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Planets of the Solar System
Planets of the Solar System

A planet is a large, rounded astronomical body that is neither a star nor a stellar remnant. The Solar System has eight (pictured): four terrestrial planets, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars; and four giant planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. The term "planet" at first included the Sun, Moon and the five naked-eye planets that move across the background of the stars; they were seen as having associations with the gods. Copernicus theorized the Earth was a planet and, like the others, orbited the Sun. "Planet" came to include many objects, such as moons, within and beyond the Solar System. The International Astronomical Union in 2006 defined a planet in the Solar System to have cleared its neighborhood of other bodies, and that extrasolar planets should orbit stars and not be large enough to support deuterium fusion. Many planetary scientists, though, still apply the word "planet" more broadly, including dwarf planets, planetary-mass moons, rogue planets and brown dwarfs. (Full article...)

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Copper sunbird

The copper sunbird (Cinnyris cupreus) is a species of passerine bird in the family Nectariniidae. It is native to tropical Africa, its range extending from Senegal and Guinea in the west to South Sudan and Kenya in the east, and southwards to Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. It feeds on nectar that it extracts from selected flowers, such as Calliandra spp., Leonotis leonurus, Syzygium spp., and Senegalia polyacantha. It also takes fruits, spiders and insects, some of which are caught while in flight. This female copper sunbird of the subspecies C. c. cupreus was photographed in a Persian silk tree in Kakum National Park, Ghana.

Photograph credit: Charles J. Sharp

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