The solar system is enormous. To give some perspective Voyager 1, after flying for 35 years, left the solar system and entered interstellar space on August 2012.

Our solar system is filled with many different objects. The sun, planets, dwarf planets, moons, asteroids, comets, sednoids, centaurs and dust clouds are all the components of our solar system.

The solar system is filled with many objects ranging from tiny dust grains to gas giant Jupiter.  Earth is constantly being bombarded by meteorites. The news periodically warns us of near asteroids. All of this gives us a skewed perspective on what really makes up the solar system.

Mass Percentages

The sun is colossal, making up a stunning 99.86% of the solar system. Think about that for a minute. Planets, moons, asteroids, comets, etc. make up  a mere .14% of the mass.

Feeling small yet?

The four largest planets, the gas giants, make up 99% of the remaining mass.  Jupiter and Saturn, the two largest planets, make up 90% of that mass.

Feeling smaller?

Earth, Venus, Mercury, Mars, Pluto, moons, asteroids, comets and dust grains only comprise a meager .002% of the solar system.

The sun’s gargantuan mass pulls the solar system along on it’s travels through the milky way while providing energy for life on earth.  It truly is awe-inspiring!

iCraveScience

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