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Our Solar System: In Order From the Sun

by Mark Hughes

Our solar system consists of a bright yellow star, eight planets, nearly 150 moons, and thousands of smaller objects like asteroids and comets. If you wanted to see all eight planets from the Earth, all you need is a clear night and a pair of binoculars. That is basically how early astronomers observed the heavens before the invention of large land telescopes and then later space exploration itself. The development of orbital telescopes, such as the Hubble Space Telescope, and interstellar probes has enhanced our knowledge of the universe enormously. Follow this slideshow for fantastic images and information about our solar neighborhood.

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The Sun


The star at the center of our solar system is called the Sun, or Sol. It is one star in a galaxy of more than 200 billion stars. The Sun and solar system rotate with the rest of the galaxy at about 175 miles per second. That means it takes about 240 million years for the Sun and our solar system to rotate all the way around the galaxy.

Fun Fact: Scientists predict that in about eight billion years, Earth will be destroyed by the expansion and then death of the Sun.

Photo source: NASA

Next: Mercury

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Provided by Infoplease—an authoritative, comprehensive reference website that offers an encyclopedia, a dictionary, an atlas, and several almanacs. Visit Infoplease.com to find more resources endorsed by teachers and librarians.

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