How Significant Is Our Solar System in the Milky Way?

Our solar system is located in the Milky Way galaxy. Our solar system contains the Sun, planets, satellites and rings of planets, asteroids, comets and other dust particles. The Sun contains 99.9% of the matter in the solar system, but it contains only a tiny amount of the matter in the Milky Way galaxy. If we imagine that the Milky Way is the same size as the United States, our solar system would only be the size of a quarter in comparison to it. The size of the United States is more than 9 million square miles, whereas a quarter is less than 1 inch in diameter.

This means that we can fit about 597 billion of our solar systems into the Milky Way galaxy. It also means that our solar system makes up 1.6754386e-10% (.00000000016754386%) of the Milky Way galaxy. And since our Sun contains about 99.9% of all the matter of our solar system, we can also say that our Sun contains about 1.6754386e-10% of the matter in the Milky Way galaxy.

More about the Sun:

  • The Sun is about 4.6 billion years old.

  • Approximately one million Earths could fit inside of the Sun.

  • If we wanted to match the energy of the Sun, we would need to blow up about 100 billion tons of dynamite per second.

Discussion Comments


The sun takes up a lot of our solar system, but it doesn't take up much of the Milky Way galaxy.

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