Learn About The Solar System ❂
Our Solar System consists of an average sized star (but a very important one!) at its centre called the Sun, with a system of gravitationally bound bodies that orbit it. The largest of those objects are the Planets (and their moons), with the smaller comets and minor planets (such as the dwarf planets, the asteroid belt, Jupiter trojans, Centaurs, the Kuiper belt, Scattered disc and Oort cloud) making up the rest!
It's thought the solar system formed 4.6 billion years ago from a giant interstellar cloud of gas which coalesced into everything we see today. The extent of the solar system is sometimes thought of where the solar wind meets the interstellar medium known as the heliosphere. However, the Oort cloud, which is thought to contain objects still gravitationally influenced by the Sun, may extend a thousand times further out! Our Sun is located 26,000 light years from the centre of the Milky Way Galaxy and is thought to be just one of the one hundred billion stars in the galaxy!
Scattered Disc & Oort Cloud
The Scattered Disc is a thick ‘doughnut-shaped’ region of the outer solar system beyond the Kuiper belt that is populated with icy minor planets. The more distant (& theoretical) icy Oort Cloud lies even further out and stretch as far as 50,000 AU from the Sun and are both are thought to be home to Comets!