I was wondering how large our solar system is when compared to other known solar systems? is it big or small, and what are the names of the solar systems it is larger than, smaller than, or the equal to?


Thanks for your question! It is great that you're interested in astronomy and planetary systems outside our own, especially since we are living in a very exciting time where discoveries of new planetary systems happen very frequently thanks to advances in technology.

As of right now, most of the planetary systems we have discovered have only one planet; other planets might be there, but too difficult to detect because they are not massive enough. Out of about 240 planets discovered, only 25 were in multiple planet systems, but this last number will go up as technology advances and we become better and better at detecting planets.

The most “populated” extrasolar system right now is the one that orbits the star 55 Cancri. You can read more about it at

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/55_Cancri

where there's a nice figure comparing the size of the orbit of Jupiter to the size of the whole 55 Cancri system.

Good luck, and keep being curious!

Stefano

Image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/55_Cancri

 
how_large_is_our_solar_system_is_when_compared_to_other_known_solar_sytems.txt · Last modified: 2009/01/16 11:07 by czars · [Old revisions]