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Terrestrial Planets

The four terrestrial planets of the Solar System. From left to right: Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars.

A planet is a large object in space that characteristically orbits a star or similar objects. In the Solar System containing Earth, there are currently eight planets that revolve around the center star, the Sun.

While dwarf planets including Pluto also exist, the eight primary planets that are generally referred to making up the Solar System including the following (based on the distance from the Sun): Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Up until the year 2006, Pluto was also considered to be a planet (thus, the ninth planet) until it was redefined as a dwarf planet as a result of its properties.

Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars are known as the "terrestrial planets" as a result of their rocky body formation. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune on the other hand are referred to as "gas giants".


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