Introduction to the Solar System

The solar system consists of the Sun, nine planets, some 60 or so moons, and assorted minor materials (asteroids, meteoroids, comets, dust, and gas). All of these objects are tiny in comparison to the distances that separate them. Imagine the solar system scaled down such that distances to the planets could be spaced along a 10‐kilometer hiking trail. On such a scale the Sun would be represented by a ball only 2.3 meters in diameter. The distribution along the trail and the model sizes for each of the planets are shown in the following table: