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This is an introduction to the Solar System, the star system where we live. It's our neighborhood of the Milky Way. What lies between the Sun and the edge of the Oort Cloud?

Solar System - Tour for Kids


Mona Evans
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Get acquainted with our star. The Solar System belongs to the Sun. More than 99% of all the matter in the Solar System is in the Sun. Everything else - planets, moons, asteroids, icy bodies, comets - is made from stuff left over from making the Sun. It's the Sun's gravity that holds everything together. And, of course, it makes. life on Earth possible.

The Sun – Facts for Kids


Mona Evans
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Mercury is close enough to the Sun for lead to melt during the day. Yet there is ice at the poles. Before we had space probes, Mercury was a mystery hidden in the Sun's glare, but that's changed now.

Mercury - 10 Facts for Kids

An international mission to Mercury is currently in progress. It's called Bepi-Colombo. Two spacecraft riding together will orbit and study the planet from unique vantage points. The European Space Agency (ESA) provided one orbiter, and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) supplied the other. BepiColombo made its first flyby of Mercury on Oct. 1, 2021, and sent back several images. But several more planetary flybys will be used to steer the craft into orbit around Mercury in December 2025.


Mona Evans
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We can see five planets with our unaided eyes. But people often ask how to find them and how to recognize them. Here is a beginner's guide to seeing Mercury and Venus.

Absolute Beginners - Seeing Mercury and Venus


It's the planet most likely to be mistaken for a UFO. It spins backwards on its axis. A year is two days long. It's Venus! Some call it Earth's twin, but it isn't much like home.

Venus - Facts for Kids


Would you like to visit another planet? How about Mars or Venus? Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin wants to see astronauts on Mars, but could Venus be a better choice?

Visiting Venus - Facts for Kids


Mona Evans
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The Moon has no air, no sound, no weather and no liquid water. It even has places that are colder than Pluto. But since gravity is weaker there, you could throw a ball a long way, and the footprint you left might last a hundred thousand years or more.

The Moon - Facts for Kids

If you're looking for something more advanced, these might interest you:

The Moon has been the object of awe and fascination since our humanoid ancestors first looked up into the sky. Test your knowledge about Moon and maybe find out some interesting new facts about it.

The Moon - Quiz

Our nearest neighbor in space is on show for us most nights – and some days. There are several Google doodles celebrating our relationship with the Moon.

Moon Doodles


Mona Evans
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Mars has no little green men, but it's a fascinating place. It has a mountain three times the height of Everest and a deep valley that dwarfs the Grand Canyon. Although Mars has no liquid water on the surface, if the southern polar icecap melted, it could cover the planet 36 feet deep in water.

Mars - Facts for Kids

Earth's moon is "the Moon” because it was the only one people had ever seen until 1610. That's when Galileo discovered moons orbiting Jupiter. Why did it take until 1877 for someone to find the moons of our neighbor Mars?

Moons of Mars - Facts for Kids


Mona Evans
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Beyond Mars, there is a belt of material, called the Asteroid Belt. It contains a dwarf planet and lots of small irregular bodies.

Observers used to call them 'vermin of the skies". Asteroids weren't interesting and their streaks ruined sky photos. But no more! They can tell us about the early Solar System. One of them may have finished off the dinosaurs, and more could be coming our way.

Asteroid Facts for Kids


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NASA's Dawn mission spent 14 months orbiting the asteroid Vesta. Vesta's an unusual object, too small to be a dwarf planet. Yet it has the Solar System's tallest mountain, and canyons as big as Earth's Grand Canyon. And it may help scientists to understand the early Solar System.

Vesta - Facts for Kids


Mona Evans
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If you discover a comet, it automatically gets your name.

But how do asteroids get their names?

If you discover an asteroid, you can name it, though you can't name it after yourself or your cat. There are rules about the naming of asteroids.

You also can't buy the naming right, though someone might give their naming right to you.

Naming Asteroids


Mona Evans
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When Ceres was discovered in 1801, astronomers assumed it was a planet. But when many more of these bodies were found, they were all finally listed as asteroids. In 2006 Ceres became the only asteroid also to be listed as a dwarf planet.

Ceres - Facts for Kids


Mona Evans
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