The Solar System
Order of the Planets
Rotation and Revolution
Eclipses and Tides
Orbit means to circle around.
The planets orbit the Sun.
Our moon is a body in space that circles
planet Earth. Other planets have moons, too.
Our solar system includes the Sun and all
the planets, moons, and stars.
A star is a body which looks like a bright
point in the sky at night. A star is not a planet
or a moon. Our sun is a star.
Scientists pretend that planets and stars
have a line drawn through their middles. This
line is called an axis.
Order of the Planets
Sorry Pluto, you’re a dwarf
A solar system consists of a star and everything within reach of
the star’s gravity.
Our solar system includes a star, called the Sun, planets, and
other objects including moons, comets, asteroids, and
Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn,
Neptune, and Pluto (Dwarf Planet) all travel around
The first four planets are solid and rocky.
The next four planets are large and gaseous.
Pluto, the farthest from the Sun is frozen
solid and considered a dwarf planet.
Scientist now have evidence that an additional
planet has been discovered beyond Pluto.
Examine the vast distances between planets in the solar system. Return
What is the Sun?
A star is an object in the
sky made of very hot,
It gives off its own heat
There are trillions of
stars in space. The Sun
is one of those stars.
The Sun is the largest
object in our solar
system, but it is only a
It appears larger than
other stars because it is
the closest star to the
Earth, even though it is
The Sun is at the center of our solar system.
Everything in the solar system travels around
How important is the Sun to Earth?
The Sun is a very
It is the major source
of energy for Earth.
Thermal energy circulates air currents on Earth, which
influences ocean water evaporation which drives clouds
and rain, which then adds to vast rivers that moderates
The movement of water from one place to another as it
changes its state of matter is called the water cycle.
Heat energy from the Sun is the most important part of the
plants do not make
the food needed
for them to live and
The energy plants
need is from the
Wind is “moving air”.
Air moves because the Sun heats the Earth’s surface
The Sun is needed for the wind to blow.
The outside of the Sun is 11,000 degrees
Fahrenheit. A REALLY hot day on Earth is only
100 degrees Fahrenheit. The Sun's surface is
about 100 times as hot as the hottest day on
The Sun is very, very big. More than one million
planet Earths could fit inside of the Sun!
The Sun is very important to us. It gives us light
and heat. Without light and heat we would not be
able to live.
The Sun is composed of helium and hydrogen.
Rotation and Revolution
If a planet or moon has an axis, then it
rotates, or spins. Think of a globe. Where
is the axis on a globe?
It takes the Earth 24 hours to rotate on its
axis. This is equivalent to ___ day(s).
It takes the Moon 28 days to rotate on its
axis. This is equivalent to ___ month(s).
Another word for orbit is Revolution.
It takes the Earth ___ day(s) to revolve around the
It takes the Moon ___ day(s) to revolve around the
Have you noticed anything interesting about the
length of time it takes the Moon to revolve and
Astronomy Connections: Earth in Motion Return
..\..\My Music\Cotton-Eyed Joe\01 Cotton-eyed Joe.wma
The Moon is Earth’s only natural satellite.
A satellite is an object that travels around
It takes the moon 28 days to travel around
The moon is about one-fourth the size of
Earth, and it is about 348,000 kilometers
Earth, Moon and Sun - An Interactive Learning Experience
Where is the sun in this picture?
What is the Moon made of?
The moon is made of rock.
There is evidence of water on the Moon but no water
cycle because it has no atmosphere.
The rocky surface of the moon has mountains,
craters, flat areas, and valleys.
The craters formed when meteorites struck the
surface of the moon.
Meteorites do not burn away before reaching the
Moon’s surface because the Moon does not have an
A fraction of the Meteor that
created Meteor Crater
Meteor Crater, Arizona, U.S.A
It is nearly one mile across, 2.4 miles in circumference, and more than 500 feet
deep. A 60-story building could rest on its floor and not be as high as the crater
rim. Twenty football fields could be put on its floor and more than 2 million fans
could watch games from the crater walls.
Is there life on the moon?
There is no life or living organism on the
The moon does not have an atmosphere to
The daytime temperatures on the moon can
rise above the boiling point of water, 100 C.
They can drop as low as -160 C at night.
Could you light a match on the moon?
No, because it has no oxygen.
Why does the moon shine at night?
The moon does not produce its own light. It
reflects the light of the Sun.
The moon appears to change shapes from night to
night. The part of the moon that we see depends
on the position of Earth, the moon, and the Sun at
that particular time. These changes in the moon’s
appearance are called the phases of the moon or
the lunar cycle.
Moon Challenge Wonderville - Phases of the Moon
Examine the phases of the moon from Earth and space. Return
Why do astronauts seem to “float”
on the moon?
Gravity is a force that pulls objects toward
The gravity on the moon is much less than
The gravity on the moon is one-sixth that of
The astronauts seem to float because they
weigh less on the moon.
What would you weight on other
planets and why does it change?
But did the astronauts
lose mass on the way to
the moon? Is that why
they weight less on the
moon and can float
Let’s Think About It?
You already know that mass is the amount
of matter in an object. Mass can be
measured on a balance.
You have just learned that weight is the
amount of pull that gravity has on an object.
Imagine that a fifth grader travels from Earth to the
moon. The student weighs himself before he
leaves. He weight 96 pounds. On the moon, that
same student weighs about 16 pounds because the
pull of gravity on the moon is less that the pull of
gravity on Earth. He is able to float.
The student did not
lose any mass on the
way to the moon.
Think about it, did he
lose an arm or leg?
Of course not. So,
the student’s mass is
the same on the
moon as on Earth.
Venn - Diagram
On the next slide is a Venn- Diagram
You need to compare and contrast the Earth
and the moon
Earth The Moon
Gravity 48 to -73 °C
Volcanoes Revolves Earthquakes
Temps 107 to –153 ° C Mass
Eclipses and Tides
This occurs when the
Earth blocks the
sunlight to the moon.
In other words, the
Earth’s shadow falls
on the moon.
Observe a lunar eclipse.
The Moon passes
directed in front of the
sun. The Moon
blocks out the light
from the sun.
Observe solar eclipses.
The Earth has 2 high tides and 2
low tides each day.
High Tides and Low tides occur
because of the Moon’s gravity
pulling on the Earth’s oceans.
Welcome to Discovery Education Player
Mercury is the planet which is closest to the Sun. It is one
of the four inner planets. These planets are Mercury,
Venus, Earth and Mars. The inner planets are also called
the rocky planets, because they are made of rocks.
1 Earth year = about 4 Mercury years!!
Mercury is about 1/3 as big as earth.
3 Mercurys = 1 Earth!
•Venus is the second planet from the Sun.
•Venus is sometimes called the "Evening Star" and the
"Morning Star". It is very bright. You can see it at sunset
•Venus spins very slowly. One "day" on Venus is longer
than one year on Earth.
•Venus is different from all the other planets because it
spins "backwards" on its axis.
A photograph of
Earth from space
The planet we live on is called Earth. It is
also called the blue, or water planet,
because most of the surface of Earth is
covered with water. From space Earth
looks like a blue marble. Earth is just the
right distance from the Sun to stay warm,
and the water on Earth is constantly being
moved by the Sun’s energy.
Earth is the third planet from the
sun. It is the largest of the four inner
Earth spins very quickly compared
to other planets. It only takes Earth
24 hours to spin around its axis one
time. One Earth day is 24 hours
Earth orbits the sun in 365 days.
This makes one Earth year 365
Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun. It is the last
of the four inner planets. Mars is often called the
"Red Planet" because the dirt on the planet is a
Mars has an atmosphere, but it is different than
Earth's. Our atmosphere is made up of oxygen
(which we breathe), nitrogen, carbon dioxide
and other gases. Earth has a lot of water vapor
in the air. Mars has "air" made up mostly of
carbon dioxide. Other gases in the air of Mars
are nitrogen and oxygen, but there is not enough
oxygen for a human to breathe.
Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun. It is the
largest planet in the solar system and it is the
largest of the outer planets. The outer planets
are: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.
Jupiter is mostly made of a gas called hydrogen.
Its atmosphere has three layers of clouds in it.
The first layer of clouds is made of ammonia.
Ammonia is the stinky stuff that is used to clean
An interesting fact about
Jupiter is that it has rings.
Jupiter has a lot of storms in
its atmosphere. The spot in
this picture is a storm on
Jupiter. Scientists call this
Jupiter's red spot. It is a storm
which has been going on for
about 300 years.
Jupiter has at least 16 moons.
Saturn is the second of the outer planets. It is also
the second largest planet in our solar system.
Saturn is made mostly of hydrogen and helium. On
Earth these are usually gases. In fact, helium is
the gas used to blow up balloons that float. On
Saturn, hydrogen and helium are liquids! Saturn
has weather and storms. Scientists think these
are mostly wind storms.
The rings are made up pieces of rocks and ice.
These pieces can be as small as a pebble or as
big as a building. The rings get their pretty colors
because the sun shines on them from far away.
Uranus is the seventh planet from the Sun. It is the third of
the outer planets. Like Saturn and Jupiter, Uranus has a
very short day. One day on Uranus is only 17 hours long.
A year on Uranus is VERY long. One Uranus year is 84
Earth years! It takes Uranus 84 years to orbit the Sun
one time! That means Uranus goes all the way around
the Sun ONCE in our lifetime!
Uranus has more moons than any other planet in our
solar system. So far, 20 moons have been discovered.
Uranus is made of methane ice. Methane is usually a gas
on Earth, but it is so cold on Uranus that it is frozen into
ice. Uranus's atmosphere is mostly made of methane
gas. There so many clouds made of methane in the
atmosphere, that they cover the whole planet.
Neptune is the eighth planet from the Sun and the
fourth of the outer planets. Like Uranus, Neptune is a
blue color because its atmosphere is mainly made of
methane gas. Jupiter has the "Great Red Spot" that
looks like an eye. Neptune has a "Great Dark Spot".
Jupiter's spot is really a storm. Scientists think that
Neptune's spot is a hole in its atmosphere.
Neptune has 8 moons. The biggest one is Triton.
Pluto is the 9th planet from our sun. It is a dwarf
planet and is very far away! It takes Pluto about
248 years to orbit, or circle, the Sun 1 time.
Pluto spins like a top 1 time in about 6 Earth
days. We have not learned much about Pluto,
because it is so far away from us. We know that
Pluto is smaller than Earth, and that the
temperature on Pluto may be -300 degrees!
That is cold! Scientists are almost sure that
there is no life on Pluto.