|“||I know that humans will colonize the solar system and one day go beyond.||”|
—Mike Griffin, former NASA Administrator
Dark Filament of the Sun, wider than 40 times the diameter of Earth
|Right ascension (Epoch J2000)||0|
|Declination (Epoch J2000)||0|
|Spectral type||G2 V|
|Distance from Sol||0 ly|
|Other designations||The Sun|
|Planets||Planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune|
Dwarf Planets: 1 Ceres, 20000 Varuna, 28978 Ixion, 38628 Huya, 50000 Quaoar, 90377 Sedna, 90482 Orcus, 134340 Pluto, 136108 Haumea, 136199 Eris, 136472 Makemake, dozens more
Sol is not like most stars in the Solar neighborhood or the entire Milky Way galaxy. While most stars have stellar companions, Sol is a single star, which is fortunate for Earth life because stable planetary orbits like the Earth's are far more likely around single stars. In addition, Sol is among the most massive 10 percent of stars in its neighborhood, which means that it is hotter and brighter than most stars in its area of the Milky Way. Finally, Sol has about 50 percent more heavy elements than other stars of its age and type, but only about a third of their variation in brightness, which is also fortunate because heavy elements are essential to make planets like Earth and large stellar flare-ups can harm planetary life with hard radiation.
Sol is a yellow-orange, main sequence dwarf star, of type G2 V. Born in our Milky Way galaxy's disk about 4.6 billion years ago, it may shine as a normal "dwarf" star for another five billion years. It is relatively rich in elements heavier than hydrogen created by primordial supernovas, and so is called a high metallicity, "Population I" star.
Known Places around Sol
Sol has eight planets (nine if you count Nostromo, which may or may not be gravitationally connected to Sol), dozens of dwarf planets, and an unknown but large number of small solar system bodies in orbit around it. One of the dwarf planets and many of the small solar system bodies are found in an asteroid belt, while Nostromo, the other known dwarf planets, and uncounted small solar system bodies are found in a Kupier Belt and an Oort cloud. Some of the small solar system bodies are found as satellites (or moons) of many of the other solar system objects.
The Solar system is probably the best known and explored place in Fenspace.
Mercury has no natural satellites.
Venus is a rocky planet with a thick atmosphere. It orbits Sol at about 0.7 AU with a period of about 227 Earth days. A Venusian 'Day' is approximately 243 Earth days.
Venus has no natural moons.
Mars is the last of the rocky inner planets in the Solar system. It orbits at about 1.5 AU with a period of 1.9 Earth years.
Jupiter's orbital distance is 5.2 AU and its period is 1.9 Earth years.
Saturn is a gas giant with an extensive ring system. It has an orbital distance of 9.5 AU and a period of 29.5 Earth years.
Saturn has at least 62 natural satellites, including Titan (the only natural satellite with a substantial natural atmosphere in the Solar system), Rhea (which has a thin atmosphere that contains oxygen, and may have natural satellites of its own), and Mimas. It also has an artificial satellite, Cassini–Huygens.
The third gas giant orbiting Sol, Uranus has an orbital distance of 19.2 AU and a period of 84.0 Earth years.
Uranus has at least 27 natural moons.
Neptune is the farthest major solar system planet from Sol, and the last gas giant in the Solar system. Its orbital distance varies between 29.7 and 30.4 AU from Sol, and its orbital period is 84.3 Earth years.
Dwarf Planets1 Ceres (the only one inside the orbit of Jupiter), 20000 Varuna, 28978 Ixion, 38628 Huya, 50000 Quaoar, (55565) 2002 AW197, 90377 Sedna, 90482 Orcus, (90568) 2004 GV9, 134340 Pluto, 136108 Haumea, 136199 Eris, 136472 Makemake, and (208996) 2003 AZ84. 'Daneside astronomers are still arguing whether (26375) 1999 DE9, (42301) 2001 UR163, 120347 Salacia, (144897) 2004 UX10, (145452) 2005 RN43, (145451) 2005 RM43, 174567 Varda, 19521 Chaos, and dozens of other bodies are also dwarf planets.
1 Ceres was the first dwarf planet to be discovered, the smallest known dwarf planet, and the only dwarf planet inside the orbit of Jupiter. It has an orbital period of 4.6 years and an orbital distance that varies between 2.55 and 2.99 AU.
134340 Pluto is the second-largest known dwarf planet in the Solar System. It has an orbital period of 248 years and an orbital distance that varies between 29.7 and 49.3 AU. It has at least five natural satellites, Charon, Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra, and one artificial satellite, Hades Station.
136108 Haumea is a dwarf planet in the Kuiper belt, with a mass one-third that of Pluto. It has an orbital period of 283 years and an orbital distance that varies between 34.7 and 51.5 AU. It has at least two natural moons, 136108 Haumea I Hiʻiaka and 136108 Haumea II Namaka
136472 Makemake is the third-largest known dwarf planet in the Solar System. Found in the Kuiper belt, it has an orbital period of 309 years and an orbital distance that varies between 38.5 and 53.1 AU. It has one known natural satellite.
136199 Eris, the largest known dwarf planet, is on average farther away from Sol than any other Solar system planet or known dwarf planet. Its diameter is 2,326±12 kilometers, similar to Pluto's. It has an orbital period of 577 years and an orbital distance that varies between 37.8 and 97.6 AU. It has one known moon, Dysnomia.
Small Solar System Bodies
There are hundreds of thousands of known small solar system bodies, over 15,000 of which have been named. Many of these bodies are found in the Main Belt, but the majority are found elsewhere in the Solar system.
- For obvious reasons
- In fact, Earth's orbital distance is the original definition of the Astronomical Unit.