Difference between Universe and Solar System

Key Difference: Universe refers to everything that exists including space and dark matter. A smallest tiny particle of sand is also a part of the Universe and similarly the largest galaxy also forms a part of the Universe. A Solar System is a system in which planets and other space objects revolve around a star. Our Solar System consists of the Sun, as the main star, around which planets revolve. All solar systems form a part of the Universe.

Universe and Solar System are two important terms related to astronomy. Scientists are researching on many fields related to them. Let us understand the meaning of Universe and Solar System, so that no confusion exists between the two.

It is very difficult to explain or define Universe. It is a vast space, vaster than you can hardly imagine. Universe comprises of both matter and energy that exist. It consists of everything observable as well as unobservable that might exist in terms of time, space or energy. Our Earth is also a part of the Universe.

The term ‘Universe’ is derived from Old Latin word ‘Univorsum’, in which ‘uni’ refers to “one” and ‘Versum’ refers to “something that rolls or rotates.” This Latin term was then adapted in French as ‘Univers’ and later in English was adopted as ‘Universe.” All the planets, galaxies, stars, every minute particle that has its existence constitute the Universe.

Most of the astronomers believe that entire Universe existed as a single point of infinite density. The Bing Bang theory suggests that Universe came into existence some 13-14 billion years ago with an explosion of energy and light. It is also supposed that at that time the Universe was about a hundred thousand million degrees centigrade hot and thus, it was just filled with light. It then started expanding and is still expanding. However, many other theories about the creation and origin of Universe are also suggested by many scientists.

Scientists can also tell that an object is approaching towards Earth or moving away, with the help of object’s electromagnetic spectrum. The shift in the spectrum is used to determine the process.

A Solar System can be defined as a system comprising of a star and all the materials that surrounds the star. The most familiar is the Solar System that is associated with our planet. Our Solar System consists of the Sun as the central star and eight planets that revolve around the Sun.  The Solar System not only comprises of Sun and planets, but also some smaller objects such as asteroids, comets and meteoroids.

Our Sun is around 1,392,000 kilometers. The temperature in the Sun is estimated to be over 15,000,000 degrees celsius. In center of the Sun, a nuclear fusion takes place; hydrogen atoms generate Helium. The Sun radiates into the space. Sun is massive and thus, has a high gravitational pull. Therefore, it is able to exert a very powerful gravitational pull on everything that is present around it like the planets.

The planets are further classified into inner and outer planets. Inner plants include Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars, whereas outer planets consist of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. An asteroid’s belt can be seen between the outer and inner planets. Some planets also have their natural satellites; moon is a natural satellite of Earth. Our Solar System is located in the galaxy known as Milky Way and it is present at its outward spiral.

Thus, we can say that a Solar System is a part of the Universe. There are numerous Solar Systems that are present in the Universe. Universe is only one as it is supposed to contain everything.

Image Courtesy: universetoday.com, dragoart.com

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