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.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry 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.
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.
small, rocky body traveling around the sun.
Encyclopedic Entry: meteoroid orbit Verb
to move in a circular pattern around a more massive object.
Encyclopedic Entry: orbit orbital plane Noun
flat space in which a body orbits.
at a right angle to something.
large, spherical celestial body that regularly rotates around a star.
Encyclopedic Entry: planet solar system Noun
the sun and the planets, asteroids, comets, and other bodies that orbit around it.
star at the center of our solar system.