Neighbors in Outer space

There has always existed an exceptional connection between humans and the planets that circle our Sun. Of course It's possible that it’s all of the sci-fi tales about traveling to the Moon, Mars and various other planets we see constantly on our televisions and in the movies.

Nevertheless we like to give some serious thought to those planets which make up what we call "the solar system."

The planets in our solar system have made a serious impact on us all and have taken on personalities and mythical appeal in much of our literature and the arts.

It is simple to come across artists who give their perspective of the planets that define our society of planets close to our Sun.

Our Neighbors in Outer Space

Earth, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are from our cultural past, being gods from Greek and Roman mythology. However the solar system is not simply comprised of these planets alone.

In the year 2006, there was clearly a considerable amount of debate as scholars and astronomers decided to downgrade Pluto and take away its status as a planet.

As a result it makes you wonder, what exactly it is that determines an object as a planet, and precisely what happened to Pluto? After all it just didn't decide to go away.

A planet, by scientific definition is a body that orbits the Sun, is massive enough for its own gravity to make it round, and has "cleared its neighbourhood" of smaller objects around its orbit.

There are numerous objects in our solar system apart from the planets we all know of. It's an intriguing point that as well as the planets there are actually one hundred and sixty five moons orbiting around those nine planets. A number of of those moons are extremely advanced scientists believe they may have supported life at one point.

Besides the normal planets and moons, there are dwarf planets, asteroid belts, and routine visits by comets. This creates a great deal of traffic within our cosmic corner of the universe. Two known dwarf planets that exist on the outer rim of our solar system are Eries and Ceres.

And so when Pluto’s standing was altered and taken out of the list of planets, it merely joined those two bodies as a dwarf planet, but still remains a citizen of the neighborhood of celestial bodies near our sun.

As well as these large bodies, there's also an asteroid belt that exists in between Mars and Jupiter that manyof the asteroids that we see in our night sky originate from. Furthermore there is yet another belt of huge objects further out called the Kuiper belt, as well as a “bubble” in space called a heliopause.

There is also a suspected additional belt beyond our known solar system known as the Oort belt. This is believed to be the source of a great number of sizeable comets and asteroids that that visit our solar system and orbit our Sun.

The greater amount of information you discover about the history of our solar system, the more you'll appreciate your explorations of the night sky and planets with your telescope.

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