Our Solar System has eight planets — Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Pluto was earlier considered a planet but has now been stripped of its planethood. All the planets revolve around the Sun in an elliptical orbit.
A group of rocky objects found between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter is called asteroids. When fragments of rocks enter the surface of the Earth, they start burning because of friction. Such burning objects are known as shooting stars. When these do not get burnt completely, they land on the Earth and are known as meteorites.
Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars are called the inner planets. They are also known as terrestrial planets as their structure is similar to that of the Earth.
Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are known as outer planets. These are also known as Jovian planets as their structure is similar to Jupiter. They have rings around them and have several moons.
Pluto has been stripped of its planethood because it does not conform to the recognized elliptical path and has a wide variation in its path while revolving around the Sun. It is also smaller than the other planets. Thus, scientists have termed it a dwarf planet.
Classification of Planets in our Solar System
The eight planets in our solar system have been divided into two groups. All Planets of a particular group have some common features. “Terrestrial planets’ or ‘Rocky planets’ and ‘Jovian planets’ or ‘Gaseous planets’ (Gas giants) are the two groups of planets.
In our solar system, the four planets nearest to the Sun are Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars are called terrestrial planets because their structure is similar to the earth.
The other four planets in our solar system are Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are called Jovian planets.
Also, Read Landforms of the Earth