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Physics - Facts about the Universe

The Milky Way formed around 13.7 million years ago

The Solar System formed 5000 million years ago

The Earth formed 4500 years ago

The diameter of the Milky Way is 100 000 light years

The diameter of the Sun is 1.4 million km

The diameter of the Earth is 12 800 km

The Earth’s oldest rocks are about 3900 million years old

The Moon takes 28 days to orbit the Earth

The Earth orbits the Sun once every 365 ¼ days

Each planet takes a different amount of time to orbit the Sun, this depends on how far away the planet is from the Sun

One light year is 9.46 x 1012 km or 9460 billion km

Jupiter is the largest planet in the Solar System and has 63 moons

Venus is the hottest planet in the Solar System

Mercury has no atmosphere

Pluto and its moon Charon are sometimes referred to as a ‘double planet’ because they are so similar in size

The planets are separated into three groups:

The terrestrial or rocky planets

Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars

The Gas giants

Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune

The dwarf planets

Pluto

There is an asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter which may be the remains of a planet

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