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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Neptune Explained

Neptune is the eighth planet from the sun, the fourth largest, and a gas planet. It is named after the Roman god of the sea. Neptune is four times the size of Earth, and its day lasts a little more than16 hours. Its year is about 165 Earth years. Neptune's orbit is a perfect circle. The last stop on spacecraft Voyager's epic trip through the solar system was the gas giant Neptune.

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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 »

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