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The universe is the whole cosmic system of matter, energy, and life. We are part of the universe.
See the fact file below for more information on the universe or alternatively, you can download our 28-page Universe worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
EARLY APPRECIATION OF THE UNIVERSE
- One of the few earliest appreciations of the universe is through travel.
- Early people used the positions of the stars in the night sky to guide their travels.
- This knowledge helped them keep track of seasons and the influence of celestial bodies such as the moon and its position correlated with the tides; and the sun in relation to planting and reaping seasons.
- Development of the zodiac or 12 constellation theories also determined the religious and cultural beliefs of the ancient people.
- Greeks have quite a diverse description of the universe. In early beliefs, ancient astronomers thought that the Earth was the center of the universe.
- Later on, the followers of Pythagoras and Heraclides Ponticus concluded that the spherical Earth rotated freely in space and that Mercury and Venus revolved about the Sun.
- It was then Aristarchus who speculated that the Earth revolves about the Sun rather than the other way around.
- The 1500s brought the revolutionary idea of the Sun-centered planetary system. All thanks to Copernicus.
- His scientific discovery was heavily criticized and it was after his death the theory became universally accepted.
- With his invention, the telescope, Galileo also supported the Copernican viewpoint.
- Even under house arrest during his last years, Galileo made new discoveries such as Venus, Jupiter and its satellites, and the fact that our sun had spots.
- German astronomer Johannes Kepler then pioneered the three laws of planetary motion:
- (a) The Law of Ellipses – All planets move around the Sun in elliptical orbits.
- (b) The Law of Equal Areas – A line joining the Sun and a planet sweeps out equal areas in equal times
- (c) The Law of Harmony – The ratio of the squares of the periods of any two planets is equal to the ratio of the cubes of their average distances from the sun.
- The earlier scientific discoveries soon propelled Isaac Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation.
- Following his theory, Edmond Halley predicted that a certain comet last seen in 1682 would reappear 76 years – Halley’s Comet.
UNIVERSE PERCEPTIONS DURING 20TH CENTURY
- Dutch astronomer Jacobus Cornelius Kapteyn developed the model of the universe which consisted of what is now known as the Milky Way galaxy.
- American astronomer Harlow Shapley began to study large groups of stars called globular clusters in 1914 and soon discovered our place in the galaxy.
- Finally, concrete evidence of extragalactic bodies of the universe came to light as Edwin Hubble discovered more galaxies and their various shapes: spirals, ellipticals, and irregulars.
- He classified Andromeda Galaxy (M31) into a collection of distinct stars and suggested that galaxies are distributed in space.
ORIGINS – BIG BANG THEORY
- The Big Bang Theory is the leading explanation about how the universe began.
- It says the universe as we know it started with a small singularity, then inflated over the next 13.8 billion years to the cosmos that we know today.
- Explained further by the astronomers, the “echo” of the expansion through a phenomenon was known as the cosmic microwave background.
- According to the theory, the latest (2013) estimated age of the universe is about 13.82 billion years old.
- This idea is thanks to astronomer named Georges Lemaître. He said that a very long time ago, the universe started as just a single point that stretched and expanded.
- Hubble also added that other galaxies were moving away from us which means our universe is still expanding.
ORIGINS – CREATIONIST THEORIES
- Contrary to the Big Bang Theory, various religions around the world have their own versions of the creation of the universe.
- According to the first book of the Jewish Torah and the Christian Bible, God created the universe. In six days, he created the sky, the land, plants, the sun and moon, animals, and all creatures, including humans. To all he says, “Be fruitful and multiply,” which they do.
- Greek mythology believed that Gaia (mother earth) created Uranus, the sky. Both then procreated the Titans then the Olympians, who successively created other celestial bodies including humans.
- Hindu cosmology attributed the creation of the universe to Purusha who transformed into elemental gods Agni, Vayu, and Indra. Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the preserver), and Shiva (the destroyer) gained prominence afterwards.
ORIGINS – POST BIG BANG THEORIES
- Arrow of Time – According to Sir Arthur Eddington (1927), as supported by the second law of thermodynamics, which says that in an isolated system, entropy tends to increase with time in “one-way direction” or “asymmetry.”
- The incredible bulk is based off the string theory which concludes the uniting of all matter and forces in a single theoretical framework, which describes the fundamental level of the universe in terms of vibrating strings rather than particles.
- The Nows theory has very different view. Physicist Julian Barbour insisted that time doesn’t exist. He writes that “The future does not yet exist … it is being created.” Hence, we cannot travel to the future and the past to determine how universe is indeed created.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the universe across 28 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Universe worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the universe which is the whole cosmic system of matter, energy, and life. We are part of the universe.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Nicolaus Copernicus
- Our Home
- Beautiful Galaxies
- A Long Time Ago…
- Life and Death of a Star
- Colors of the Stars
- Most Unique Planets
- Space Menace
- Ballad to Space
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Link will appear as Universe Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, May 4, 2020
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.