Our sun is a star, a hot ball of glowing gases at the heart of our solar system. Its influence extends far beyond the orbits of distant Neptune and Pluto.
It is a nearly perfect spherical ball of hot plasma, with internal convective motion that generates a magnetic field via a dynamo process.
Its diameter is about 109 times that of Earth, and it has a mass about 330,000 times that of Earth, accounting for about 99.86% of the total mass of the Solar System.
Sun-scorched Mercury's dayside is super heated, but at night tempearatures drop hundreds of degrees below freezing.
Ice may even survice in few craters.
Seen from Earth, it appears to move around its orbit in about 116 days, which is much faster than any other planet in the Solar System.
It has no known natural satellites.
The planet is named after the Roman deity Mercury, the messenger to the gods.
A dim world of intense heat and volcanic activity; Venus' thick, toxic atmosphere traps heat in a runaway greenhouse effect.
It has no natural satellite. It is named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty.
After the Moon, it is the brightest natural object in the night sky, reaching an apparent magnitude of −4.6, bright enough to cast shadows.
Because Venus is an inferior planet from Earth, it never appears to venture far from the Sun: its elongation reaches a maximum of 47.8°.
Air, water, land and life - including humans, combine forces on Earth to create constantly changing world that we are still striving to understand.
According to evidence from radiometric dating and other sources, Earth was formed about 4.54 billion years ago.
Within its first billion years, life appeared in its oceans and began to affect its atmosphere and surface,
promoting the proliferation of aerobic as well as anaerobic organisms.
Since then, the combination of Earth's distance from the Sun, its physical properties and its geological history have allowed life to thrive and evolve.