[GS] [Geography] Solar System, The Sun & The Planets

[GS] [Geography] Solar System, The Sun & The Planets

Members of the Solar System

The Sun

  • The Sun is at the centre of the Solar System.

  • Its size is thirteen lakh times as that of the Earth.

  • It is the nearest star to the Earth.

  • It is an ultimate source of energy for life on Earth.

  • Its diameter is 14 lakh Km.

  • It is composed of 71% Hydrogen, 26.5% Helium and 2.5% other elements.

  • Hydrogen and Helium are the main gases present in the Sun.

  • Within the Sun, hydrogen is converted to Helium due to nuclear fusion releasing a tremendous amount of heat and light.

  • It has a surface temperature of about 6000°C.

  • The temperature at the centre is around 15,000,000°C.

  • Shining surface of the sun is called Photo sphere, it appears like a disc, radiate energy and acts as a source of energy.

  • The outer layer of sun’s atmosphere made up of thin hot gases is called Corona. Corona is visible only during a total eclipse of the sun (or with a special solar telescope called Corona graph).

  • The planet travels with the sun through millions of stars in our galaxy at a speed of about 70,000 km per hour.

  • The Sun is about 150 million Km away from the Earth.

  • Light (at the speed of 300,000 km per second) takes about 8.5 minutes to reach the Earth from the Sun.

The Planets

  • These are opaque bodies which continuously revolve around and are lighted by the Sun.

  • There are eight planets in the Solar system.

  • A ninth planet has been recently discovered by NASA named as Carla.

  • The sequence of planets according to their distance from the Sun is Mercury, Venus, Earth, mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune.

  • The sequence of planets according to their size (in descending order i.e. form big to small ) is Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Earth, Venus, mars, Mercury.

  • Jupiter is the biggest and Mercury is the smallest planets of our system.

Classification of Planets

  • The eight planets have been divided into two groups. All the planets of a particular group have some common feature. ‘Terrestrial planets’ or ‘Rocky planets and ‘Jovian planets’ or ‘Gaseous planets’ (Gas giants) are the two groups of planets.

  • The four planets nearest to the Sun – Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars are called terrestrial planes because their structure is similar to the earth.

  • Other four planets – Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are Jovian planets.

  • Planets are classified into the following two groups inner and outer planets. These are separated by asteroid belt.

  • Pluto is a dwarf planet and its new name is 134340.

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