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The Solar System. By: Liz Moran. S4E1 : Students will compare and contrast the physical attributes of stars, star patterns, and planets.

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by liz moran

The Solar System

By: Liz Moran

S4E1: Students will compare and contrast the physical attributes of stars, star patterns, and planets.

S4E2: Students will model the position and motion of the earth in the solar system and will explain the role of relative position and motion in determining sequence of the phases of the moon.

table of contents
Table of Contents
  • What is the Solar System?
  • Stars
  • Planets
  • Moons
  • Space Exploration
what is the solar system
What is the Solar System?
  • The solar system is a group of objects in space that move around a central star (sun).
  • Includes planets, asteroids, moons and comets
  • Stars are burning spheres of gases.
  • Even though they look small from Earth, they are enormous.
star patterns
Star Patterns
  • Constellations are names for groups of stars that appear to form shapes in the sky. They were given their names many hundreds of years ago to help us remember which stars are which. We use constellations to divide up the sky; finding one can help us find another because constellations move so slowly that, in our lifetime, they will always be found in about the same place.
the sun the biggest star
The Sun – The Biggest Star
  • The biggest star in the solar system is the sun.
  • The sun is the largest object in the solar system.
  • The sun is more than 1 million kilometers long.
planet temperatures
Planet Temperatures
  • Since all planets revolve around the sun…they are all different distances away.
  • The farther the planet is away from the sun, the colder it will be.
  • Closest planet to the sun
  • About the size of the Earth’s moon
  • No atmosphere
  • Mercury virtual tour
  • Second planet from the sun
  • Very dry atmosphere
  • Venus virtual tour
  • Our wonderful planet is the third planet from the sun
  • Has water and volcanoes
  • Only planet with known life
  • Fourth planet from the sun
  • Known as the red planet because of the color of its soil
  • Has the largest volcano in the solar system…Mons Olympus
  • Mars virtual tour

Click here to go back to the nine planets site

  • Fifth planet from the sun
  • Largest planet in the solar system (3 Earths would fit inside of it)
  • Very active gas atmosphere, almost like a hurricane
  • Jupiter virtual tour
  • Sixth planet from the sun
  • Known for it’s rings, which can be seen from Earth with a telescope
  • Saturn virtual tour
  • Seventh planet from the sun
  • Most distant planet you can see without using a telescope
  • Has faint rings
  • Uranus virtual tour
  • Eighth planet from the sun
  • Neptune virtual tour
  • Planet farthest away from the sun
  • Smallest planet
  • Rocky surface surrounded by frozen gases
  • Pluto virtual tour
number of moons on each planet
Number of Moons on Each Planet

Each planet has a different number of moons. Mercury and Venus have zero.

phases of earth s moon
Phases of Earth’s Moon
  • The moon does not give off its own light. Instead, it reflects light from the sun. Half of the moon always faces the sun and so is always lit. As the moon moves through it’s orbit, different amounts of its lit half can be seen from Earth. That’s why the moon seems to have different shapes or phases. The moons cycle of phases takes about 28 days to complete.

Phases of the Moon Diagram (Earth is in center; white part of each moon is the visible part).

space exploration
Space Exploration
  • Since the planets and stars are so far away, we need special tools to view them. We can use telescopes from Earth, but to view them up close we need to go closer.
  • Astronauts can explore the universe up close using space probes to examine different planets and the Earth from afar.

Space ship launching


continue your journey in space
Continue your Journey in Space…
  • The Solar System is a wonderful and exciting thing to discover. There are many sites online to visit and learn much more. Here are a few:
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