Script error: No such module "Multiple image".
A planet is a large object such as Jupiter or Earth that orbits a star. Planets are smaller than stars, and they do not produce light.
Planets are shaped like a slightly squashed ball (called a spheroid). Objects that orbit planets are called satellites. A star and everything which orbits it are called a star system.
There are eight planets in our Solar System. Pluto used to be called a planet, but in August 2006, the International Astronomical Union decided it was a dwarf planet instead. There are four more known dwarf planets in the Solar System, Ceres, Makemake, Eris and Haumea.
The name "planet" is from the Greek word πλανήτης (planetes), meaning "wanderers", or "things that move". Until the 1990s, people only knew of those in the Solar System. As of June 2017, we know of 3,610 other planets. These newly found planets are orbiting other stars: they are extrasolar planets. Sometimes people call them "exoplanets".
In the Solar System
The planets in the Solar System have names of Greek or Roman gods, apart from Earth, because people did not think Earth was a planet in old times. However, Earth is occasionally referred by the name of a Roman god: Terra. Other languages, for example Chinese, use different names. Moons also have names of gods and people from classical mythology, or from the plays written by Shakespeare.
Here is a list of planets in the Solar System. They are ordered by how close they are to the Sun, nearest first.
Types of planets
Astronomers speak about major (or true) planets, and minor planets, which are smaller objects that go around the Sun. Some examples of "minor planets" are asteroids, comets, and trans-Neptunian objects.
Planets in the Solar System are of three sorts:
- Terrestrial or rocky: Planets that are similar to Earth — in them is mostly rock: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars.
- Jovian or gas giant: These planets are mostly made of gas: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune. Uranian planets are a special sort of gas giants, they have more hydrogen and helium.
- Icy: Sometimes people also have a third sort, for bodies such as Pluto (though Pluto is no longer called a planet by everyone). These planets are mostly made of ice.
Many objects in the Solar System that are not planets are also "icy". Examples are the icy moons of the outer planets of the Solar System (like Triton).
|The Solar System
Image:Solar System Template Final.png
- The Sun
rect 0 0 90 35 The Sun
circle 112 18 6 Mercury
circle 153 18 8 Venus
- Earth and the Moon
circle 203 8 4 The Moon
circle 194 18 8 Earth
- Mars and satellites
circle 233 18 8 Mars
circle 239 13 3 Phobos and Deimos
- Ceres and the asteroid belt
- - by placing the rectangle code for the asteroid belt AFTER Ceres, Ceres is "on top" (and can co-exist)
circle 271 18 8 Ceres
rect 256 0 288 35 The main asteroid belt
- Jupiter and satellites
- - by placing the rectangle code for the Rings of Jupiter AFTER Jupiter, Jupiter is "on top" (and can co-exist)
circle 317 18 15 Jupiter
circle 329 5 6 Moons of Jupiter
rect 298 15 335 20 Rings of Jupiter
- Saturn and satellites
- - by placing the rectangle code for the Rings of Saturn AFTER Saturn, Saturn is "on top" (and can co-exist)
circle 372 18 12 Saturn
circle 381 7 6 Moons of Saturn
rect 353 5 389 31 Rings of Saturn
- Uranus and satellites
- - by placing the rectangle code for the Rings of Uranus AFTER Uranus, Uranus is "on top" (and can co-exist)
circle 418 18 12 Uranus
circle 427 10 6 Moons of Uranus
rect 408 4 429 34 Rings of Uranus
- Neptune and satellites
- - by placing the rectangle code for the Rings of Neptune AFTER Neptune, Neptune is "on top" (and can co-exist)
circle 462 18 12 Neptune
circle 471 10 3 Moons of Neptune
rect 441 9 485 28 Rings of Neptune
- Pluto, satellites, and the Kuiper belt
- - by placing the rectangle code for the Kuiper belt AFTER Pluto, Pluto is "on top" (and can co-exist)
circle 504 18 8 Pluto
circle 508 13 3 Moons of Pluto
- Haumea and satellites
- - by placing the rectangle code for the Kuiper Belt AFTER Haumea, Haumea is "on top" (and can co-exist)
circle 534 18 8 Haumea
circle 538 13 3 Moons of Haumea
- - by placing the rectangle code for the Kuiper Belt AFTER Makemake, Makemake is "on top" (and can co-exist)
circle 567 18 8 Makemake
rect 490 0 580 35 The Kuiper Belt
- Eris, Dysnomia, and the Scattered disc
- - by placing the rectangle code for the Scattered disc AFTER Eris, Eris is "on top" (and can co-exist)
circle 596 18 8 Eris
circle 600 14 3 Dysnomia
rect 581 0 610 35 The Scattered Disc
rect 623 0 640 35 The Hills Cloud
rect 641 0 666 35 The Oort Cloud
- - setting this to "bottom-right" will display a (rather large) icon linking to the graphic, if desired
- Details on the new coding for clickable images is here: 
- The smaller planets have a bit of an overlap just to ensure they're locatable, especially in the belts.
- While it may look strange, it's important to keep the codes for a particular system in order. The clickable coding treats the first object created in an area as the one on top.
- - I've placed moons on "top" so that their smaller circles won't disappear "under" their respective planets or dwarf planets.
- The "poly" code would be more appropriate for the moons of Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus. However, there appears to be a bug with that aspect of the code.
- - I've compensated by using oversized circles for those moon groups, and tucking them UNDER their planets for now.
- The Sun is a rectangle as that approximates the edge closely enough for the purposes of this template.
- I've guessed as to the boundaries for the KB, SD, and OC - if they need adjustment, load the image into Paint and use the pencil tool to find the appropriate coordinates.
☾ = moon(s) ∅ = rings
|| Earth ☾
|| Mars ☾
| Jupiter ☾ ∅
|| Saturn ☾ ∅
|| Uranus ☾ ∅
|| Neptune ☾ ∅
|| Pluto ☾
|| Haumea ☾
| Eris ☾
| Groups and families: Vulcanoids · Near-Earth asteroids · Asteroid belt |
Jupiter Trojans · Centaurs · Neptune Trojans · Asteroid moons · Meteoroids · Pallas · Juno · Vesta · Hygiea · Interamnia · Europa
|See also the list of asteroids.
|Kuiper belt – Plutinos: Orcus · Ixion – Cubewanos: Varuna · |
Quaoar · Huya
| Scattered disc: Sedna
|| Periodic comets and non-periodic comets |
Damocloids · Oort cloud
| See also the list of solar system objects