Planets are large objects that orbit or circle around a star, like the Sun! Planets can be made up of rocks and gases. Our Solar System is made out of 8 planets that are made up of either gas or rocks. Rocky planets are called terrestrial planets and gaseous planets are called gas giants.
Planets take billions of years to form. Let’s see the steps in which most planets, including the planets in the Solar System, were formed. Planets all start with a giant clump of gas, dust, and other materials. Because of gravity, the gas and dust start to bunch up and start to form a little depression. That depression in space grows and grows, becoming a star. A star, like the Sun, gives off heat, light, and particles that are filled with energy. After a star forms, there is always material that is left over. That material is called space dust. As the space dust orbits, or circles around the newly formed star, it starts crashing into other pieces of space dust. Over time, giant clumps of space dust or protoplanets start to form. Then, the protoplanets start crashing and colliding into each other to create round planets. Planets are round because of gravity and how the material is squished together. Gas planets, on the other hand, form in almost the same way as a star, but are small enough to be considered a planet. Gas planets do not give off as much energy as a star does. This is how planets are formed!
We will cover how moons are formed in the next post, so look out for that!