This section contains information, facts, and worksheets on space and the planets throughout the galaxy.
Space is one of the last frontiers of exploration and it’s bigger than the human mind can comprehend. Look up at the night sky and those twinkling lights you’re looking at are planets, suns and galaxies hundreds of billions of miles away.
There are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on Earth, which means that there is a statistical possibility that there could be other Earth-like planets, life and perhaps even intelligent life somewhere in the universe that we’ve yet to discover.
When you look up at the night sky, you’re also a time traveler peering deep into history. With the light of stars taking sometimes millions of years to reach Earth, it’s possible that you’re looking at a star that died at the time of the dinosaurs and only its ancient light remains.
It’s easy to feel very small when considering the vastness of space. In our solar system alone, it took the crew of Apollo 11 three days to reach the moon. It currently takes 300 days to get to our nearest planetary neighbor, Mars. So it’s no surprise that much of space is yet to be explored because we simply haven’t figured out a way to get anywhere very quickly.
It’s difficult to comprehend the magnitude of space simply because the numbers themselves are so huge: just our solar system, end to end, is seven billion miles wide; our galaxy, the Milky Way, is 5 676 000 000 000 miles wide. That it takes eight minutes and 20 seconds for light traveling at 186 000 miles per second to reach the Earth from the sun, getting to grips with the fact that our nearest galaxy, Andromeda, is 2,5 million light years away boggles the mind a little!
But while we’re figuring out modes of space transportation, we’ve developed a host of technologies and fields of mathematics and science that are helping us explore theories of space and learn more about how the planets, galaxies and universe came to be and how they work. Thanks to genius scientists like Isaac Newton and Steven Hawking; to brave astronauts like Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin; space organizations like NASA and SpaceX; and business moguls like Elon Musk, space is slowly shedding its mystery and bringing exploration of the last frontier closer to reality. With man landing on the moon some 50 years ago in 1969 and with the first astronauts anticipated to land on Mars in the mid-2030s, it’s an exciting time for space exploration.
Learn more about the amazing men and women who are expanding our space knowledge, and get to know our celestial neighborhood with our worksheet collections in this category. If there’s a topic you’re interested in that you can’t find, contact us so we can help!