Our solar system is a vast, mysterious place. It formed around 4.6 billion years ago and is now home to eight (known) planets, numerous moons, and countless asteroids, comets, and even dwarf planets. Our solar system is a very interesting place, so here's 10 interesting facts to boost your knowledge of our solar system.
1. Did you know that over 99% of all the mass in the solar system is contained in the sun? It shows just how truly mind boggling massive the sun is.
2. There are at least 4 worlds (other than Earth) where life could exist in our solar system. These include Mars, Titan, Europa, and Enceladus. However, there is also speculation into whether or not asteroids and other moons could also have favourable conditions for life.
3. Earth is the only world in the solar system that has an atmosphere rich in oxygen. The oxygen in our atmosphere is almost entirely a result of biological processes, namely photosynthesis.
4. Mars is home to the largest dust storms in the solar system. In fact, Mars actually experiences global dust storms that cloud the entire planet.
5. Although Venus isn't the closest planet to the sun, it has the hottest surface temperatures. The average surface temperature on Venus is around 450°C. This extreme temperature is a result of Venus having an atmosphere dominated by carbon dioxide that creates a runaway greenhouse effect.
6. Our moon is the largest moon in the solar system relative to the planet it orbits. The sheer size of our moon made it hard to determine how it formed. Now it's generally agreed among scientists that the moon formed after a collision between the early Earth and a Mars or Mercury sized object.
7. Although Saturn is known for being the ringed-planet, it's not the only planet in the solar system with rings. In fact, each of the four outer planets have rings, just none of them are as prominent as Saturn's. (Keep reading into the first comment below for more facts! 👇👇👇)