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The Solar System, Sun and Earth

TheSolar System, Sun and Earth

Theorigin of the sun, earth, planets and satellites has remained to bean exciting puzzle since the ancient times. Individuals such as thescientists have put a lot effort to understand the formationmechanism of the solar system because the mechanism regulates thephysical properties of the planets like earth as well as theirrevolution. The solar system is believed to have been formed about4.6 billion years ago with the following planets being the nearest tothe sun Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars. These planets are calledthe terrestrial planets mainly because they have solid surfaces thatare rocky. The other five planets of the solar system are Jupiter,Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.

TheSolar System Formation

Scientistsbelieve that the solar system came into existence as a result of acloud of gas and dust that were in the space and they got disturbedpossibly by a nearby star known as the supernova that exploded (Blandand Neil 25).Due to this explosion, the waves in the space were made to squeezethe cloud gas and dust. As a result, the cloud started to collapsewhile gravity joined the gas and dust to form a solar nebula. Thecloud was spinning while collapsing and grew hotter and denser in thecenter. The gas disk that was surrounding the cloud also got hotterand condensed at the edges. With time, the cloud disk continued toget thinner and thinner while the particles began to stick togetherto form clumps (Deand Pimenta 31).As the spinning process got hotter and hotter, the clusters continuedto enlarge and finally created the planets and moons. Planet Earthformed near the center of the clouds. Earth is a rocky planet becauseonly rocks could have withstood the heat that was at the heart of thehot cloud. The icy matter cooled at the edges of the disk, and thatis where planets those have icy matters formed and are referred to asthe giant planets like Jupiter. Also, as the cloud continued todecrease in size, the center became so hot and resulted in theformation of stars and the sun while the rest of the gas and dustbecame the stellar wind after being blown away.

Earthand Its Dimensions

Earthis the only planet that is believed to support life in the wholesolar system (Deand Pimenta 31).Various types of lives survive on earth. The world also supportsplants growth that human beings depend on. Earth usually comprises ofa system that is interactive and creates the world that is alwayschanging thus becoming difficult for an ordinary man to understand.It is made of oceans, life, air, and land. Earth is the third planetfrom the sun and number five regarding the size. The oceans coverabout seventy percent of the Earth`s surface with a depth of about2.5 miles. The Earth`s atmosphere is composed of nitrogen thatoccupies around seventy-eight percent, oxygen with twenty-one percentand other gasses that have one percent (Blandand Neil 25). The Earth`s atmosphere is paramount because it helps in protectingthe lives on earth from meteors that often burn in the air evenbefore they strike the earth`s surface and cause mass damages. Also,the atmosphere shields people harmful rays such as ultra-violent raysthat are associated with diseases like cancer. The following are thedimensions of the Earth



Equatorial Radius

6,378,206 meters

3,963 statute miles

Polar Semi-axis

6,356,583 meters

3,949 statute miles

Radius of sphere of equal area

6,370,997 meters

3,958 statute miles

Area of earth (approx.)

510,900,000 square kilometers

197,260,000 square miles

Equatorial Circumference

40,075 kilometers

24,899 miles

Retrievedon 28thNovember 2016 from http://www.kralidis.ca/gis/maproj/earthdims.htm

Moonsof the Solar System

Moonsare satellites that have different shapes, sizes, and types. Mostplanetary moons are often formed from the spinning of the cloud(Anfilogovand Yurij 30).According to the International Astronomical Union, the solar systemhas around one hundred and forty-six recognized moons and many morewait for official recognition. Earth has one moon Mars has two moonswhile Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune have several moons.


Sunis usually at the center of the solar system, and it is the largestobject in the system (Anfilogovand Yurij 30).It is nearly one hundred and ten times the diameter of the earthwhile holding about 99.8 percent of the total mass of the solarsystem. Sun is believed to be around 5,500 degrees Celsius on theouter visible part while the inner core is approximated to be around5,000,000 degree Celsius. Sun is made up of several layers and zonesnamely the solar interior, core, convective zone, and radiativezones (Blandand Neil 25).The core comprises of about two percent of the sun`s volume theradiative zone has about thirty-two percent of the total volume ofthe sun. Sun has a magnetic field that is usually twice as strong isthat of the Earth. However, particular parts have high concentrationsof the magnetic field that makes it three thousand times higher thanusual. The great magnetic fields result from the way the sun spinsmore rapidly at the equator than it does in high latitudes. Also, theinner parts of the Sun rotate faster than the surface thus making theinner core to have elevated levels of the magnetic fields.

Structureof the Sun


SolarSystem Distances and Dimensions

Thefollowing are the distances of the planets from the sun Mercury 29million miles (.307 AU), Venus 66 million miles (.718 AU), Earth 91million miles (.98 AU), Mars 127 million miles (1.38 AU), Jupiter 460million miles (4.95 AU), Saturn 839 million miles (9.05 AU), Uranus1.71 billion miles (18.4 AU), Neptune 2.77 billion miles (29.8 AU),and Pluto is 2.76 billion miles (29.7 AU). These distances areillustrated in the figure below



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Anfilogov,Vsevolod N, and Yurij V. Khachay. SomeAspects of the Formation of the Solar System.Cham: Springer, 2015. Print.

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Bland,Philip A, and Neil McBride. AnIntroduction to the Solar System.Milton Keynes: Open Univ., 2004. Print.

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De,Angelis Alessandro and Pimenta Martins M.J. Introductionto Particle and Astroparticle Physics: Questions to the Universe.Milan: Springer, 2015. Print.

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