Structural Position of Planets in our Solar System

Information about Structural Position of Planets in our Solar System

Published on August 1, 2014

Author: Saruuu



Structural Position of Planets in our Solar System: Structural Position of Planets in our Solar System Contents: Contents Three way categorization Inner Planets Outer Planets Asteroid Belt Kuiper belt Sedna Oort Cloud Three way categorization: Three way categorization Planets Dwarf Planets Small Solar System Bodies Criteria for a Planet:: Criteria for a Planet: The definition of  planet  set in 2006 by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) states that, in the Solar system, a planet is a celestial body which: is in the orbit around the sun must have enough mass so that gravity pulls it into a nearly round shape must be large enough to "dominate" its orbit (i.e. its mass must be much larger than anything else which crosses its orbit) Dwarf Planets: Dwarf Planets A non- satellite  body fulfilling only the first two of these criteria is classified as a "Dwarf Planets".   Small Solar System Bodies: Small Solar System Bodies A non-satellite body fulfilling only the first criterion is termed a "Small Solar System Bodies" (SSSB).  Inner Planets:   Inner Planets The four smaller inner planets, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars, also called the terrestrial planets, are composed of rock and metal. Outer Planets: Outer Planets The four outer planets, called the gas giants, are more massive than the terrestrials. The two largest, Jupiter and Saturn, are composed mainly of hydrogen and helium; the two outermost planets, Uranus and Neptune, 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" Distances: Distances Planets Distance in Astronomical Units (AU) Mercury 0.39 au Venus 0.72 au Earth 1 au Mars 1.52 au Jupiter 5.2 au Saturn 9.54 au Uranus 19.18 au Neptune 30.06 au 1 au = 150,000,000 km (about 93 million miles) Asteroid Belt: Asteroid Belt   The asteroid belt, lies between Mars and Jupiter, mostly contains objects composed, like the terrestrial planets, of rock and metal. About half the mass of the belt is contained in the four largest asteroids, Ceres, Vesta, Pallas, and  Hygiea . Vesta, Palas , and Hygiea have mean diameters of more than 400 km, whereas Ceres, the asteroid belt's only dwarf planet, is about 950 km in diameter Kuiper belt: Kuiper belt Beyond Neptune's orbit lie the  Kuiper belt.  It is similar to the asteroid belt, but it is far larger - 20 times as wide and 20 to 200 times as massive. The classical belt is home to at least three dwarf planets: Pluto,  Haumea , and Makemake . Sedna: Sedna Sedna is a large trans-Neptunian object it is 937 astronomical units (31 times Neptune's distance) away from Sun, making it one of the most distant known objects in the Solar System. Sedna's exceptionally long and elongated orbit, taking approximately 11,400 years to complete the circle. Oort Cloud: Oort Cloud The Oort cloud is thought to occupy a vast space from somewhere between 2,000 to 5,000 AU.  The outer limit of the Oort cloud defines the cosmographical boundary of the Solar System and the region of the Sun's gravitational dominance. Reference: Reference Solar System Astrophysics by Eugene F. Milone and William J.F. Wilson Advances In Astronomy by J.M.T. Thompson The Dwarf Planets by Michael E. Brown The Kuiper Belt and Oort cloud by Bill Arnett

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