Energy & Green Tech

20 overlooked benefits of distributed solar energy

A study released today provides the most complete list yet of the advantages of solar energy—from carbon sequestration to improvements for pollinator habitat. The paper offers a new framework for analyzing solar projects ...

Energy & Green Tech

Experiments show dramatic increase in solar cell output

In any conventional silicon-based solar cell, there is an absolute limit on overall efficiency, based partly on the fact that each photon of light can only knock loose a single electron, even if that photon carried twice ...

Energy & Green Tech

Solar energy could turn the Belt and Road Initiative green

The region covered by the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has significant potential to be powered by solar energy, researchers report June 27 in the journal Joule. Less than 4 percent of the maximum solar potential of the ...

Energy & Green Tech

Which climates are best for passive cooling technologies?

A group of University of California, San Diego researchers set out to gain a better understanding of the thermal balance of power plants and surfaces, like heliostat mirrors or solar panels, when exposed to both solar (shortwave) ...

Energy & Green Tech

Cyprus racers show budget solar cars have a sunny future

Venetia Chrysostomide fastened her helmet and rolled her solar-powered car into the sunny streets of Cypriot capital Nicosia for a race to showcase such vehicles' eco-friendly potential, even on a budget.

Energy & Green Tech

Holistic view of planning energy self-sufficient communities

Sustainable communities supplied by local renewable energy production are beginning to be established in the U.S. By using energy-efficient buildings and distributing means of energy generation, such as solar panels, throughout ...

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Solar System

The Solar System[a] consists of the Sun and those celestial objects bound to it by gravity, all of which formed from the collapse of a giant molecular cloud approximately 4.6 billion years ago. The Sun's retinue of objects circle it in a nearly flat disc called the ecliptic plane, most of the mass of which is contained within eight relatively solitary planets whose orbits are almost circular. The four smaller inner planets; Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars, also called the terrestrial planets, are primarily composed of rock and metal. The four outer planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, also called the gas giants, are composed largely of hydrogen and helium and are far more massive than the terrestrials.

The Solar System is also home to two main belts of small bodies. The asteroid belt, which lies between Mars and Jupiter, is similar to the terrestrial planets as it is composed mainly of rock and metal. The Kuiper belt (and its subpopulation, the scattered disc), which lies beyond Neptune's orbit, is composed mostly of ices such as water, ammonia and methane. Within these belts, five individual objects, Ceres, Pluto, Haumea, Makemake and Eris, are recognised to be large enough to have been rounded by their own gravity, and are thus termed dwarf planets. The hypothetical Oort cloud, which acts as the source for long-period comets, may also exist at a distance roughly a thousand times beyond these regions.

Within the Solar System, various populations of small bodies, such as comets, centaurs and interplanetary dust, freely travel between these regions, while the solar wind, a flow of plasma from the Sun, creates a bubble in the interstellar medium known as the heliosphere, which extends out to the edge of the scattered disc.

Six of the planets and three of the dwarf planets are orbited by natural satellites, usually termed "moons" after Earth's Moon. Each of the outer planets is encircled by planetary rings of dust and other particles.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA