Question Video: Recalling That the Solar System Orbits the Center of the Galaxy Science

Complete the following sentence: The solar system _.


Video Transcript

Complete the following sentence. The solar system blank. (A) Orbits another star system. (B) Orbits the center of the galaxy. (C) Does not orbit anything.

In this question, we’re considering the solar system and whether it orbits anything in particular.

Now, when we talk about orbit, we might first think of things orbiting the Earth, such as satellites or the Moon. Recall that gravity is what keeps objects in orbit because it acts to pull any objects with mass together. For example, gravity keeps satellites in orbit around Earth, and it also keeps Earth in orbit around the Sun. In fact, gravity is responsible for keeping the entire solar system together.

We should recall that the solar system includes Earth, the seven other planets, and many moons, asteroids, and comets, as well as the Sun, which is a star. As well as the Sun, there are billions of other stars within the Milky Way, all of which are held together by gravity. Gravity causes everything in the Milky Way to orbit the center of the galaxy. This rotation is actually what helps give the Milky Way its spiral shape. All of the starts in the Milky Way orbit the center of the galaxy, including the Sun and therefore the entire solar system.

Therefore, the correct answer is option (B). Completing the sentence then, we know that the solar system orbits the center of the galaxy.

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