Planetary Science

Do planets circle the sun?

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05/05/2008

One of the most remarkable features of our solar system is that nearly all of the revolutions and rotations are in the same direction. From a point high above the north pole of the solar system the planets are revolving about the sun and rotating about their axes in a counterclockwise direction. This holds true also for the asteroids. If the planets and asteroids were formed from merely random accretions the would be an even mixture of the directions of revolution and rotation. The sun itself also rotates in a counterclockwise direction. The satellites of the planets also generally revolve and rotate in a counterclockwise direction. Of the thirty something satellites only six do not do so; they are said to have retrograde motion. Of the six exceptions five are outer satellites likely to be captured asteroids.

Source: applet-magic.com