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The life-cycle of the Solar System

The life-cycle of the Solar System

The formation of the Sun and the planets started with the contraction of a dust cloud about 4.5 billion years ago.

Geography

Keywords

Solar System, Sun, protosun, protoplanet, planet, star, stars, Earth, proto-Earth, formation of the Earth, rocky planet, gas planet, outer planet, inner planets, red giant, white dwarf, future, fusion, hydrogen, helium, gas cloud, nebula, star development, astronomy, geography, physics

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Our astronomical neighborhood

A demonstration of nearby planets, stars and galaxies.

Planets, sizes

The inner planets of the Solar System are terrestrial planets while the outer planets are gas giants.

The Solar System; planetary orbits

The orbits of the 8 planets in our Solar System are elliptical.

The Sun

The diameter of the Sun is about 109 times that of the Earth. Most of its mass consists of hydrogen.

Comets

Comets are spectacular celestial bodies orbiting the Sun.

Milky Way

The diameter of our galaxy is about 100,000 light years; it contains more than 100 billion stars, one of which is our Sun.

Types of stars

This animation demonstrates the process of star development for average and massive stars.

Earth

The Earth is a rocky planet with a solid crust and oxygen in its atmosphere.

Jupiter

Jupiter is the largest planet of the Solar System, it has two and a half times the mass of all the other planets combined.

Mars

Possible traces of water and life are sought on Mars.

Mercury

Mercury is innermost and smallest planet of the Solar System.

Neptune

Neptune is the outermost planet of the Solar System, the smallest of the giant planets

Phases of the Moon

During its orbit around the Earth, the visibility of the Moon's illuminated part constantly changes.

Pluto - Charon system

The largest satellite of Pluto is Charon.

Saturn

Saturn is the second largest planet in the Solar System, easily recognisable by its rings.

The Moon

The Moon is the Earth's only natural satellite

Uranus

Uranus is the 7th planet from the Sun, a gas giant.

Venus

Venus is the 2nd planet from the Sun, the brightest object on the night sky (after the Moon).

Continental drift on a geological timescale

The Earth's continents have been in constant motion during the history of the planet.

Hubble Space Telescope

The Hubble Space Telescope orbits outside the distorting influence of Earth´s atmosphere.

ISS

The International Space Station is a habitable satellite built with the cooperation of 16 countries.

Lunar eclipse

Lunar eclipses occur when the Moon passes through the shadow cone of Earth

Mars Exploration Program

Space probes and Mars rovers examine the structure of Mars and possible traces of life.

Space Shuttle

The Space Shuttle was a manned, reusable spacecraft operated by NASA.

Sputnik 1 (1957)

The Soviet-made satellite was the first spacecraft to be launched into outer space (in October 1957).

The Cassini-Huygens Mission (1997-2017)

The Cassini spacecraft was exploring Saturn and its moons for nearly 20 years.

The Dawn mission

Studying Ceres and Vesta will help us learn more about the early history of the Solar System and how rocky planets are formed.

The New Horizons mission

The New Horizons space probe was launched in 2006, with the objective to study Pluto and the Kuiper Belt.

Voyager space probes

The Voyager space probes were the first man-made objects to leave the Solar System. They gather data about outer space and carry information about humanity.

Yuri Gagarin’s journey to outer space (1961)

Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space on April 12, 1961.

Apollo 15 mission (Lunar Rover)

The animation shows the two-seater Lunar Rover used in the Apollo 15 mission

Moon landing: July 20, 1969

Neil Armstrong, one of the crew members of Apollo 11 was the first man to set foot on the Moon.

Solar eclipse

When the Sun, Earth, and the Moon are arranged in a straight line, the Moon can partially or completely obscure the Sun.

Timeline spiral

Place historical events on the time spiral.

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