Astronomy basics > Q&A: Our solar system

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Q and A:
Our solar system
 
Question
1. What is the solar system?
 
Answer

Our solar system consists of:

  • One central star — the Sun
  • Eight planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune
  • More than 140 moons
  • Millions of rocky asteroids
  • Billions of icy comets

 
 
Question
2. How many planets are there in our solar system?
 
Answer

Our solar system has eight planets and one star: the Sun. The planets are (in order, from the Sun, outward): Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Pluto was considered the ninth planet until August 2006, when the International Astronomical Union reclassified it as a "dwarf planet." A new mnemonic used to remember the planets in order is, "My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nachos."

 
 
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Astronomy basics > Q&A: Our solar system