Although our planet is undoubtedly our most immediate sphere of interaction, the reality is that the Earth is part of a much larger system, called the Solar System, and that it is made up of a number of planets of many different characteristics and sizes. How many names of planets in the Solar System do you know? Do you know how to order them by size? What is the largest size? And the minor? These are some of the questions that are often asked about our system, but next we will focus on the size of the planets. So, if you want to know which is the smallest and largest planet in the Solar System, keep reading AgroCorrn and we will tell you about it.
What is a Solar System
The Solar System is the name by which our stellar system is known , that is, our system of planets revolving around our star, the Sun. There are an unspeakable number of solar systems in our universe. These systems, in turn, are grouped into galaxies and, these in turn, into galaxy clusters, which are the largest structures that we have evidence to date.
When we talk about solar systems, we can refer to any star system or our solar system, in which case, we will be talking about the Solar System . Actually, the difference between writing it with a capital or lowercase will depend on whether it is a proper name (Solar System as the name of our own star system), or if it is a common name (Solar system as a synonym for star system) .
Any solar system is made up of at least one star and at least one planet revolving around it. Naturally, this is because, for there to be a system, there must be at least two celestial bodies interacting with each other. On the contrary, if we were only before a star devoid of planets, we would only speak of a star, and not of a star system or a star with a planetary system . However, the most common is to find stars that make up solar systems around them, since they usually have several planets and different bodies such as asteroids or comets crossing their space of action.
How the Solar System is formed
Our stellar system is composed of a star, the Sun , which is classified as a yellow dwarf star , around which a total number of 8 planets revolve (previously Pluto was considered a planet, but the scientific community decided that, due to its characteristics , should not be considered as such, so, in 2006, it determined that it should not be considered as a planet but as a planetoid or dwarf planet). In this way, the Solar System would be made up of the Sun and a total of eight planets, to which we would have to add objects located beyond the orbit of Neptune (such as Pluto).
In addition to these objects, the Solar System is also made up of a great multitude of natural satellites that orbit around their respective planets, as well as other elements such as asteroids and comets. In this sense, it is worth highlighting the asteroid belt , which is a large circumference of asteroids that are distributed in an orbit around the Sun and that is located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, and that possibly constitutes the remains of a planet that did not form at the origin of the Solar System.
What is the smallest planet in the Solar System
The 8 planets that make up the planetary system of the Solar System are, counting from the closest to the most distant from the Sun: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune . Of these planets, both Mercury and Venus, Earth and Mars are the so-called rocky planets , which means that they have a solid surface, similar to Earth, although the characteristics of their atmosphere may be very different. On the contrary, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are the so-called gaseous planets, which means that most of its mass is in the gaseous form. This does not mean that these planets do not have a solid nucleus, as, in fact, most scientists believe. However, this solid core would remain in the background when compared with the set that makes up the gaseous part of them.
In this way, we find that the planets of the Solar System have different sizes and, in the case of our star system, the largest correspond to the gaseous planets, while the smallest would be the rocky planets.
What is the largest planet in the Solar System
The largest planet in the Solar System is Jupiter , which has an equatorial diameter of 142,984 kilometers. In contrast, the smallest planet in the Solar System is Mercury , which has an equatorial diameter of 4,878 kilometers. To give us an idea of these proportions, we can think that the Earth has an equatorial diameter of 12,756 kilometers. Regarding its volume, it can be said that Jupiter is 1,317 times larger than Earth. Whereas, in the case of Mercury, we would be talking about a planet whose mass would have to be added around 16 times to have the same mass as that of the Earth.
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