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The Solar System includes the Sun and all that orbit around it including planets, moons, comets, asteroids, gas, and dust. Scientists theorized that it was formed approximately 4.6 billion years ago after the collapse of a giant molecular cloud.
See the fact file below for more information on the Solar System or alternatively, you can download our 24-page Solar System worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
Objects in the Solar System
- The Sun is the center of the Solar System wherein all objects orbit around it due to gravity. It is believed that 99.86% of the system’s mass is in the Sun while most of the remaining 0.14% are distributed in the eight planets.
- There are eight planets in the Solar System divided into inner and outer planets. Inner planets are also known as terrestrial planets composed of Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars which are characterized as small and made mostly of rock and metal.
- The outer planets also called gas giants are consist of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune which are larger and primarily composed of helium, hydrogen, and other gases. Uranus and Neptune are also called the ice giants due to its composition.
- Comets are icy bodies in the Solar System which are compared to dirty snowballs. A comet consists of ice, dust, carbon dioxide, ammonia, and more. They often have a tail made of solar radiation and solar wind. Most astronomers believed that they came from the Oort Cloud or Kuiper Belt.
- In addition to comets, asteroids also revolve around the sun. They are also called planetoids or minor planets which are mostly irregular in shape. Most asteroids lie in the Asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. In popular culture, once a big asteroid hit the Earth, it can bring apocalypse.
- In addition, there are 5 dwarf planets namely: Pluto, Ceres, Eris, Makemake, and Haumea. Pluto has been added to this category and was no longer the ninth planet in the system. A dwarf planet’s gravity is not sufficient to either attract or push smaller bodies which makes it different from a planet.
- Among the planets, Earth is the only place where water can be seen in solid, liquid, and vapor states. Venus also called as the twin planet is similar to Earth’s size, composition, and orbit.
- With 2,100 km/hr, Neptune has the strongest winds in the Solar System.
- The Solar System is part of a larger entity known as the galaxy. Scientists believed that there are billions of galaxies in the universe and that our Milky Way is just one of those.
- The moon is the most visible celestial body in the night sky. Earth have one that serves as a natural satellite. We can see different phases of the moon dependent on its position in relation to Earth and the Sun. It has a small core consists of iron, sulfur, and other elements. Craters can be seen in its surface most likely due to asteroid impacts. In relation to astronomical events, we can observe lunar eclipses when the moon, Earth, and the Sun forms a straight line and solar eclipse when the moon is in between the sun and Earth.
- Aside from Earth, other planets have moons including Mars with 2, Jupiter with 67, Saturn 62, Uranus 27, and Neptune with 14. Even dwarf planets except Ceres have moons. Only Mercury and Venus do not have any moons.
- Stars are radiant spheres made of plasma. They are mainly composed of hydrogen and formed in the nebulae or clouds of interstellar gas and dust. From November to April each year, Orion Nebula which is 1,500 light years away from Earth is visible to observers.
- Amidst billions of stars in the solar system, the most famous one is the Sun which is our source of light and heat. It is classified as a G-type star that formed around 4.6 billion years ago. Among the famous stars are the Alpha Centauri System, Sirius, Vega, Betelgeuse, Antares, and Rigel.
- Over the centuries, intellectuals have struggled to understand what lies beyond the Earth’s sky.
- Around 276 to 195 B.C, Greek mathematician and astronomer Eratosthenes measured the round Earth using the sun. His measurement was short by only 340 km compared to the actual measurement.
- Nicolaus Copernicus who lived in the 16th century proposed a model of the solar system in which the Earth revolves around the sun also known as the geocentric theory.
- In the late 16th and 17th century, Danish astronomer Johannes Kepler determined that planets travelled around the sun in ellipses not circles.
- Italian philosopher, physicist, and inventor Galileo Galilei was credited for creating optical telescope and discovering Jupiter’s four primary moons. He also defended the idea of Copernicus.
- Among others are Sir Isaac Newton, Edmond Halley, William and Caroline Herschel, Edwin Hubble, and Albert Einstein.
Solar System Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Solar System across 24 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Solar System worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Solar System which includes the Sun and all that orbit around it including planets, moons, comets, asteroids, gas, and dust. Scientists theorized that it was formed approximately 4.6 billion years ago after the collapse of a giant molecular cloud.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Solar System Facts
- Naming Planets
- Relationship Goals
- Planet World
- Space Exploration
- Famous Astronomers
- Other Objects
- Truth About Earth
- Space Movies
- Mission to Mars
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Link will appear as Solar System Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, May 4, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.