Boss, Alan P. Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution for Science, Washington, DC.
Last reviewed:January 2019
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- Solar system composition
- Terrestrial planets
- Outer planets
- Dwarf planets
- Oort Cloud and Kuiper Belt
- Origin of the solar system
- Collapse phase
- Solar nebula
- Planetesimal formation
- Planetary accumulation
- Exoplanetary systems
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The Sun and the bodies moving in orbit around it. The most massive body in the solar system is the Sun, an average single star that is itself in orbit about the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. Nearly all of the other bodies in the solar system—the terrestrial planets, outer planets, asteroids, and comets—revolve in orbits about the Sun (Fig. 1). Moons revolve around the planets; in addition, the giant planets have orbiting rings. The orbits for the planets appear stable over eons, and hence have undergone little change since the formation of the solar system 4.567 billion years ago. See also: Milky Way Galaxy; Orbital motion; Sun
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