What are the planets of the solar system?

What are the planets of the solar system?The planets of the solar system are:Planets are all celestial bodies that revolve around a star, have enough mass to maintain its gravity, and can prevent other planets from getting in its orbit.

On the other hand, the order of the planets in the solar system is determined by their proximity to the Sun. Therefore, Mercury is the closest planet and Neptune, the most distant.

It is important to mention that until 2006, Pluto was considered the most distant planet in the solar system. However, it was removed from the list as its characteristics are not compatible with the current definition of a planet.


It is known as the “iron planet” because its composition is rich in this chemical element in at least 70%. The remaining percentage corresponds to elements such as helium, calcium, sodium, oxygen and magnesium.

The body of the planet is rocky and is characterized by the presence of craters, the result of the multiple impacts of smaller celestial bodies.

On the other hand, Mercury is not only the closest planet to the Sun, it is also the smallest in the solar system.


Venus is a rocky planet with a size and composition similar to Earth, except for its atmosphere, which is made up of toxic gases. On the other hand, its core is made of nickel and iron.

The planet Venus lacks water, but studies carried out by NASA and released in 2019 concluded that until 700 million years ago it did have water and a stable atmosphere with conditions for the development of organic life.

Due to these conditions, Venus is a candidate planet for terraforming. It is a theoretical process of creating optimal conditions for life, generated with complex engineering systems.


The Earth is the third planet orbiting the Sun. Its terrestrial composition, the presence of water and an atmosphere composed of oxygen, nitrogen and water vapor (among other components), made it possible to generate the conditions for life.

Another characteristic of planet Earth is the existence of an ozone layer that protects all forms of life from solar radiation. This, and the presence of large masses of water in a liquid state that make up 70% of the planet’s composition, make Earth the only habitable planet, until now.

On the other hand, the Earth has its own natural satellite, the Moon.


Mars is the fourth planet orbiting the Sun. It is also known as “the red planet” due to the color of its surface, caused by the presence of iron oxide. Its atmosphere is carbon dioxide and has two natural satellites: Phobos and Deimos.

Although Mars was long considered an uninhabitable place, that perception has changed in recent decades, due to evidence suggesting the presence of large masses of frozen water under its surface.

Mars is, along with Venus, the other planet considered for terraforming, that is, for the creation of conditions that allow life.


It is the largest planet in the solar system and the second largest celestial body in the system, after the Sun. Jupiter has a gaseous composition in which hydrogen and helium are the main components.

In its internal structure, it is speculated that Jupiter contains hydrogen in a liquid state and a rocky core.


Known for the seven rings that surround it, Saturn is also characterized by the presence of flattened poles produced by its low gravity and rapid rotational movement.

Saturn’s atmosphere is made up of 96% hydrogen, while the remaining percentage is helium. It is speculated that in its internal composition there is rocky material covered by a layer of liquid hydrogen.

As a curious fact, the temperature of Saturn is double that of the Sun, reaching 11726.85 ° C; while the temperature of the Sun is 5505 ° C.


Uranus is a gaseous planet made up of methane gas in the highest proportion, followed by hydrogen and helium. It is the third planet in size and the seventh with respect to its orbit of the Sun.

Uranus has a temperature of -224 ° C, which makes it the planet with the coldest atmosphere in the solar system. In addition, it has a series of rings that surround it but unlike Saturn, they are not as visible and they look as if they were orbiting the planet vertically.

However, this configuration of Uranus’s rings is an effect generated by its inclination, which makes its poles appear in the place that corresponds to the equator.


It is the farthest planet in the solar system and the fourth in size. Together with Jupiter and Uranus they make up the group of gaseous planets, since their atmosphere consists mainly of hydrogen, helium and traces of hydrocarbons. Its characteristic blue color is due to methane, while its interior is rocky and icy.

Although it is a planet with very low temperatures (-218 ° C), the existence of an internal source of energy is proposed that causes Uranus to generate heat.

Main characteristics of the planets

Planets Mass Movement




Mercury 3,302 × 10 23 kg 58.7 days. 88 days 3.7 m / s²
Venus 4.87 x 10 24 kg 243 days 225 days. 8.87 m / s²
land 5.97 x 10 24 kg 24 hours. 365 days. 8.87 m / s²
Mars 0.642 x 10 24 kg. 1.30 days. 687 days. 3,711 m / s².
Jupiter 1,899 × 10 27 kg. 9 h, 50 min. 4329 days. 24.79 m / s².
Saturn 5,688 · 10 26 kg. 10h, 40 min. 10,768 days. 10.44 m / s².
Uranus 8,686 x10 25 kg. 17h, 14min. 30685 days. 8.69 m / s².
Neptune 1,024 × 10 26 kg. 16h, 6min, 14s 60,225 days 11.15 m / s²

To delve into this topic, you can see What is a planet?

Key features of the solar system

The solar system has certain singularities that make the existence of planets possible. This includes a series of conditions that allowed life on planet Earth, or the existence of bodies of water on other celestial bodies. Some of those features are:

Its central star is the Sun

Every planetary system has one or more central stars. In our system the central star is the Sun, and its amount of mass (1,989 × 1030 kg) represents 99% of all the mass that exists in the solar system. On the other hand, its force of gravity is so strong that it makes it possible for the planets to rotate around it (274 m / s²).

In the case of planet Earth, its distance from the Sun makes it possible for solar rays to penetrate its atmosphere and contribute to relevant processes for the generation of life, without causing damage.

Although the Sun is the most important star in our planetary system, it is not the only one. There are almost three thousand stars in the universe with a series of planets orbiting them. The Sun is just one of them.

It has several types of celestial bodies

In addition to planets, in the solar system there are also asteroids, comets, meteoroids and natural satellites, such as the Moon or Io, one of the moons of Jupiter.

Has other planets

In addition to the eight planets that officially make up the solar system, there are other bodies considered of less relevance, called minor planets. Pluto, Ceres or Eris, among others, fall into this category.


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