Planets in Our Solar System
For any heavenly bodies to be considered and categorized as a ‘Planet’, astronomers and scientific community have long ago established a rule that was adopted by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in 2006. Those established criteria are:
- It must orbit a star and have its own orbit or path.
- It must be big enough to have enough gravity to maintain it into an almost spherical shape.
- They must be big enough that its gravity cleared away any other objects of similar size near its orbit around the Sun.
Considering these criteria, our solar system currently has 8 planets. Pluto meets criteria 1 and 2 but does not meet criterion 3, so the International Astronomical Union (IAU) decided that bodies line Pluto will be called dwarf planets. Therefore, IAU in 2006, included Pluto, and Eris and its moon Dysnomia in the Minor Planet Catalogue, and gave them the tag of official minor planets. This makes Pluto no more a major planet system of our solar system. Prior to this, Pluto is considered a planet system of our solar system, and our solar system has 9 planets in total.
The other eight planets- Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, meets the above-mentioned criteria and are still classified as a major planet system of our planet system.
URANUS is very different, it tilts 98 degrees.
Uranus, the seventh planet from the Sun, makes one trip around the Sun every 84 Earth years.
The Uranian axis of rotation is approximately parallel with the plane of the solar system with an axial tilt 98°.
This gives it seasonal changes completely unlike those of other planets.
Each pole gets around 42 years of continuous sunlight, followed by 42 years of darkness.
Uranus’ axis is so tilted, it actually looks like the planet is rotating on its side. One theory is that a body the size of our Earth collided with Uranus a long time ago, radically throwing off its rotation.
Overall, our solar system consists of 8 planets, 5 dwarf planets, more than 200 moons, 958,706 asteroids, 3,646 comets.
- Bran writes mostly on science and is an avid reader and writer of popular science. He brings sciency a literetic emphasis bring it to mainstream media for all.
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