You are on page 1of 7

The Solar System

Distance from the Sun Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Mercury Venus Earth Mars

Glue blank square to the back of Mars. Write in distance from Sun under each planet. Glue Neptune to book. Accordion fold on lines. “The Solar System” can be used for the center or cover.

To move in a circle around something

Large ball of gas that gives heat and light to Earth

A group of stars given a special name

To turn on an axis or one point

Changing shapes of the moon

A person who travels to space

A device that helps you see things very far away

An invisible force that attracts things to each other

Space Words

Orbit Sun Astronaut Constellation Telescope Rotate Magnetism Phases

Cut out both boxes above. Glue definition box to bottom. Following the dotted lines, cut the slits into Space Words box. Apply glue or double stick tape to just the center underside of Space Words box, running horizontally. Place on top of definition box. <----- Using key words, write in correct word on flap above each definition.

Order from the Sun: ____________________ Earth days to orbit the Sun: -------------------------------Number of Moons ____________________ Number of Rings ____________________

Order from the Sun: ____________________ Earth days to orbit the Sun: -------------------------------Number of Moons ____________________ Number of Rings ____________________

Order from the Sun: ____________________ Earth days to orbit the Sun: -------------------------------Number of Moons ____________________ Number of Rings ____________________

Order from the Sun: ____________________ Earth days to orbit the Sun: -------------------------------Number of Moons ____________________ Number of Rings ____________________

Order from the Sun: ____________________ Earth days to orbit the Sun: -------------------------------Number of Moons ____________________ Number of Rings ____________________

Order from the Sun: ____________________ Earth days to orbit the Sun: -------------------------------Number of Moons ____________________ Number of Rings ____________________

Order from the Sun: ____________________ Earth days to orbit the Sun: -------------------------------Number of Moons ____________________ Number of Rings ____________________

Order from the Sun: ____________________ Earth days to orbit the Sun: -------------------------------Number of Moons ____________________ Number of Rings ____________________

Order from the Sun: ____________________ Earth days to orbit the Sun: -------------------------------Number of Moons ____________________ Number of Rings ____________________

FACTS

Cut out fact cards on dotted lines. Fill in information for each planet. Mount the slip of paper to cardstock or construction paper. Write the name of each planet on the back of the card. Cut out FACTS envelope. Fold in tabs and glue to lapbook. Place fact cards inside.

Planet Information Mercury Mercury is the closest planet to the sun. Its average distance from the sun is 36 million miles. Mercury has a quick orbit, making one complete revolution around the sun every 88 earth days making that 0.241 earth years. Compared to Earth, Mercury rotates on its axis slowly, making one complete rotation every 58.6 earth days. Mercury is a terrestrial planet meaning it has a solid surface. Its surface is covered with craters. Because of Mercury’s small size it has almost no atmosphere to protect it from things like meteorites and the Sun’s heat. What atmosphere it does have is composed of helium and hydrogen. Such a lack of atmosphere allows extreme temperature changes. The side that faces the sun can get as hot as 800°F and the side facing away from the sun can get a cold as -360°F. Mercury is the second smallest planet with a diameter of 3031 miles. Its gravity is only 0.38 times as much as the gravity on earth. Mercury was named after the Roman messenger of the gods. Mercury does not have any moons. Some fun facts about Mercury are all of the craters are named for artists, musicians and writers. All of the valleys are named after observatories and the ridges and cliffs are named after ships that have explored the earth. Mercury probably received the name for the Roman messenger of the gods because it moves so quickly across the sky. MESSENGER , which is an acronym for MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging, is a spacecraft that was launched by NASA in 2004 and will orbit Mercury starting in 2011 after several flybys. Venus Venus is the second planet from the sun. Its average distance from the sun is 67 million miles. Venus makes one revolution around the sun in 224.7 earth days making that 0.615 earth years. Venus has the slowest rotation in the solar system. It rotates on its axis once every 243 earth days. Venus has a rocky, solid surface with several large craters. Venus' atmosphere is 100 time thicker than Earths. It is made up of 90% carbon dioxide and about 10% nitrogen. The sky of Venus is full of clouds made of sulfuric acid. With such a thick atmosphere heat gets trapped and the surface can get as hot as 900°F. Venus is the planet that is closest in size to the earth. Its diameter is 7523 miles. Its gravity is 0.91 times that of earth. Venus was named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty. Venus also has no moons. Some fun facts about Venus are Venus’ nicknames are the Evening Star or the Morning Star because, besides the moon, it is one of the brightest objects in the nighttime sky. That is because of its think atmosphere it reflects over 75% of the light that hits it. Also there has been evidence of former lava flows. This shows that at one time Venus had volcanic activity. It is believed that the surface use to be covered with hundreds of volcanoes. Earth The third planet from the sun is Earth. Its average distance from the sun is 93 million miles. Earths revolution around the sun takes 365.26 days or 1 year. Its rotation takes 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds, or one day. Earth has a solid surface of which 72% of it is cover with water. The atmosphere consists of 78% nitrogen, 20% oxygen, 0.9% argon and 0.1% carbon dioxide. Earth’s temperature range is -60°F to 140°F. It has a diameter of 7926 miles. On Earth gravity is figured out by multiplying by 1. In Roman Mythology, the goddess of the earth was Tellus, which means the fertile soil. In Greek Mythology the goddess’s name was Gaia which means Mother Earth. The name Earth itself does not derive from Greek or Roman Mythology but from Old English and Germanic. There are hundreds of other names for the planet Earth in other languages. Earth has one moon which is sometime referred to as Luna. Some fun facts about Earth are that out of all the planets Earth is the only one to have a significant amount of water. Unlike Mercury, who has little atmosphere, and Venus, who’s atmosphere is to thick, Earth has the perfect atmosphere to support life. At the equator, the Earth is spinning at 1000 mph about its axis and moving at 67,000 mph around the Sun.

Mars Mars is the fourth planet from the sun. The average distance from the sun is 142 million miles. Mars revolves once around the sun every 686.98 earth days making that 1.88 in earth years. It rotates on its axis every 24 hours and 37 minutes. Mars solid surface is mostly made up of iron oxide (rust) which accounts for its red color and is covered with many craters, mountains and valleys. Mar’s atmosphere is about 7% as thick as the atmosphere around the Earth making it very thin and is composed mostly of 95.3% carbon dioxide, 2.7% nitrogen, 1.6% argon, 0.15% oxygen, and 0.03% water. Its temperature ranges from -220°F to 80°F. It has a diameter of 4222 miles. Mars gravity is about the same as it is on Mercury and is 0.38 times the gravity on Earth. It was named after the Roman god of war, probably because of its red color. There are two moons that revolve around Mars. Their names are Deimos and Phobos. Some fun facts about Mars are that the largest canyon on Mars would stretch form NYC to LA on Earth. That makes the Grand Canyon look very small. Also Mars has higher mountains and deeper canyons than any other planet in the solar system. Mars is also home to the biggest volcano in the solar system and it is called Olympus Mons. Mars moons were named after the attendants of the Roman god Mars. Jupiter The fifth and largest planet in our solar system is Jupiter. It is an average of 483 million miles from the sun. Jupiter takes 4332.59 earth days or 11.9 earth years to revolve around the sun. However, it has the fastest rotation in the solar system-- rotating every 9 hours and 55 minutes. Jupiter’s nickname is the Gas Giant because it has an atmosphere mainly composed of 90% hydrogen and 10% helium. Its atmosphere is hundreds of miles thick. Jupiter’s average temperature is -250°F. Jupiter is 1 ½ times larger than all of the other planets put together. It has a diameter of 89,372 miles. Because of Jupiter’s large mass it has a gravitational pull that is 2.64 times that of Earth. It was named after the ruler of all the Roman gods. Jupiter has at least 63 moons. The four largest are referred to as the Galilean moons because Galileo was who discovered them. They are called Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. Some fun facts about Jupiter are that you can see the four larger moons with a pair of binoculars at night. Also because of its fast rotation, the planet bulges in the middle. So instead of being round it is really short and fat. Jupiter is home of the famous Great Red Spot. The Great Red Spot is a giant windstorm that has winds like a super hurricane and it is the size of three Earths put together. This storm is in the same position and is the same shape as it was when it was first discovered 300 year ago. One other thing, like Saturn, Jupiter has rings but they are much fainter and smaller. Unlike Saturn’s, Jupiter’s rings are dark and contains no ice. Saturn Saturn is the sixth planet from the sun and the second largest planet in the solar system. It has an average distance of 888 million miles from the sun. Saturn revolves around the sun once every 10759.2 earth days or 29.5 earth years. Like Jupiter, Saturn spins very quickly on its axis, making one rotation every 10 hours and 13 minutes. Saturn is a gas planet and its atmosphere consists of 75% hydrogen and 25% helium. Its average temperature is -300°F. Saturn has a diameter of 74,898 miles. Saturn has a gravitational pull that is 1.13 times that of Earth. Its name comes from the Roman god of agriculture. Saturn has 34 moons, the most famous of which is Titan. Titan is the second largest moon in the solar system and is bigger than both Mercury and Pluto. Some fun facts: Although Saturn isn’t the only planet with rings it is the one that is famous for having them. When Galileo first discovered Saturn in 1610 he could not see the rings clearly to know what they were. He thought that Saturn had two smaller globes circling it because what he saw looked like “ears” on the side of the planet. In 1659, an astronomer named Christian Huygens was able to use a better telescope and saw that the “ears” were actually rings around Saturn. The band of rings is mostly composed of pieces of ice, dust

and rocks and is about 170,000 miles across. Uranus Uranus is the seventh planet from the sun. The average distance from the sun is 1783 million miles. It revolves around the sun once every 30,684 earth days or 84 earth years. Uranus spins on its axis once 17 hours and 14 minutes. It is a gas planet with an atmosphere of 83% hydrogen, 15% helium and 2% methane. Because Uranus is so far from the sun its average temperature is -365°F. It has a diameter of 31,763 miles and its gravity is 1.17 times that of Earth. Uranus is named for the Roman god of the heavens. Uranus has 21 named moons and six unnamed ones. Some of their names are Cordelia, Ophelia, Bianca, Cressida, Desdemona, Juliet, Portia, Rosalind, Belinda, Puck, Miranda, Ariel, Umbriel, Titania, Oberon, Caliban, Sycorax, Prospero, Setebos, and Stephano. Some fun facts about Uranus are that it rotates at a 90-degree angle compared to that rest of the planets. It’s as if it was rotating on its side and appears to roll around the sun because of this unusual tilt. Uranus also has rings surrounding it. There appears to be about 13 rings and link Jupiter’s, they are very dark. Uranus' moons were named from the writings of Shakespeare and Pope. Since Uranus takes so long to orbit the sun, each season is 21 years long. Neptune The eighth planet from the Sun is Neptune. Its average distance is 2794 million miles from the sun. It revolves around the sun once every 60,190 earth days or 164.8 earth years and rotates on its axis once every 18 hours and 30 minutes. Neptune is a gas planet whose atmosphere is made up of about 15% hydrogen and a little helium. Its average temperature is about -370°F. Neptune’s diameter is 30,775 miles. Its gravity is 1.19 times that of Earth. Neptune’s name came from the Roman god of the sea. It has 13 moons one of which is named Triton who was the Greek god of the sea. Some fun facts about Neptune are that it is so far from the sun that from the surface the sun appears to be only a bright star. Also, like Jupiter, Neptune has what is believed to be a giant storm called the Great Dark Spot. The winds in the Great Dark Spot blows at more than 700 mph. Neptune also has rings and like Uranus and Jupiter they are very dark but their composition is unknown. Pluto Pluto is the ninth planet from the sun. It average distance from the sun is 3647 million miles. Pluto orbits the sun once every 90,465 earth day or 248.5 earth years. It rotates on its axis once every 6 day and 9 hours. Because Pluto is so far away very little is known about it. It is not known whether it has a solid or a gas surface. Its atmosphere is believed to be made up of nitrogen with some carbon monoxide and frozen methane. Pluto’s average temperature is believed to be -390°F. It has a diameter of only 1425 miles and its gravitational pull is only 0.08 time that of Earth. Pluto was named after the Roman god of the underworld. It is believed that Pluto received this name because it is so far from the sun that it is in perpetual darkness. Pluto has three moons. The largest is named Charon which is named after the boatman who worked for Pluto in Roman mythology. Some fun facts about Pluto are that it is believed that the person who was credited with discovering Pluto, Clyde Tombaugh, also choose the name Pluto because “PL" are the initials of Percival Lowell who founded the Lowell Observatory in Arizona which was where Clyde discovered Pluto. Also 20 out of 250 years Neptune and Pluto cross orbits. The last time this happened was from 1979 to 1999. In 2006 Pluto was demoted to a “dwarf planet”. In January of 2006 a spacecraft called New Horizons was launched towards Pluto. If all goes well it should reach it in 2015.