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Universe and Solar system

Universe includes all the universal bodies and the complete solar family which comprises the sun, moon, planets, comets, planetoids etc. The study of universe is known as Cosmology.

Origin of the universe is explained by the Big Bang Theory, formulated and proposed by Belgian astronomer and cosmologist Georges Lemaitre after his becoming acquainted with the findings of the American astronomers Edwin P. Hubble and Harlow Shapley on the expanding universe. According to the Big Bang was an explosion occurred 15 billion years ago, leading to the formation of galaxies of stars and other heavenly bodies. Since then, all the galaxies have been flying away from each other causing expansion of the universe Light year is the unit of distance that is used in case of measuring distance in universe. It is equal to the distance travelled by light in one year.

Galaxy
A galaxy is a vast system of billions of stars, which also contains a large number of gas clouds (mainly of hydrogen gas) and dust, isolated in space from similar systems. There are about 100 billion galaxies (1011 galaxies) in the universe, and each galaxy has on an average 100 billion stars (1011 stars). So, the total number of stars in the universe in 1022 stars. The Milky Way Galaxy is the home of the Earth and our Solar System. It is spiral in shape.

Star
Clumps of dust and gas in a nebula come together due to their own gravity and form stars. There are millions of stars. Stars are made of hot burning gases. They emit light of their own. They are very large and very hot. Light takes about 4.3 years to reach us from the next nearest star Proxima Centauri.

The Solar System


The Solar System consists of the Sun and the astronomical objects gravitationally bound in orbit around it The earth is a member of a celestial group called Solar system This group comprises of the sun, the eight planets and their satellites (or moons), and thousands of other smaller heavenly bodies such as asteroids, comets and meteors. Initially Pluto was considered as the ninth planet. The sun is at the centre of the solar system all these bodies revolves around sun The planets and other heavenly bodies apart from Sun do not have light of their own. The motion of all the members of the solar system is governed mainly by the gravitational force of the sun. The planet nearest to the sun is Mercury and the planet farthest from the sun is Neptune. Sun accounts for almost 99.9% of the matter in the whole solar system. Sun is the source of all the energy in the solar system, it is composed of 71% Hydrogen, 26.5% Helium and 2.5% other elements

The main source of energy in the sun is nuclear fusion of Hydrogen. 0 0 It has a surface temperature of about 6000 C and the temperature at the centre is around 15,000,000 C. The Sun is about 150 million kms away from the Earth. 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. from big to small) is Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Earth, Venus, Mars, Mercury Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars are called terrestrial planets, because their structure is similar to the earth The four inner or terrestrial planets have dense, rocky compositions, few or no moons, and no ring systems. The four smaller inner planets, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars, also called the terrestrial planets, are primarily composed of rock and metal. have large number of natural satellites The two largest, Jupiter and Saturn, are composed mainly of hydrogen and helium; the two outermost planets, Uranus and Neptune, are composed largely of ices, such as water, ammonia and methane, and are often referred to separately as "ice giants".

Facts about Planets


Mercury
Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun. Mercury is an extremely hot planet. The planet has no water on it and no satellite. Mercury planet has no gases like CO2, N2, H2 and O2 which can act as building blocks of life. Mercury planet has no protective blanket like Ozone around it to prevent us from harmful radiation

Venus
Venus is the second planet from the Sun. Venus has no natural satellites

Venus has no water on it. There is no sufficient oxygen on the Venus. The rotation and revolution period of Venus is almost same

The Earth
The Earth is 23o tilted on its axis and thus makes 66o angle. It takes 23 hours 56 minutes and 4.091 seconds to rotate on its axis. It takes 365 days, 5 hours and 48 minutes to revolve around the Sun. Earth is known Earth is the only known planet which provides sustenance or life on it. It has large quantity of oxygen which supports life. The earth has all the essential elements like carbon (in the form of CO2), hydrogen (H2), nitrogen (N2) and oxygen (O2) which act as building blocks for the origin of life. The earth is neither too hot nor too cold. It has the right temperature range for carrying out the life-sustaining chemical reactions. The earth has a lot of water in the form of lakes, rivers and oceans for the growth and survival of life.

The earth has enough oxygen gas in its atmosphere for the survival of living beings through breathing. The earth has a protective blanket of ozone layer high up in its atmosphere to save life from harmful ultraviolet radiations coming from the sun.

Mars
Phobes and Demos are two satellites of Mars.

Jupiter
Jupiter is the largest planet of the Solar System. Jupiter is also known as winter planet as its average temperature is very low Jupiter has 66 known satellites. The four largest are Ganymede, Callisto, Lo, and Europa Ganymede, the largest satellite in the Solar System

Saturn
Saturn is the second largest planet in the Solar System. Saturn has bright concentric rings which are made up of ice and ice-covered dust particles which revolve around it. Saturn has 62 confirmed satellites two of which are Titan and Enceladus

Uranus
Uranus is about four times the size of the Earth. This planet appears greenish in colour because of methane gas present in its atmosphere. Uranus was discovered in 1781 by Sir William Hersiel. Uranus is the 7th planet from the sun. Uranus is the first planet to have been discovered by the use of a telescope. Uranus is the third biggest planet of the solar system. Uranus has 27 known satellites, the largest ones being Titania, Oberon, Umbriel, Ariel and Miranda. Uranus is extremely cold, the surface temperature being -190 degree C. Uranus is surrounded by 5 rings namely, alpha, beta gamma, delta and epsilon. Uranus rotates from east to west on its axis, which is opposite to other planets. The axis of Uranus has la

Neptune
Neptune is the 8th planet of the solar system. The temperature on the surface of Neptune remains low. Neptune is very similar to Uranus and can be considered its twin. Neptune is surrounded by methane rings of sub zero temperature

Pluto is not a Planet now.

Some Facts and Figures about the Planets


Distance from the sun (in Kms)
Mercury Venus Earth Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune 58x10 6 108x10 150x10 228x10
6 6

Name of planet

Time taken for one revolution around sun


88 days 224.7 days 365.26 days 687 days 11.9 years 29.5 years 84 years 164.8 years

Time taken to turn one on its axis


58.6 days 234 days 23 hours 56 min 04 sec) 24.6 hours 9.9 hours 10 hours 16.2 hours 18.5 hours

Diameter of planet

Mass of planet compared to earth time as 1


0.055 0.8 1 0.1 318 95 15 17

No. of satellites (or moons)


None None 1 2 16 21 15 8

4,878 km 12,100 km 12,760 km 6,780 km 1,42,800 km 1,20,000 km 50,800 km 48,600 km

6 6

778x10 6 1427x10 2870x10 4504x10


6

6k

Asteroids
Asteroids are also known as minor planets. They are objects that revolve around the sun They are mostly found between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. They are a belt of debris which failed to assemble into planets and keeps on revolving around the sun. This All asteroids rotate on their axis, every 5 to 20 hours. Certain asteroids may have satellites. Trojan asteroids are found are found in two clouds moving in the orbit of Jupiter, one moving ahead of it and the other moving behind it. Scientists believe that these asteroids occupy a place where a planet could have existed but was prevented from its formation by the disruptive gravitational force of the nearby giant planet, Jupiter.

Miteors and Meteorits


Meteors and Meteorites are also called shooting stars. Meteors are fragments of rocks, coming towards the earth, formed due to the collision of asteroids with one another. surface. Meteorites.

Comets
spectacular and unpredictable bodies in the Solar system.

Comets move around the Sun in regular orbits, but their orbits are elongated ellipses that it takes them hundreds and sometimes even thousands of years to complete one revolution around the Sun. Comets are made up of frozen gases which hold together rocky and metallic materials. A comet becomes visible only when it travels close to the Sun. Its ice melts and the gas and dust is swept back into a tail. The tail always points away from the Sun. So if it is travelling away from the Sun, it travels tail first.

Features of a Comet
A comet is characterized by a long luminous tail, which emits light. When the comet travels close to the Sun, the ice melts to a head of gas called a Coma. Dust particles are also swept back to form a dust tail.

Constellations
To enable astronomers to roughly identify the position of the stars, the sky has been divided into units. The units are known as Constellations. These constellations were named in honor of mythological characters. At present 88 constellations are recognized.

Some well known constellations


Constellations
Ursa Major (Great Bear) Ursa Minor (Little Bear) Orion (Hunter) Draco (Dragon) Scorpio Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo Libra Sagittarius Capricorn

Indian names
Saptarishi Dhruva Matsya Mriga Kaleya Vrishchika Mesh Vrish Mithun Kark Simha Kanya Tula Dhanu Makar

Aquarius Pisces

Kumbh Meen