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Our Galactic Neighborhood
The words "solar system" refer to the sun and all of the objects that travel around it - planets, natural satellites such as the moon, the asteroid belt, comets and meteoroids. Our solar system is part of a spiral galaxy known as the Milky Way. The sun, the center of our solar system, holds eight planets and countless smaller objects in its orbit.

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Known to the ancients: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are visible to the naked eye and have been known since prehistoric times.

Modern Planets: Uranus (1781), Neptune (1846) and Pluto (1930) were discovered only after the invention of the telescope. In 2006, Pluto was reassigned to a new class of planets known as the dwarf planets.

Additional Information:

Known to the ancients: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are visible to the naked eye and have been known since prehistoric times.

Modern Planets: Uranus (1781), Neptune (1846) and Pluto (1930) were discovered only after the invention of the telescope. In 2006, Pluto was reassigned to a new class of planets known as the dwarf planets.