the solar System is made up of the Sun, 9 planets, many other small rocky, metallic and icy objects and a lot of empty space. The nine planets move around the Sun in paths called orbits. Moons, like our own Moon orbit most of the planets.
The Sun is a star, just like those you cansee in the sky at night. Those stars arebillions of miles away, but the Sun ismuch closer to us (150 millionkilometres).The Sun is at the centre of our SolarSystem. All of the 9 planets including ourEarth travel around the Sun.The Sun gives out light and heat withoutwhich life as we know would beimpossible.
Mercury is one of the 9 planets in ourSolar System. It is the closest planet tothe Sun. It is smaller than all the otherplanets except Pluto and is only 1 third thesize of our own planet Earth. Mercury isone of the rocky planets.Mercury is so close to the Sun that theground becomes really hot (427 degreesCelsius (ºC)) - hot enough to even meltsome metals.
Venus is one of the 9 planets in our SolarSystem. It is the second planet from the Sun(the closest is Mercury). Venus is one of therocky planets. Although, Venus is only slightlysmaller than our own planet Earth it would notbe a very nice place to live. It is hotter on Venusthan on Mercury even though Venus is furtheraway from the Sun. This is because Venus hasthick clouds which stop the heat from escaping.
The Earth is the third closest planet to the Sun. TheEarth is one of the rocky planets.The Earth is close enough to the Sun so that we canget sunlight and warmth, but far enough awayfrom the Sun so that we can have water as a liquid.On Venus and Mercury, the temperatures are sohigh that water would evaporate (boil away). Allliving creatures need water, so the Earth is aperfect place to live.
Mars is one of the 9 planets in our Solar System. Itis the fourth planet away from the Sun. Mars isone of the rocky planets.Mars is sometimes called The Red Planet. You canoften see Mars in the sky at night as a bright reddot. Pictures taken by spacecraft that have landedon its surface show that the ground on Mars isalso red in colour.
Jupiter is the largest of the 9 planets in our SolarSystem. It is the fifth planet from the Sun.Unlike the rocky planets (Mercury, Venus, Earthand Mars), Jupiter is made almost entirely ofgases and so is called a gas giant.Jupiter is easy to recognise because it has stripesand a big red spot - these are actually clouds and amassive storm!
Saturn is one of the 9 planets in our Solar System. It is thesixth planet from the Sun.Saturn is easy to recognize because it is surrounded by ringsmade of dust and ice. Like Jupiter, Saturn is mainly gas and sois called a gas giant.
Uranus is one of the 9 planets in our SolarSystem. It is the seventh planet away from theSun.Like Jupiter and Saturn, Uranus is one of thegas giants, as it is made almost entirely ofgases.Uranus is very unusual because it appears tobe on its side, with its poles pointing towardsthe Sun.
Neptune is one of the 9 planets in our Solar System. It is the eighth planet fromthe Sun.Like Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus, it is one of the gas giants, made up almostentirely of gases with some ice and dust. It is the Suns reflection on the gasesthat gives Neptune its blue colour, although it does not receive enough heat fromthe Sun to make the planet warm like Earth.Sometimes Neptune becomes the ninth planet from the Sun. The planet Plutomoves around the Sun in a very odd path and every 238 years it becomes closerto the Sun than Neptune.
Pluto is one of the 9 planets in our Solar System. It is the ninth planet and thefurthest from the Sun.Pluto is the smallest planet in the Solar System and can only be seen using very largetelescopes.Pluto is made of rock with lots of ice on the surface. This is because it is so far awayfrom the Sun it does not receive any heat or sunlight to warm the surface.Sometimes (every 238 years) it becomes the eighth planet because the path that itmoves around the Sun is such an odd shape it can move closer to the Sun thanNeptune.
What are black holes?Have you ever had to vacuum your bedroom?When you do, watch closely because you willsee the dirt and crumbs start to movetowards the vacuum cleaner. A black hole issimilar to a vacuum cleaner, cleaning updebris left behind in outer space.However, it is not suction power that makesthings fall into a black hole. Suction wouldnot be strong enough. Instead, a black holeuses the power of gravity to pull thingstowards it.