Solar System

the Sun, planets, Galilean moons, meteors, asteroids, comets

  • [Eight] planets of very different size, composition, and surface features move around the sun in nearly circular orbits. Some planets have a variety of moons and even flat rings of rock and ice particles orbiting around them. Some of these planets and moons show evidence of geologic activity. The earth is orbited by one moon, many artificial satellites, and debris.
  • Many chunks of rock orbit the sun. Those that meet the earth glow and disintegrate from friction as they plunge through the atmosphere—and sometimes impact the ground. Other chunks of rock mixed with ice have long, off-center orbits that carry them close to the sun, where the sun's radiation (of light and particles) boils off frozen materials from their surfaces and pushes it into a long, illuminated tail.
  • Everything on or anywhere near the earth is pulled toward the earth's center by gravitational force.


What is the solar system?

Whys is our solar system organized a particular way?

What is rotation (rotate)?

What is revolution (revolve)?

What does the term orbit mean?

What are the physical properties of the following celestial bodies?

  • Sun
  • Planets
  • Moons
  • Meteors
  • Asteroids
  • Comets

What are the locations of the following celestial bodies?

  • Sun
  • Planets
  • Moons
  • Meteors
  • Asteroids
  • Comets

What are the movements of the following celestial bodies?

  • Sun
  • Planets
  • Moons
  • Meteors
  • Asteroids
  • Comets

What is gravity?

What is the relationship between the mass of an object and its gravitational force?

What is the gravitational relationship between the following celestial bodies?

  • Sun and Moon
  • Sun and Planets
  • Planets and their moon(s)

How does the force of gravity affect the path of the planets as they revolve around the Sun?

What is the relationship among the various celestial bodies that make up our solar system?

What is the history of space exploration, including types of equipment needed and transportation?

What is the current situation for space exploration, including types of equipment needed and transportation?

How do you think future space exploration will be accomplished?

Key Content Vocabulary:

  • Asteroid – a small, rocky body that orbits the Sun; a large asteroid belt lies between Mars and Jupiter
  • Comet – an object that orbits the Sun; made of frozen water and dust, and has a tail of gas and dust particles that points away from the Sun
  • Gravity – force of attraction between two objects due to their masses
  • Meteor – a small piece of matter from outer space that becomes a streak of light when it falls through the Earth’s atmosphere and burns up; also known as a falling or shooting star
  • Orbit – the path that one object in space follows as it revolves around another object in space
  • Revolve – one complete orbit made by a planet or satellite around another object
  • Rotate – the spinning of an object on its axis
  • Surface gravity – the force of gravity at the surface of the Earth or other celestial body

Related Vocabulary:

  • Air resistance
  • Astronaut
  • Astronomical Unit (AU)
  • Composition
  • Cosmonaut
  • Force
  • Inner planet
  • Moons
  • Gas giant planets
  • International Space Station (ISS)
  • Mass
  • Meteor
  • Newton (N)
  • Outer planet
  • Relative distance
  • Revolution
  • Rocket
  • Rotation
  • Satellite
  • Solar system
  • Soyuz rocket
  • Space
  • Space probe
  • Space shuttle
  • Telescope
  • Terrestrial planets
  • Unbalanced force
  • Weight
Why the solar system can exist
Flocabulary - Solar System
Planets Song for Kids / Solar System Song
Planets Around a Star Song

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Outer Space: "We are the Planets," The Solar System Song by StoryBots

Gravity on Earth

Gravity is very important to us. We could not live on Earth without it. The sun's gravity keeps Earth in orbit around it, keeping us at a comfortable distance to enjoy the sun's light and warmth. It holds down our atmosphere and the air we need to breath. Gravity is what holds our world together.

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Big picture

The Sun

  • center of solar system
  • largest object in solar system
  • 93,000,000 miles from Earth
  • star
  • made mostly of hydrogen and helium
  • nuclear fusion produces Sun's energy
  • one million Earth's can fit inside Sun
  • the planets, meteors, asteroids, and comets REVOLVE around the Sun

Misconceptions are important to correct. The Sun is not a burning ball of FIRE.

The Sun's energy comes from nuclear fusion.

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Outer Space: "I'm So Hot," The Sun Song by StoryBots
Planet Song for Kids/Solar System Song for Children/Sun Song for Kids
Planets Song Video
Outer Space: "A Beautiful, Beautiful World," The Earth Song by StoryBots
Outer Space: "Time to Shine," The Moon Song by StoryBots
Flocabulary - Moon Phases

Asteroids, Meteors, and Comets
Asteroids, Comets, Meteors Song
Big picture
Planet Song/Dwarf Planets Song

Space Exploration

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Space Junk

What is wrong with this video????

Correct: The Sun is not a burning ball of fire. It gets its energy from a chemical change called nuclear fusion.
Big picture
Why Doesn't the Moon Fall to Earth? Exploring Orbits and Gravity