How Many Planets Are There In The Solar System

John Said:

How many solar systems are there?

We Answered:

There may be other stars somewhere with multiple orbiting planets, but they would not be called a “Solar System.” That term is reserved exclusively for our star (the Sun) and our 8 or 9 planets (or however many planets there are officially this week).

Bernard Said:

How many planets are there in our solar system and please name all them?

We Answered:

This is all hot off the press and there are conflicting reports.

As of earlier today, we are down to eight: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Pluto got stripped of planetary status or so Yahoo News said.

The report went on to say that 1 Ceres, Xena (same things as UB-313) Charon and Pluto are to be known as dwarf planets (not minor planets and not Plutons)

JIbba Jabba’s comments are interesting news. 2 Pallas 4 Vesta and 10 Hygiean, like 1 Ceres, are all in the asteroid belt (between Mars and Jupiter) not the Kuiper Belt (beyond Neptune) so the new category they are to be fitted into covers both belts it would seem and they are not all Trans-Neptunian Objects as Jibba-Jabba asserts.

A definition that specified that onjects had to be spherical would exclude Hygiea which is oblong Hygiea (discovered 1849) is the fourth largest asteroid, with diameters of 350–500 km and a mass estimated to be 3% of the total mass of the asteroid belt.

1 Ceres (discovered 1801), 2 Pallas (discovered 1802), 3 Juno (discovered 1804) and 4 Vesta (discovered 1807) were all regarded as planets when discovered, Partly because the concept of asteroid was only introduced by Sir William Herschel in 1802 after Pallas was discovered (he was disappointed how small Ceres and Pallas were) and there was no alternative category to give them.

Once more asteroids began to be discovered (starting with 5 Astraea in 1845 and rapidly reaching over 100 by 1868) then they were demoted from planetary status, This was the outcome the last time the IAU had a classification tussle on their hands.

Arlene Said:

How many planets are there in the Solar System?

We Answered:



Jacqueline Said:

How many planets are there in the solar system now???

We Answered:

Just as many as there used to be.

The IAU scored a big blunder by messing around with the traditional system when all they needed to do was declare that Pluto was officially a Kuiper belt object and only an ‘honorary’ planet.

To say there ‘were 9’ or ‘are 8’ planets is misleading anyway. There are several thousand ‘minor planets’ (a.k.a. asteroids) throughout the solar system, plus now hundreds more Kuiper objects (ice planets).

It would be better to have object groupings:

– Major Rocky planets (4)
– Minor Rocky planets (many)
– Gas Giants (4)
– Ice Planets (many)

Alexander Said:

How many planets are there in the solar system?

We Answered:


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