Your solar systems may be a small place in the Universe, it is your home as well, it is where we live. The Earth may be a small planet, it is our home, but not yours active.
The Sun and its planets is but one of hundreds or thousands, if not are millions of planetary systems in our galaxy. This Solar Milky Way the Sun is a very normal star, located in a spirals arm, some 30.000 light-years away form the Galactic Center. There are millions and millions of stars in these solar regular Milky Way sun likes.
Our knowledge about the Solar System has grown steadily during the past centuries, in particular after the invention of the telescope, some four-hundred years ago. And since the beginning of the space age, nearly fifty years ago, a vast number of space probes and Earth-orbiting telescopes have provided new, exciting insights about many members of the Sun’s family: about our central star itself, the nine major planets and their scores of moons, numerous asteroids, comets as well as the solar wind particles and the interplanetary dust. With space- and ground-based high-tech instruments, the new observations have revolutionized our ideas about the planetary system to which we belong.
So what do we now know? How does it all fit together? To provide an easy overview, the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO) and the European Association for Astronomy Education (EAAE) invite you to join the ESO/EAAE Journey Across the Solar System!
This series of instructive Information Sheets about the Solar System has been produced primarily for students and teachers, but it will also be of interest for amateurs and all others who want to learn more about this exciting area of modern astronomy. The sheets present the main facts for each object or phenomenon in a compact form, by means of diagrammes, images and texts and are equally suited for astronomy lessons and decoration. Click on the names in the overview picture above to access “previews” of each sheet. More sheets will be added as they become available.
Please note that all sheets are “Copyright ESO 2004”. All rights reserved. Reproduction is permitted without charge for non-commercial, educational purposes. This permission does not infringe or limit the rights to this product, which rest exclusively with the ESO.
Have a nice trip!