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solar system

Introduction

solar system, the sun and the surrounding planets, natural satellites, dwarf planets, asteroids, meteoroids, and comets that are bound by its gravity. The sun is by far the most massive part of the solar system, containing almost 99.9% of the system's total mass. The principal members of the sun's retinue are the eight major planets; other parts of the solar system are discussed in separate articles: see asteroid,comet, dwarf planet, and meteor.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Astronomy: General


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