"Technically, what is going on is that the Earth, Sun and all the planets are orbiting around the center of mass of the solar system," writes Cathy Jordan, a Cornell University Ask an Astronomer contributor.
"The center of mass of our solar system very close to the Sun itself, but not exactly at the Sun's center."
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Every single object in the solar system, from the gargantuan sun to the tiniest speck, exerts a gravitational pull on everything else. The solar system is basically a massive game of tug of war, and all of the yanking balances out at a specific point: the center of mass, or "barycenter ." Everything in the solar system orbits around that point. Sometimes, it's almost smack dab at the Sun's center. Right now, the barycenter is just outside the Sun's surface. But it's constantly changing depending upon where the planets are in their orbital paths.
Because the Sun holds 99.87% of all the mass in the solar system, it's always going to win the tug of war. Even if all the planets were perfectly lined up on one side of the Sun, the center of mass would be just 800,000 kilometers off the surface of the Sun. That sounds like a lot, but remember, our solar system is big! Such a barycenter would be roughly 70 times closer to the Sun than the closest planet to the Sun, Mercury.
However, rather than play a billion-year game of cosmic tag, more often than not, binary stars will take an elliptical orbit!
The rest of the universe certainly doesn't revolve around the Earth, but, like so many topics in science, it's an oversimplification to say that everything orbits around the Sun.
An object in motion will stay in motion unless something pushes or pulls on it.
This statement is called Newton's first law of motion.
Without gravity, an Earth-orbiting satellite would go off into space along a straight line. With gravity, it is pulled back toward Earth.
Jupiter is our fith planet from our Sun and is by far, the largest planet in the solar system - more than twice as massive as all the other planets combined. Jupiter's stripes and swirls are actually cold, windy clouds of ammonia and water, floating in an atmosphere of hydrogen and helium. Jupiter’s iconic Great Red Spot is a giant storm bigger than Earth that has raged for hundreds of years.
Jupiter is surrounded by dozens of moons. Jupiter also has several rings, but unlike the famous rings of Saturn, Jupiter’s rings are very faint and made of dust, not ice.
UY Scuti is the largest star in the observable Universe with a mass coming in at around 1,700 times larger than the mass of the sun.
UY Scuti is a specific type of star known as a hypergiant which are usually short lived and extremely rare because of the fact that they lose a large portion of their mass extremely quickly due to stellar winds.
To give some perspective, UY Scuti is around 6.5 Quadrillion times larger than Earth, 738.4 million miles in radius, and is 9,500 light years away from our solar system.
It really makes you think as to how something so large can exist in our universe.
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