THE SOLAR SYSTEM consists of a central star ( the Sun ) and the bodies that orbit it. These bodies include eight planets and more than 160 known moons, dwarf planets, Kuiper belt objects, asteroids, comets, and meteoroids The Solar system also contains interplanetary gas and dust. The planets fall into two groups : four small rocky planets near the Sun ( Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars ) and four planets further out ( Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune ). Between the rocky planets and giants is the asteroid belt, which consists of thousands of chunks of rocks orbiting the Sun. Beyond Neptune are the Kuiper belt and more distant, the Oort cloud. Most of the bodies in the planetary part of the Solar system move around the sun in an elliptical orbit located in a thin disc around the Sun's equator. All these planets orbit the Sun in the same direction ( antilock wise when viewed from above ) and all but Venus and Uranus spin about their axes in this direction. Moons also spin as they in turn orbit their planets. The entire Solar system orbits the centre of our galaxy, the Milky Way.