The Solar System[a] consists of the Sun and those celestial objects bound to it by gravity, all of which formed from the collapse of a giant molecular cloud approximately 4.6 billion years ago. The Sun’s retinue of objects circle it in a nearly flat disc called the ecliptic plane, most of the mass of which is contained within eight relatively solitary planets whose orbits are almost circular. The four smaller inner planets; Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars, also called the terrestrial planets, are primarily composed of rock and metal. The four outer planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, also called the gas giants, are composed largely of hydrogen and helium and are far more massive than the terrestrials.
The Solar System is also home to two main belts of small bodies. The asteroid belt, which lies between Mars and Jupiter, is similar to the terrestrial planets as it is composed mainly of rock and metal. The Kuiper belt (and its subpopulation, the scattered disc), which lies beyond Neptune’s orbit, is composed mostly of ices such as water, ammonia and methane. Within these belts, five individual objects, Ceres, Pluto, Haumea, Makemake and Eris, are recognised to be large enough to have been rounded by their own gravity, and are thus termed dwarf planets. The hypothetical Oort cloud, which acts as the source for long-period comets, may also exist at a distance roughly a thousand times beyond these regions.
Within the Solar System, various populations of small bodies, such as comets, centaurs and interplanetary dust, freely travel between these regions, while the solar wind, a flow of plasma from the Sun, creates a bubble in the interstellar medium known as the heliosphere, which extends out to the edge of the scattered disc.
Six of the planets and three of the dwarf planets are orbited by natural satellites, usually termed “moons” after Earth’s Moon. Each of the outer planets is encircled by planetary rings of dust and other particles.
Home Solar System – Do Your Homework
You may be thinking about installing a home solar system. There are a lot of things to consider, like the cost, the benefits, and if your house is a good candidate for home solar system.
Reasons to Install Solar Energy
A solar energy system can positively affect the value of your house. According to home appraisal statistics, a home’s value goes up about $20 for each dollar reduction in the yearly utility cost.
Lowering your energy bills and saving money are generally the biggest incentive to installing solar power. For someone that pays more than $75 a month for electricity, and also has a tax-deductible loan payment for the installation of their solar system, that loan payment may be less than their electric bill. An energy solar system can eventually save you about $80 a month.
Currently, the approximate cost of electricity per kilowatt-hour for a solar energy system is about the same as for the electricity provided by the local utility company. However, a home solar system has minimal maintenance costs, so installing a system now, in essence locks in today’s electricity prices for the life of your system.
“Green” is good in this day and age. Energy from solar reduces your “environmental footprint”.
The Earth naturally receives adequate solar energy every day to provide each house and business on the planet with energy. Solar power is clean and reliable.
Is My Home a Good Candidate for Solar Energy?
If your are convinced that solar power is the way to go, the next step is to determine if your home and its location are appropriate for it. An installer of solar energy systems will consider these five things:
1. Does enough sun fall in the region in which you live?
2. Does your house have 500 square feet of roof that gets at least 5 hours of direct sun each day?
3. Are there too many trees or other structures that would cause too much shading on the energy panels during the peak hours?
4. Is the roof structure strong enough to support the panels?
“This article is brought to you by Gus Woltmann”.