwarf planet thereby increasing the count of the dwarf planets in our solar system to five.
Long and Short Essays on Solar System and Planets
Essay 1 (250 words)
Our solar system was formed billions of years ago. It consists of numerous celestial bodies including planets, satellites, asteroids, comets, meteorites, and a massive star. Our solar system forms a part of the Milky Way Galaxy. Various celestial bodies in our solar system revolve around the Sun directly or indirectly.
The Formation of the Solar System
It is believed that around 4.6 billion years ago, the gravitational collapse of a giant interstellar molecular cloud gave shape to our solar system. A major part of the collapsing mass collated at the center, that formed the Sun. The remaining mass flattened into a protoplanetary disk and formed the planets, satellites and other objects in the solar system. Planet Jupiter, the biggest planet in our solar system, contains a major chunk of the remaining mass.
Our solar system is believed to have evolved substantially since its inception. Many new moons have come into shape from the gases and dust around the planets. Several collisions among the celestial bodies have also occurred and still continue to occur thereby contributing to the evolution of the solar system.
The Discovery of Planets
For thousands of years, astronomers believed that Earth was stationary and formed the center of the universe. It was in the 18th century that the astronomers accepted that Earth orbits around the Sun.
In the 2nd millennium BC, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn were identified by ancient Babylonian astronomers. Later, Nicolaus Copernicus also identified them. Uranus was discovered by famous astronomer, Sir William Herschel in 1781. Neptune was discovered by English astronomer and mathematician, John Couch Adams in the year 1846. It was in the year 1930 that the ninth planet, Pluto was discovered. Astronomer Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto which is now identified as a dwarf planet.
The study of the universe and heavenly bodies is one of the most fascinating studies. Through continuous research, astronomers have found out several surprising facts about the universe and our solar system. Our solar system is ever-evolving and newer facts are being discovered and studied by researchers year after year.
Essay 2 (400 words)
Celestial bodies are objects that naturally occur in the observable universe. These include the stars, natural satellites, planets, asteroids, galaxies, comets, and meteorites. Our solar system consists of a Sun, eight planets their moons, five dwarf planets and asteroids among other celestial bodies. Brief information about each of the celestial bodies present in our solar system is given below.
The Sun is the only star in our solar system. It is stationary and the other objects in our solar system revolve around it. It is the most massive component of our solar system. Research states that it comprises of 99.86% of the entire mass of our solar system.
There are eight planets in the solar system. These are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. The planets have been divided into two groups – Terrestrial Planets and Giant Planets. Planets vary based on their size, geological features, mass, number of satellites and various other factors. No traces of life have been found on any planet apart from Earth.
The Dwarf Planets
There are five dwarf planets in our solar system. These are Pluto, Ceres, Haumea, Eris, and Makemake. While Ceres is situated in the asteroid belt others are located in the outer solar system. Dwarf planets are quite like the full-size planets. The only difference is that the full-size planets have cleared the objects in the area of their orbit whereas the dwarf planets have not.
Astronomers claim that there are six other objects in our solar system that are akin to the dwarf planets. These may be officially recognized as dwarf planets in the times to come.
There are a total of 193 moons in our solar system as per research conducted in the year 2008. Out of these, 185 moons orbit around the full-size planets and 8 moons revolve around the dwarf planets. Moons come in various sizes and shapes. They differ from each other in various ways. Most of the moons are airless. However, there are some that have an atmosphere. Some even have hidden oceans. Each planet has a different number of moons. Earth has just one moon while Jupiter has the highest number of moons. It has a total of 79 moons. Moons orbit around their respective planets.
In addition to the aforementioned, there are many other celestial bodies in our solar system. These include the Interplanetary Medium, Kuiper Belt, Oort Cloud, asteroids and meteoroids. The Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud comprise billions of icy objects. Each celestial body in our solar system is unique with its own set of features.
Essay 3 (500 words)
Our Solar System – A Small Part of the Universe
Our solar system is huge but nothing compared to the size of the universe. The universe is humongous and is believed to encompass numerous solar systems consisting of several planets, stars, and other heavenly bodies. The universe is all space and time and it is not possible to calculate its spatial size. The size of the observable universe is estimated to be 93 billion light-years.
The Galaxies and Solar Systems
Research shows that just like our solar system there are numerous other solar systems in the universe. The universe consists of billions of galaxies. Each of these galaxies has uncountable stars and many of these stars are said to have solar systems of their own. The size of the stars, the number of planets, the geological features of the planets, the number and size of the natural satellites vary from solar system to solar system.
Our solar system is a part of the Milky Way Galaxy. The Milky Way Galaxy is huge. It has more than 100 billion stars. More than 2500 stars with planets orbiting around them have been discovered in the Milky Way Galaxy. The study in this field is going on constantly. There are numerous planetary systems that the scientists and astronomers are yet to discover.
Our Solar System
Our solar system encompasses Sun which is a big ball of fire. Sun is stationary and forms the center of our solar system. Eight planets namely, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune revolve around the Sun. Each of these planets moves in a fixed path in its own set speed. The geological features of each of these planets are different. While Neptune is freezing cold, Venus is scorching hot. Similarly, while Jupiter is massively big, Mercury is comparatively very small in size. The planet is even smaller than some of the moons in our solar system. The atmosphere of each of the planets is different. Planets have been divided into two groups and the features of the planets within each group also vary vastly.
Earth is the only planet in our solar system which is known to have life. It is filled with vast oceans and gases such as oxygen and nitrogen that render life. Mars is said to share some similarities with Earth. Evidence of ice has been found on the planet. The planet is extremely cold and thus life there seems impossible. However, it is believed that the planet was once wet and warm and life existed here. Astronomers are studying this planet closely and have found many interesting facts about the same. These planets have different numbers of natural satellites.
Apart from this, there are five dwarf planets in our solar system. These are Ceres, Haumea, Makemake, Eris, and Pluto. Earlier there were nine planets in our solar system and Pluto was one among them. However, it has now been termed as a dwarf planet.
The Universe is vast and there is a lot to study and discover. Scientists have studied our solar system deeply for centuries and are now moving beyond to study other solar systems and galaxies. A lot of interesting facts about this enchanting universe are likely to surface in the times to come.
Essay 4 (600 words)
Our solar system consists of eight planets that revolve around the Sun, which is central to our solar system. These planets have broadly been classified into two categories – inner planets and outer planets. There are four inner planets, Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars. The inner planets are closer to the Sun and smaller in size as compared to the outer planets. These are also referred to as the Terrestrial planets. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are termed as the outer planets. These are massive in size and are often referred to as Giant planets.
Here is brief information about each of these planets:
The smallest planet in our solar system, Mercury is also the closest to the Sun. Its geological features consist of lobed ridges and impact craters. Being closest to the Sun, Mercury’s temperature sores extremely high during the day time. It can go as high as 450 degrees Celsius. Surprisingly, the nights here are freezing cold.
Mercury has a diameter of 4,878 km. It does not have any natural satellite.
Venus is said to be the hottest planet of our solar system. It has a toxic atmosphere that traps heat. It is also the brightest planet and is visible to the naked eye. It has a thick silicate layer around an iron core which is similar to that of Earth. Astronomers have seen traces of internal geological activity on this planet.
Venus has a diameter of 12,104 km. Just like Mars, Venus also does not have any natural satellite.
Earth is the largest inner planet. Two-third of this planet is covered with water. It is the only planet in our solar system where life is known to exist. Earth’s atmosphere, which is rich in nitrogen and oxygen, makes it fit for the survival of various species of flora and fauna. However, human activities are having a negative impact on their atmosphere.
Earth has a diameter of 12,760 km. It has one natural satellite, the moon.
Mars, the fourth planet from Sun, is often referred to as the Red Planet. The iron oxide present on this planet gives it a reddish appeal. The planet is cold and has geological features similar to that of Earth. This is the reason why it has captured the interest of astronomers like no other planet. Traces of frozen ice caps have been found on the planet.
Mars has a diameter of 6,787 km and two natural satellites.
Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system. It has a strong magnetic field. It largely consists of helium and hydrogen. It has a Great Red Spot and cloud bands. A giant storm is believed to have raged here for hundreds of years.
Jupiter has a diameter of 139,822 km and has as many as 79 natural satellites.
Saturn is known for its ring system. These rings are made of tiny particles of ice and rock. Its atmosphere is quite like that of Jupiter as it is also largely composed of hydrogen and helium.
Saturn has a diameter of 120,500 km. It has 62 natural satellites that are mainly composed of ice.
Uranus, the seventh planet from Sun, is the lightest of all the giant, outer planets. It has a blue tint which is because of the presence of Methane in the atmosphere. Its core is colder than the other giant planets. The planet orbits on its side.
Uranus has a diameter of 51,120 km and 27 natural satellites.
The last planet in our solar system, Neptune is also the coldest of all. It is around the same size as the Uranus but is much more massive and dense. Neptune’s atmosphere is composed of helium, hydrogen, methane, and ammonia. It experiences extremely strong winds. It is the only planet in our solar system which is found by mathematical prediction.
Neptune has a diameter of 49,530 km. It has 14 natural satellites.
Scientists and astronomers have been studying our solar system for centuries and the findings are quite interesting. Various planets that form a part of our solar system have their own unique geological features and are different from each other in several ways.