Boss, Alan P. Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution for Science, Washington, DC.
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The Sun and the bodies moving in orbit around it. The most massive body in the solar system is the Sun, a typical single star that is itself in orbit about the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. Nearly all of the other bodies in the solar system—the terrestrial planets, outer planets, asteroids, and comets—revolve in orbits about the Sun. Various types of satellites revolve around the planets; in addition, the giant planets have orbiting rings. The orbits for the planets appear to be fairly stable over long time periods and hence have undergone little change since the formation of the solar system. It is thought that some 4.567 × 109 years ago, a rotating cloud of gas and dust collapsed to form a flattened disk (the solar nebula), in which the Sun and other bodies formed. The bulk of the gas in the solar nebula moved inward to form the Sun, while the remaining gas and dust are thought to have formed most of the other bodies in the solar system by accumulation, proceeding through collisions of intermediate-sized bodies called planetesimals. Planetary systems consisting of combinations of gas giants (similar to Jupiter), ice giants (similar to Neptune), and super-Earths, some of which are massive, rocky planets (similar to Earth) are now known to exist around many other stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. See also: Extrasolar planets; Planet
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Its dedicated editorial team is led by Sagan Award winner John Rennie. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 42 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8500 articles and Research Reviews covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 17,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information