How Does Gravity Effect the Solar System?

Gravity is the force that keeps all of the planets, dwarf planets, moons, asteroids and comets orbiting the Sun. The force of gravity is inversely proportional to the distance of any two objects. This means that objects that are close to the Sun experience a stronger gravitational pull, and therefore, orbit the Sun at a greater speed.

Planets and other objects follow orbit around the Sun because they are moving laterally relative to the Sun while they are simultaneously being pulled toward the Sun. Orbiting objects do not usually follow perfectly circular paths. Most often, orbits take the shape of an ellipse or oval.

All the objects in the solar system orbit the Sun because it is the object with the most mass. The Sun has so much more mass than the Earth that gravity pulls objects toward its surface 28 times faster than they fall toward the Earth.

Satellites orbit planets and other objects because they feel a stronger gravitational pull from the object they are orbiting than from the sun. This happens because the satellites are much closer to the objects they orbit than to the sun, which offsets the gravitational pull of the sun, because it is farther away.