The universe is huge. It consists of the solar system, the galaxies, comets, asteroids, meteors and meteoroids.
There are eight planets in the solar system. These are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune. All of these planets revolve round the Sun in their fixed path known as ‘Orbit’. All of them rotate on their axes as well.
Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun.
Venus is the brightest and hottest planet. Venus is also known as ‘Morning Star’ and ‘Evening Star’. It is also known as ‘Earth’s Twin’ because of the similarity in size and volume.
Earth is the fifth largest planet in the Solar System and third in distance from the sun. It is known as the ‘Watery Planet’ or the ‘Blue Planet’. It is also the only known planet to have life on it.
Mars is also known as the ‘Red Planet’ due to its iron-rich red soil and pink sky.
Jupiter is the largest planet of the Solar System.
Saturn is second largest planet of the Solar System. The Saturn rings are made up of millions of tiny particles orbiting independently as ‘micro moons’.
Uranus is the seventh planet. It rotates on its axis from east to west.
The last planet of the solar system is Neptune.
Moon is earth’s only natural satellite. It is the nearest celestial body to our planet. The moon is about 3, 84,000 km away from the earth. The moon revolves around the Earth in 27 days.
Asteroids are the tiny celestial bodies orbiting around the sun. They are found mainly in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
When asteroids collide with one another, fragments of rocks may break off. These pieces may find their way towards Earth and are known as Meteors.
When meteors are large and do not burn completely, they land on the earth’s surface and are known as Meteorites.
Comet is a luminous heavenly object made of clumps of ice that revolve around the sun.
They have a bright head and a tail, which always points away from the sun.
Stars are the most numerous objects in the night sky. They are made up of hot burning gases, thus shine by their own light.
Sky is divided into units to enable the astronomers to roughly identify the position of the stars. These units are called constellations.
Galaxy is a large group of stars, dust and light gases bound together by their own gravity. Several galaxies make up the Universe. Earth’s galaxy is the Milky Way galaxy.
Andromeda is earth’s closest galactic neighbour.
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