THE SOLAR SYSTEM

In the Solar System Channel, you can explore the planets and celestial objects around our own sun. Learn about topics such as Mars, Jupiter and the Moon.
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Where did the moon come from?

We know it's not made of green cheese, but what are the origins of the moon? Learn astronomers' theories about where the moon came from.

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  • The Solar System Explained
    The Solar System Explained

    Our planet Earth is part of a solar system that consists of nine (and possibly ten) planets orbiting a giant, fiery star we call the sun. For thousands of years, astronomers studying the solar system have noticed that these planets march across the sky in a predictable way. See more »

  • Uranus
    Uranus

    Uranus, the seventh planet from the sun. Uranus was the first planet to be discovered with a telescope, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn being readily visible to the unaided eye. See more »

  • Venus (planet)
    Venus (planet)

    Venus, in astronomy, the second planet from the sun. Except for the sun and the moon, Venus is generally the brightest astronomical object in the sky, displaying a brilliant white starlike appearance. See more »

  • What is the Chandler wobble?
    What is the Chandler wobble?

    The Chandler wobble is the change in the spin of the earth on its axis. Think of the wobble you see in a toy top when it first starts spinning or slows down. Its "poles" do not spin in a perfectly straight line. See more »

  • Why does the moon look so much bigger when it is near the horizon?
    Why does the moon look so much bigger when it is near the horizon?

    Why does the moon look so much bigger when it is near the horizon than when it is high up in the sky? This question has been pondered for hundreds if not thousands of years, and is commonly referred to as the moon illusion. See more »

  • Ganymede
    Ganymede

    Ganymede, a satellite of the planet Jupiter. With a diameter of 3,270 miles (5,260 km), Ganymede is the largest satellite in the solar system, and is larger than the planet Mercury. See more »

  • Kuiper Belt
    Kuiper Belt

    Kuiper Belt, a disk-shaped region of space, extending beyond the orbit of Neptune, in which a very large number of minor planets are in orbit around the sun. See more »

  • Sun
    Sun

    Sun, the star at the center of the solar system. Like other stars, the sun is a huge, hot, gaseous sphere. See more »

  • Will Solar Rays Produce Three-Eyed Fish?
    Will Solar Rays Produce Three-Eyed Fish?

    Solar rays and the potential problems they may cause are explained in this article. Learn about solar rays. See more »

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