• Question: when we look at diagrams of the solar system, the planets are all in line, as though they are on a plate. Is it like this in real life?

    Asked by cai192546 to Sara, Amy, Drew, Julia, Kimberley on 21 Jun 2011. This question was also asked by amatla.
    • Photo: Sara Imari Walker

      Sara Imari Walker answered on 15 Jun 2011:

      Hi Cai! Love all these spacey questions =) Yes the solar system is actually shaped like a disk! This is for the same reason as the planets have their spin. In your earlier question about the Earth’s spin I think I explained how the solar system formed from a giant spinning cloud. Well that cloud also flattened as it spun and compressed (think about how pizza dough can get flattened as expert chefs spin the dough above their heads!). So all the planets and the Sun ended up forming in a plane. Our solar system is pretty flat!

    • Photo: Amy MacQueen

      Amy MacQueen answered on 21 Jun 2011:

      I was sure I already answered this!! i think the website is broken! Sorry Cai! Sara’s got it thugh! 🙂

    • Photo: Julia Griffen

      Julia Griffen answered on 21 Jun 2011:

      As Sara said.