Exploring Our Solar 'Family'
by Dilma Attidekou
The Sun has a family called the Solar System. The family includes the planets Neptune, Saturn, Uranus, Pluto, Mars, Jupiter, Earth, and Venus. All the planets are of different sizes, shapes, and temperatures. However, despite their differences, they all stay in orbit due to the sun’s gravity.
The Sun’s family stays together by gravity. Each planet has its own gravitational force which pulls each other close and makes sure they do not leave their orbit. The 4 planets closer to the sun are dense balls of rock since it’s too hot for anything else to be sustained. The other 4 planets are way bigger and made of gas and liquids. The planet at the end of the Solar System, Pluto, is a solid and icy ball since it is furthest from the sun and doesn’t receive much heat. What makes every planet special is where they’re located in the solar system.
The Earth has one moon and it orbits the Earth while the Earth orbits the sun. Pluto has one moon while Mars has two moons. Mercury and Venus do not have any Moons. In a way, all the large gas planets have their own miniature “solar system.”
Tiny pieces of dust floating in space and near planets are also part of the Sun’s family. Big pieces of rocks are called asteroids while comets come from the edge of the solar system and they go past the Sun before disappearing again. Although asteroids and comets don’t seem as significant as planets, they are all part of the solar system.
The solar system is one big family in the same way that human families consist of different people who are different from one another, yet they all support and help each other.
[Source: 100 Things You Should Know About Space]