All the planets, asteroids, meteoroids, and comets in the solar system orbit the sun. This is called heliocentric orbit.

Almost all these bodies also travel in the same orbital plane, a thin disk surrounding the sun and extending to the edge of the solar system. The orbital plane usually prevents planets or other celestial bodies from bumping into each other.

Some comets orbit outside the orbital plane, perpendicular or at an angle to the rest of the solar system bodies.

asteroid
Noun

irregularly shaped planetary body, ranging from 6 meters (20 feet) to 933 kilometers (580 miles) in diameter, orbiting the sun between Mars and Jupiter.

celestial body
Noun

natural object in space, such as a planet or star. Also called an astronomical object.

comet
Noun

celestial object made up of ice, gas, and dust that orbits the sun and leaves a tail of debris.

heliocentric orbit
Noun

regular path around the sun.

Noun

small, rocky body traveling around the sun.

Verb

to move in a circular pattern around a more massive object.

orbital plane
Noun

flat space in which a body orbits.

perpendicular
Noun

at a right angle to something.

Noun

large, spherical celestial body that regularly rotates around a star.

solar system
Noun

the sun and the planets, asteroids, comets, and other bodies that orbit around it.

Noun

star at the center of our solar system.