|The Solar System|
The Solar System was formed 4.6 billion years ago from the collapse of a giant molecular cloud composed of hydrogen. The majority of the Solar System’s current mass is contained within the Sun, and most of the remaining mass in Jupiter.
To the ancient stargazer, the wondrous view of the stars appeared fixed and unchanging, with one regularly notable exception: several of the brightest members appeared to gradually roam across the background sky. These peculiar objects became known as the planets (Greek for wanderer). Once thought by some cultures to physically represent supernatural deities, all of them are named after Roman or Greek gods.
For more information on bodies occupying the Solar System, click on the links featured within the menu at the top or bottom of this page.