The planets are the most important members of the sun’s family. There are nine planets in the solar system, which are revolving round the sun almost in the same plane these planes in order of increasing distance from the sun are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.
The inner four planets Mercury, Venus, Earth and mars are made up rock matter and iron and are known as earth-like planets. The outer group of planets consists of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. These planets are mainly made up of hydrogen and helium.
A planet has no light of its own. A planet shines because it reflects light of the sun. Unlike stars, planets do not twinkle at night. Therefore, a planet can be easily distinguished from a star by the fact that stars twinkle at night whereas planets do not. Among the various planets, Venus is by far the brightest planet and is brighter then any star. Venus can be observed as an evening “star” in the western sky for a short time after sunset. As a among “star” it has seen in the eastern sky shortly before sunrise. When daylight advances, Venus remains in the sky but becomes invisible because of blinding light of the sun. Venus, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are large enough and close enough to be visible to the naked eye.
Some more facts about the planets are:
1. The closest planet to the sun — Mercury
2. Farthest planet from the sun — Pluto
3. The smallest planet — Mercury
4. The largest planet — Jupiter
5. The planet closest to the earth — Venus
6. The second largest planet — Saturn
7. The planet discovered last of all — Pluto (1930)
8. The planet with only one moon — Earth
9. Planets with no moons — Mercury, Venus, Pluto
10. Sister planet of earth — Venus
It may be mentioned her that all the planets travel from west to east around the sun in elliptical paths called orbits.