The solar system

Key points

  • The words 'solar system' refer to the Sun and all of the objects that travel around it.
  • Our solar system is made up of a star – the Sun – eight planets, 162 moons, dwarf planets and a bunch of comets, asteroids and other space rocks.
  • The eight planets that make up our solar system are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.
  • Our solar system is part of a galaxy known as the Milky Way.
  • The study of objects in the night sky (stars, galaxies and other things) is called astronomy.
  • School A to Z features links to third-party websites and resources. We are not responsible for the content of external sites.

Solar system

About the solar system

  • Inner & outer solar systems
  • The Hubble telescope has been used to study the planets in our solar system. This has led to new information about Pluto.
  • All planets have different moons. Mercury and Venus have none, Earth has one and Mars has two.
  • The sun is a star not a planet.
  • A solar eclipse occurs when the Earth passes through the Moon's shadow.
  • Find out about asteroids and comets.
  • Astronomy has been practiced since ancient times before telescopes.
  • Australia is very involved in space exploration.
  • Got more questions? Check questions and answers in the astrophysicist library.


Interesting fact

According to the New Mexico Museum of Space History, in 1514 Nicolaus Copernicus challenged the long held view that the Earth was the centre of the universe. From his observations done with the naked eye – long before telescopes were invented – Copernicus proposed that the centre of the universe was near the Sun.

Photos and videos


An astronaut in space

More information


This site uses Google Translate, a free language translation service, as an aid. Please note translation accuracy will vary across languages.

Doing it by the book

As a parent it's only natural to want to help your child, but when it comes to homework and study, the completed work should be theirs.

Here are some important points to remember to ensure your child is following good practice for a lifetime of learning.