Our solar system consists of eight planets and one dwarf planet; Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. They are all centred around the sun, a star which provides a gravitational force on the planets keeping them in orbit. The solar system also contains numerous comets, asteroids and meteoroids. the solar system was formed 4.6 billion years ago from a giant interstellar molecular cloud
Since Sputnik 1 was launched in 1957, humans have sent thousands of spacecraft into the cosmos. There are currently around 50 active craft in our Solar System (not including miniaturised, amateur or commercial craft). Here’s where they are and what research they are doing.
Launched into space in 1977 to study the outer planets, Voyager 1 has become the first man-made object to leave the Solar System. To celebrate its incredible achievement, we look back at the highlights of its epic journey.