Solar System

Published : 01-01-2015 by : Sanjaya Behera

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This article is about the Sun and its planetary system. For other systems, see planetary system and star system. For a list of physical and orbital statistics for the Solar System's largest bodies, see List of gravitationally rounded objects of the Solar System.

The Solar System consists of the Sun and its planetary system of eight planets, their moons, and other non-stellar objects.[b] It formed 4.6 billion years ago from the collapse of a giant molecular cloud. The vast majority of the system's mass is in the Sun, with most of the remaining mass contained in Jupiter. The four smaller inner planets, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars, also called the terrestrial planets, are primarily composed of rock and metal. The four outer planets, called the gas giants, are substantially 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". All planets have almost circular orbits that lie within a nearly flat disc called the ecliptic plane.

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