• Question: how old is the solar system

    Asked by isabella to Michael S, Martin M, Kirsty R, Alexander dB on 15 Feb 2024.
    • Photo: Kirsty Ross

      Kirsty Ross answered on 15 Feb 2024:

      About 4.5 billion years old.

    • Photo: Martin McCoustra

      Martin McCoustra answered on 19 Feb 2024:

      Kirsty is right… Our Solar System is thought to be one of the third generation of stellar systems in the 13.6 billion year lifetime of the Universe.

    • Photo: Alexander de Bruin

      Alexander de Bruin answered on 20 Feb 2024:

      As Kirsty said, about 4.5 billion, which is about a third of the lifetime of the whole universe. Life has existed on earth for the last 3.5 billion years, and humans have only really been around for 2 million years, a tiny fraction of the age of the planet and solar system!

    • Photo: Michael Schubert

      Michael Schubert answered on 29 Feb 2024:

      Everyone has already answered this question, but I’ll add that these kinds of systems are always changing. Planets move slightly, the sun changes shape and size over time, asteroids (and sometimes even moons) disintegrate and new ones appear, things pass through the solar system… our solar system may have been around for 4.5 billion years, but it certainly doesn’t look quite the same now as it did then, and it won’t look the same in another billion years as it does now!