Quiz 5. Architecture of the Solar System

Name: ________________________ GIVEN 9/27 ID number: ________________________

Here are three facts about the solar system:

  1. Planets in the inner solar system are made of rocks & metals, while planets in the outer solar system are mostly made of gas.
  2. Taken as a whole, the solar system is shaped like a thin disk; all the planets (except Pluto) have orbits which are aligned to within a few degrees of each other.
  3. All the planets orbit the Sun in the same direction.
Briefly explain these facts in terms of our ideas about the formation of the solar system. You can give one connected answer which discusses all three points, or list and address them separately.

Joshua E. Barnes (barnes@ifa.hawaii.edu)

Last modified: September 27, 2001