Why are all of the planets round?

All of the planets are round because of gravity. When our Solar System was forming, gravity gathered billions of pieces of gas and dust into clumps which grew larger and larger to become the planets. The force of the collision of these pieces caused the newly forming planets to become hot and molten. The force of gravity, pulled this molten material inwards towards the planet's center into the shape of a sphere. Later, when the planets cooled, they stayed spherical. Planets are not perfectly spherical because they also spin. The spinning force acts against gravity and causes many planets to bulge out more around their equators.


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Learn about IRAS, the first infrared telescope launched into Earth's orbit!