The solar system: What is the solar system?

Did You Know: Space – What is the solar system?

The solar system is our home in the universe.

It is made up of our sun at the center, with planets, dwarf planets, asteroids, and comets orbiting around it. Our solar system is just one of many similar systems in space.


Asteroids are lumps of rock and metal. They are much smaller than planets.


Nicknamed “dirty snowballs,” comets are lumps of rock and ice

Where did the solar system come from?

The sun

The solar system began 4.6 billion years ago when the sun was formed. A cloud of gas and dust became squashed together by gravity. It began to draw more material toward it until it became the sun.

Everything else

The bits of material left over after the sun formed clumped together into bigger and bigger pieces. These clumps became planets, dwarf planets, asteroids, comets, and moons.

Kuiper Belt

Toward the edge of the solar system is the Kuiper Belt. It is home to frozen objects, such as comets and dwarf planets.


An orbit is the curved path that an object follows in space. The planets and everything else in our solar system orbit the sun.


There are eight planets in our solar system. Some planets are rocky, such as Earth and Mars, and others are made mostly of gas, such as Jupiter and Saturn.