The Sun
Dwarf Planets
Beyond Neptune
Formation & Destruction

Solar System

This is the second-most extensive section of the site, covering nearly everything from the center of our solar system - the Sun - through the outer reaches - the Oort Cloud.

The first part of the section is devoted to what we know about the Sun. It very briefly covers its birth, how it produces energy, and how it will die, but this is discussed in more detail in the Stars' section, "Birth," and "Life of a Sun-Like Star." The focus of "The Sun" section is more about the fine-scale details of our star, such as the Sun's structure, solar granules, helioseismology, sunspots, flares and prominences, as well as some solar phenomena like solar eclipses and why sunsets are red.

The "Planets" section is highly detailed in its information about each planet along with discussions about planetary moons and rings.

The "Dwarf Planets" section is fairly brief in its discussion of Ceres and Eris, but that is mainly because not much is known about them. A fairly detailed discussion of Pluto is included along with the controversy over what is the definition of a "Planet" (which is also included in the main "Planets" page).

"Asteroids" covers what we know about asteroids - from their distribution in space to what they are made of to meteor showers and meteorites.

The "Comets" page is a similar discussion to the "Asteroids," discussing where they come from, what they are made of, the anatomy of an active comet, and an in-depth discussion about a few specific comets such as Haley and Wild-2.

The "edge" of the solar system is discussed in the "Beyond Neptune" page. Included here is the Kuiper Belt, Oort Cloud, and heliopause, along with information from the ongoing Pioneer and Voyager missions.

Finally, "Formation & Destruction" discusses how the solar system formed and how it will die. Much of this information is duplicated in terms of stellar birth and death - these are very briefly discussed in this section along with appropriate links to more detailed information within this site), and more detailed information is given in terms of the Sun's increased heat output rendering Earth uninhabitable in 1-2 Gyrs, how large the Sun will grow during its red giant phase and the possibility of life moving to Jupiter's moon Europa, and finally what the Sun's white dwarf phase will mean for the planets that survive.