OK students, now that our lesson has been completed, you should feel a huge sense of accomplishment!!!
Now here is an analysis of what you have learned…
THE SOLAR SYSTEM
The Solar System is made up of the star we call the sun, moons, small rocky bodies and eight planets. The word ‘solar’ has to do with the sun, and everything in the solar system is centered around the sun. The sun is a star and the biggest object in the solar system. The planet form the closest to the farthest from the sun are: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Each planet moves or revolves around the sun in its owns predictable path called an orbit. The gravity of the sun keeps the planets in their orbit. The orbits are elliptical or egged shaped.
Mercury is the smallest of all the planets in the solar system and can be seen from earth using large telescopes. It is the fastest planet to resolve around the sun taking only 88 earth days. Venus is the hottest plant and is the second brightest object in night sky. Earth the planet on which we live, is a rocky planet with a lot of water. The earth’s revolution around the sun take 365 ¼ days, which we call a year. Mars is also a rocky planet and has a reddish colour. Scientists think that someday people could live on Mars because it is similar to earth in many ways. Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system and is described as a gas giant because it is made mostly of light gases. Saturn is also a gas giant and is notable for the rings that surround the planet. Uranus is covered in blue clouds. Neptune is a darker blue than Uranus and has the longest orbit in the solar system taking 165 earth years.
Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars are terrestrial or rocky planets because they are mostly composed of rocks. They are closets to the sun and are also called inner planets. In contrast, Jupiter, and Saturn are gas giants and Uranus and Neptune are ice giants.
Earth is unique in our solar system since it supports life. Life is possible on earth because earth is located in the habitable or ‘Goldilocks zone’. The earth is spherical in shape and appears blue from space because it is mainly covered with water. All creatures on earth, from the fishes in the sea to the birds in the air, depends on water to survive. For humans and many other mammals, fresh water is one of the most valuable resources on earth. The earth has another valuable resource which helps to support life – air. Air is comprised of a layer of gases that surround the earth call the atmosphere. Apart from providing us with the oxygen we breathe, atmosphere also has an important role, in that, it protects us from some harmful ultraviolent radiation coming from the sun. Some planets do not have an atmosphere and do not receive this protection, which makes life of them, as we know it to be impossible.
Space is the region surrounding the planets where there is no atmosphere. That means space is a vacuum and so astronauts who travel to outer space need to carry their own air. Our solar system is only one of billions. Just take a look at the sky on a clear night and you will see more stars than you can count. The stars are grouped together in galaxies. Our solar system is located in the Milky Way galaxy and most of the stars you can see are located in our galaxy. Some of these stars have planets, so there is a good chance that there is life elsewhere in the universe – if not in our galaxy, in one of the billions others. Astronomers studies the universe. They are curious about the stars, planets and galaxies near and far. Some astronomers are looking for signs of life on the other planets. If you are curious, you too could become an astronomer someday. As you imagine the planets in the solar system and vast nature of space, just imagine, there may be another little boy or girl in a galaxy far, far away thinking about little boys and girls on the little blue planet we call EARTH.