By Richard D. Jacobs, M.D.
Our Sun is but one of hundreds of billions of stars in our Milky Way Galaxy. Oursolar system consists of the planets, comets, asteroids, and other debris, that orbits our Sun. The know major planets orbiting our Sun include Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto. We now know that many other stars have planets (extrasolar planets“”), too. The word "planet" is derive from the Greek and means "wanderer". Planets were known by the ancients to be "stars" that wandered among the other "fixed stars" of our night sky. Of course, unlike real stars, which are much larger and very hot, planets do not emit their own light; they glow only because they reflect the light of our Sun. Planets are easily imaged from the back yard with inexpensive web cameras. The Sun requires special equipment and precautions to view or to image. The Sun should never be view directly, or through a telescope, without these precautions or blindness will result.