How Big is OUR Solar System?

“The Solar System is the gravitationally bound system comprising the Sun and the objects that orbit it, either directly or indirectly. Of those objects that orbit the Sun directly, the largest eight are the planets,  with the remainder being significantly smaller objects, such as dwarf planets and small Solar System bodies. Of the objects that orbit the Sun indirectly, the moons, two are larger than the smallest planet, Mercury.

The Solar System formed 4.6 billion years ago from the gravitational collapse of a giant interstellar molecular cloud. The vast majority of the system’s mass is in the Sun, with the majority of the remaining mass contained in Jupiter. The four smaller inner planets, Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars, are terrestrial planets, being primarily composed of rock and metal. The four outer planets are giant planets, being substantially more massive than the terrestrials. The two largest, Jupiter and Saturn, are gas giants, being composed mainly of hydrogen and helium; the two outermost planets, Uranus and Neptune, are ice giants, being composed mostly of substances with relatively high melting points compared with hydrogen and helium, called volatiles, such as water, ammonia, and methane. All eight planets have almost circular orbits that lie within a nearly flat disc called the ecliptic.”

“The solar system does not really end with Pluto. Besides the planets, there is a thin haze of dust (some of it bunched into comets). Any of this dust that is nearer to the Sun than to any other star may be in the gravitational hold of the Sun and so counts as part of the solar system. So the outermost of such dust may be half way to the nearest star.

On the scale of our model, Pluto is a thousand yards or rather more than a half a mile out. But this true limit of the solar system is two thousand miles out.

A thousand miles, in our model, is the distance called a light-year (in reality, about six million miles).

The distance to the nearest star, Proxima Centauri, is 4.2 such light-years.

The human mind can never conceive this thing called a light-year, which is the currency of our small-talk about the universe. (It is probable that we cannot directly conceive any distances above about 600 yards, which is where we sub- consciously place the horizon). But through the model, we move as far toward conceiving it as we ever can.

I, at least, have seemed to have some respect for the term, light-year; and to have some sense of what I mean when I use it-since I made the sensory approach to it through this model.

The rest of the stars in our galaxy are probably on the order of four to ten light-years apart from each other, as we are from our nearest neighbor.

This is a stunning thought when (having done the Thousand-Yard exercise) you go out at night and look at the Milky Way. It is a haze of light so delicate that it can no longer be seen from inside our light-ridden cities. It consists of the bulk of the stars in our galaxy, piled up in the distance, so numerous and so faint that we cannot see them separately. Yet they are all the same kind of distance from each other as we are from the nearest of them. That is if we could hop to any one of them, cavernous black space would open out around us, and the Sun itself would become part of that same dense far-off wall of stars, the Milky Way!”

What are Space´s Mysteries UNSOLVED?

Space is one of the vast spaces where a human being has searched for years learning many things about our planet and how we live in here. Still, many mysteries remain. Check out these unsolved mysteries of space! Do aliens have anything to do with these science mysteries of the universe?

The Galactic Phantom
While comets might be some of the more familiar objects we know of in space, and people have been observing them for thousands of years, the question is, where are these comets all coming from? And if their surface material starts to vaporize as they travel, it means they must have formed farther away, where they would have existed for most of their life.
In time, these observations led to the theory that far beyond the Sun and planets, there exists an invisible. hypothetical expanse of space, made up of a large cloud of icy material and rock.
Known as the Oort Cloud, scientists believe it exists as it would be the only plausible explanation for comets that follow a strange orbit in sync with a massive celestial cloud.
Everything in our solar system also has a faint gravitational connection to the Oort Cloud and is possibly surrounded by it. Kind of a lot of responsibility for something that we’re not even sure exists. If the Oort Cloud doesn’t exist, then where are comets coming from? And what is causing the faint gravitational connections caused by the galactic phantom?

Dark Flow
Astronomers have observed that galaxy clusters are constantly moving towards a point in the southern constellations of Centaurus and Hydra at a million mph. They have no idea what is causing this mysterious motion of galaxy clusters and have called it the Dark Flow.
Research led by Alexander Kashlinsky at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, tracks this collective motion that appears to be independent of the expansion of the universe and its direction is still not certain. We don’t know if these galaxies are coming or going. Also, they aren’t slowing down.
What makes this really strange—as if it wasn’t already pretty weird—is that the present distribution of mass in our universe does not account for dark flow. This suggests that an external source outside our universe is influencing and moving matter from our vicinity.
Kashlinsky suggests that our universe exists in a bubble, rubbing up against other bubbles formed during the big bang. He believes that our universe is expanding within this bubble and the large thing pulling at the galaxies might be in another bubble, influencing their motion and pulling them towards whatever it is. But of course it’s just a theory, so if you have any ideas, please let us know!

We only see 4% of the universe
The stars, planets, and galaxies that we see when we look up at the night sky make up just 4% of the universe. Most of the universe is made of things that we can’t see, detect, or understand.
The other 96% is considered dark energy and dark matter which account for the vast majority of the universe. While these things can’t be seen, astronomers infer their presence because of their gravitational influences on the little bits of the universe that we can see.
Dark matter was sort-of discovered in the 60s and 70s. In theory it is what keeps galaxies together. Astronomer Vera Rubin discovered that stars on the outskirt of galaxies move at the same speed as stars closer to the center of those galaxies. This should make the galaxies wildly unstable but they aren’t. The only explanation is some unseen material exerting a gravitational force although scientists have no idea what it’s made of. Many people have spent their entire career trying to figure out what it is. The Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator in Geneva may finally solve the puzzle.
In the mid-1990s, researchers were looking into how fast the universe was expanding and determine whether or not it would one day pull back into itself in a “Big Crunch”. What they discovered was that the universe’s expansion was accelerating. This should be impossible because the gravity of all the mass in the cosmos should be pulling the universe back inward. The solution was that there must be something pulling and counteracting the effects of gravity, so they came up with the concept of dark energy.
What scientists know for sure is that these two things they know nothing about, account for most of the universe.

 Hole in space
Astronomers have discovered an empty section of space which is missing around 10,000 galaxies. The ‘supervoid’, which is 1.8 billion light-years across, is too big to fit into predicted models and should be too big to even exist.
Scientists are baffled about what it is and why it is so barren. Other supervoids have been found before but this is the largest by far.