The solar system is the gravitationally bound system of the sun and the elements which are orbiting around it directly or indirectly. The objects that are orbiting around the Sun directly include the eight planets, as well as smaller objects such as dwarf planets and small solar system bodies.
The solar system originated 4.6 billion years ago when there was a gravitational collapse of a giant interstellar molecular cloud.
Most of the mass of the solar system is in the Sun and in Jupiter. Instead, the four inner planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars are composed prevalently by rocks and metal and contain terrestrial substances. Furthermore, the outer planers, known as giant planets, are bigger than the inner ones. These include Jupiter and Saturn, known also as gas giants as they are composed prevalently of hydrogen an helium; and Uranus and Neptune, known as ice giants as they are composed of substances with relatively high melting points. All the planets have circular orbits that lie within a flat disc called the ecliptic.
The solar system includes also smaller objects such as the asteroid belt which is in between Mars and Jupiter, and the Kuiper belt and scatters disc which lies beyond Neptune's orbit.
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