Quiz: How Well Do You Know Basic Facts About Our Solar System?
How Well Do You Know Basic Facts About Our Solar System?
By: Deborah Beckwin
Image: Suchart Kuathan/Moment/Getty Images

About This Quiz

The universe that we live in is a vast and ever-expanding place, expanding faster than the speed of light. And the calculations made in astronomy and cosmology are so large, it can be hard to comprehend how big the universe actually is.

Within our universe, there are at least 100 billion galaxies—and that's in the observable universe. If the universe expands faster than the speed of light, then that means there will be galaxies that we are unable to see. 

And in each galaxy, there are at least 100 billion stars.

On top of that, there could be multiple universes with at least as many galaxies as we have in ours.

And in that intergalactic soup of the billions of galaxies and stars is where we live—the Milky Way, the spiral disk of stars (at least 200 billion to possibly 400 billion stars) which contains our solar system. And our solar system is not the only one. Scientists have found at least 500 solar systems within our galaxy. But just within the Milky Way alone, there could be up to 100 billion solar systems.

Even just looking at our own solar system is enough to make one's mind implode with numbers that require scientific notation because there are just so many zeroes. But that's what this quiz will attempt to do—to test your knowledge on the basics of our solar system, one of possibly billions in a galaxy with billions of stars, in a universe with billions of galaxies. 

If you're ready to take this fantastic voyage through the place we call home, then let's liftoff! Have fun and good luck!

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In astronomical units (AU), what's the distance between the sun and the edge of the solar system?
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Earth is pretty far away from the sun, so approximately how long does it take for sunlight to reach us?
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The sun takes up how much of the total mass in our solar system?
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Solar winds from the sun envelope the planets in a bubble of charged particles known as what?
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When the sun has a solar flare or a coronal mass ejection, it affects Earth's magnetic field, which is known as what?
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Within Earth's magnetic fields are two large areas of radiation. Do you know what they're called?
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What is the name of the brightest star in our night sky?
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Officially, how many planets are in our solar system?
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In our solar system, how many recognized dwarf planets do we have?
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What's another term for the inner planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars)?
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What's another term for the outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus)?
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Between which two planets is the asteroid belt located?
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From Neptune's orbit to around 20 AU beyond, there's a flat area of our solar system containing small solar system bodies (SSSBs). What is this area called?
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Theoretically, just outside of our solar system, there's a cloud of icy planetesimals, or objects made from rocks, dust and other things. What is this cloud called?
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Which of the following planets is NOT named after a mythological god or goddess?
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What kind of star is the sun?
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Which is the least dense planet in our solar system?
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Which planet is the hottest in our solar system?
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Venus' clouds are comprised mainly of sulfur dioxide and what other compound?
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The nickname for which celestial body is "dirty snowball?"
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What is the technical term for a shooting star?
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Which planet was first thought to be a comet?
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Which planet is the smallest of the four outer planets?
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Which of the dwarf planets sometimes ends up being closer to the sun because of its eccentric orbit?
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Which planet was considered to be an asteroid until 2006?
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This dwarf planet was discovered in 2005.
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Which of the dwarf planets is the first Kuiper belt object found to have rings?
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Because this object appeared to be larger than Pluto, it set off a debate that caused the IAU to more clearly define what a planet is.
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What is the name of a hypothetical planet deep in our solar system?
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