Solar System Guide

I have recently read an article titled “Solar System Guide” written by Matt Williams of This article explains the origins, formation, and functions of our solar system the milky way. Our solar system was formed nearly 4.568 billion years ago due to the collapse of clouds and gases that were surrounding the universe at that time. The gases of hydrogen and helium were based in the center and started to become too hot and formed into what we call in class a protoplanetary disk. Following this planets began to form due to the accretion of the disk and the combination of dust and gas forming together to create large celestial bodies. With the extreme high boiling points the inner planets that are closer to the sun such as Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars consist of mainly metals and silicates. The outer planets consist of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune since they are far away from the sun they contain icy compounds that allow them to capture hydrogen and helium at a higher rate.

In class, we learned that before planets were formed our solar system was just composed of gases. As time went on, these gases then formed into a Protoplanetary disk, as I read about in the article, and collapsed. This then leads to the formation of planets, also explained in the article. However, the characteristics of these planets and how they relate to their location all vary. As we learned in class, the solar system is composed of 2 different types of planets, the terrestrial planets and the jovial planets. The terrestrial planets consist of the 4 inner planets, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. These planets have a core filled with metals and high temperatures. Then there are the 4 outer planets, the jovial planets. These are larger planets at cooler temperatures, mainly made up of hydrogen compounds. A big way these 2 types of planets differ is in temperature, which is due to its location. We learned in the Lecture-Tutorial, “Temperature and Formation of Our Solar System”(Pg. 111),  that water freezes at 273 Kalvin. On page 111 is a diagram that indicates at what temperature(Kalvin) each of the planets are. Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars were all past this point, making them far warmer. Where as the jovial planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune were all below the point in which water freezes. Also on Page 112 of the same Lecture-Tutorial, it was indicated that at temperatures hotter than the freezing point of water, gases such as hydrogen and helium have too much energy to condense together to form the Jovian planets. This relates to what we learned in the article, about how the 4 inner planets, in which we learned are all hotter then the point that water freezes, are composed of metals instead of hydrogen and helium. The 4 outer planets however are all below the point that water freezes, that’s why they are made up of hydrogen and helium.

The creation of our solar system is something that has always caught my attention because imagine the logn scary process our planet must have gone threw to get to where we are now. Before this objective I didn’t know exactly what each planet was made up of and now I know. I enjoyed writing this post because it gave me new outlets to look at when it comes to the creation of our universe and our solar system.



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