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The Solar System
  
01 The Solar System PIA10231, mod02by Image Editor on Flickr

The Solar System consists of the Sun and its planetary system of eight planets, their moons, and other non-stellar objects.

It formed 4.6 billion years ago from the collapse of a giant molecular cloud.

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solar_system3by Royalty-free image collection on Flickr

The four smaller inner planets, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars, also called the terrestrial planets, are composed of rock and metal. The four outer planets, called the gas giants.

 

The two largest, Jupiter and Saturn, are composed mainly of hydrogen and helium

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The 12 Planetsby Wesley Fryer on Flickr

The two outermost planets, Uranus and Neptune, are composed largely of substances called ices, such as water, ammonia and methane.

All planets have almost circular orbits that lie within a nearly flat disc called the ecliptic plane.

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jupiter_final_2_59imagesby madmiked on Flickr

The two largest, Jupiter and Saturn, are composed mainly of hydrogen and helium.

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