S4E1d. - Effingham County Schools
Transcript S4E1d. - Effingham County Schools
S4E1b. Compare the similarities and
differences of planets to the stars in
appearance, position, and number in the
S4E1d. Identify how technology is
used to observe distant objects in the
S4E2d. Demonstrates the relative size
and order from the sun of the planets
in the solar system.
S4E1d. Identify how technology is used to observe distant objects in the sky.
What instruments do scientist use to study the sky?
a tool that makes distant
objects appear larger,
brighter, and sharper.
tele – from a distance
scope - seeing
Tele – from a distance
Micro – small
Scope – seeing
Magnify – to make objects appear larger
Types of Telescopes
•Optical telescope –
magnifies distant objects by collection light
•Radio telescope –
collects radio waves to make pictures of space
The Hubble Space Telescope is a
large optical telescope in space.
It was launched by NASA in
1990. Hubble is the length of a
large school bus. It weighs as
much as two adult elephants.
Hubble travels around Earth at
about 5 miles per second.
The atmosphere above Earth
changes and blocks some of
the light that comes from
space. Hubble orbits high
enough above Earth to avoid
this problem. Hubble sees
space better than telescopes
S4E2d. Demonstrates the relative side and order from the sun of the planets in the solar system.
•What makes up our solar system?
•How do the planets and stars “fit together?”
The solar system is made up of the
•their moons, and
•other objects traveling around the sun.
The Sun is the most prominent
feature in our solar system.
It is the largest object and contains
approximately 98% of the total solar
One hundred and nine Earths would
be required to fit across the Sun's
disk, and its interior could hold over
1.3 million Earths.
The Sun's outer visible layer has a
temperature of 6,000°C (11,000°F).
This layer has a mottled appearance
due to the turbulent eruptions of
energy at the surface.
The Sun is the nearest star to Earth. Like all stars, the
sun is a huge sphere of hot gases that gives off heat and
light. We can see more distant stars at night.
The Sun is a huge sphere of hot gases
that gives off heat and light.
Our sun is not the largest star, but it
is the closest star to us. We can see
more distant stars at night.
•What is a planet?
•How are planets different from stars?
A planet is a large body of rock or gas in space
that moves around a star.
A planet does not produce light of its own. Planets do not
twinkle like stars. You are able to see planets in the night
sky when light from the Sun reflects, or bounces, of them.
The twinkling of stars is caused by the Earth's
atmosphere. Because stars are so incredibly distant from
us, any disturbances in the atmosphere will bounce around
the light from a star in different directions.
This causes the star's image to change slightly in
brightness and position, hence "twinkle".
You are also able to see Earth’s moon in the night sky. A
moon is small rounded body in orbit around a planet. A
moon does not produce its own light. It reflects light from
Orbit – is to move in a path around something.
Most planets have at least one moon.
They do not make their
Most planets have one
or more. They reflects
the Sun’s light.
This star is the one
closest to Earth.
This consists of the
Sun, planets, moons,
and all other things that
orbit the Sun.
Earth is one of eight that
orbit the Sun.
The Inner Planets
These planets get a lot of heat and light.
They are close to the Sun.
These planets are small.
They are made of solid rock materials.
Their surfaces have mountains and
There are 5 planets you can see with your own eyes!
From Earth, we can see the five closest planets –
Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.
To your eyes they appear as stars.
They do not create light like a star, rather sunlight
illuminates their surfaces and we see them the same way we
see our Moon, just not the same size.
The Moon appears so large because it is close and the planets
appear like dots or ‘stars’ because they are so far away.
The 5 planets were discovered before the invention of the
telescope. Ancient people called these five planets ‘wanders’
because they appear to wander against the background of
stars. This is due to the orbital movement of the planets. The
word ‘planet’ comes from the Greek word ‘wander’.
The Outer Planets
• They are cold and dark because they are
far from the sun.
• They are large and made of gases.
• These planets have many moons.
• Each also has a system of rings.
What about Pluto?
Pluto was once known as the 9th planet. In 2006,
astronomers classified it as a dwarf planet. It is smaller
than any other planet Pluto is made of rocks and frozen
gases. It has no rings and only one moon.
(Houghton Mifflin text page 27)
Pluto and its moon, Charon, were called double planets
because Charon is so large it seems less of a moon than
another planet. During each revolution around the sun, Pluto
passes inside Neptune's orbit for 20 years, making Neptune
the outermost planet for that time. Pluto was predicted to
exist in 1905 and discovered in 1930. It is the only planet
that has not yet been studied closely by a space probe. We
will get close up views in July 2015 when the New Horizons
spacecraft flies past Pluto and sends back detailed images of
Pluto and it's 3 moons.
Mercury is the planet closest to the Sun, but
surprisingly not the hottest. Because it has almost
no atmosphere, there is no greenhouse effect to
trap the heat, so temperatures vary from extreme
hot to extreme cold. In fact it has the widest day/
night temperature change in the solar system. Its
surface of craters resembles the Moon because it
has been bombarded by comets etc. The planet
was named for the Roman god Mercury, a winged
messenger, and it travels around the Sun faster
than any other planet. Mercury is difficult to see
Temperature: The sunlit side can reach up to 950°F and the dark side can drop as
low as -346°F
Rotation (1 Day) = 59 Earth days
Revolution (1 Year) = 88 Earth days
Your weight: If you weigh 100 pounds on Earth, you would weigh 38 pounds on
Distance from Earth: 57 million miles, at the closest point in its orbit
Venus is the brightest planet in the sky
because it is very reflective - it is covered in
clouds. It has a tremendous greenhouse effect
that does not allow the heat to escape leaving
the temperature to hover around 880°F which
makes it the hottest planet in the solar
system. Venus is often called Earth's twin
because the two planets are close in size, but
that's about the only similarity. Venus'
rotation is not only extremely slow but it is
also backward or retrograde. Venus is named
after the Roman goddess of love and beauty
and appears as a bright, white disk from Earth.
Surface: A rocky, dusty, waterless expanse of mountains, canyons, and
plains, with a 200-mile river of hardened lava
Rotation (1 day) = 243 Earth days (retrograde rotation or "backward")
Revolution (1 year) = 225 Earth days
Your weight: If you weigh 100 pounds on Earth, you would weigh 88
pounds on Venus.
Earth is the third planet from the sun.
It's inner core is made up of solid iron
with a molten outer core that produces
it's magnetic field. Earth's atmosphere is
made up of 78% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen,
and traces of other elements. Our
greenhouse effect regulates the
temperature on Earth and is essential for
our survival. Also, Earth is not perfectly
round; it bulges at the equator and is
flatter at the poles.
Surface: Earth is made up of water (70%), air, and solid
ground. It appears to be the only planet with water
Rotation of its axis: 23 hours, 56 minutes, 4 seconds
Revolution around the Sun: 365.2 days
Distance from Sun: 92.9 million miles (149.6 million km)
Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun, situated between Earth
The surface of Mars contains silicon dioxide and iron oxide. The
iron oxide is rust, which gives it a reddish color.
Mars has two moons Phobos and Deimos. Like our moon, the two
moons keep the same side toward Mars as they revolve around the
planet. They are small and appear to be captured asteroids.
Mars has the largest volcanic mountain in the solar system, Mt.
Olympus, which is 2.5 times the size of Mt. Everst.
The poles of Mars are covered with frozen water and frozen carbon
dioxide producing white polar ice caps.
There can be no liquid water due to the thin, low pressure
atmosphere which allows water to vaporize.
Size: About one-half the size
of Earth in diameter
Surface: Canyons, dunes,
volcanoes, and polar caps of
Atmosphere: carbon dioxide
Temperature: as low as 305°F
Rotation of its axis: 24 Earth
hours, 37 minutes
Rotation around the Sun: 687
Earth days (almost 2 Earth
Your weight: If you weigh 100
pounds on Earth, you would
weigh 38 pounds on Mars.
Jupiter is the largest planet in our Solar
System with a mass more than three
hundred times Earth’s mass. Jupiter is not
only the largest planet, it also has the most
moons – 63 identified so far. Two of the
moons are larger than mercury and Pluto.
Jupiter is one of the brightest objects in
the sky and has a very stormy atmosphere.
One major storm, the Great Red Spot, is as
big as the Earth.
Year: 11.9 Earth years
Day: 9.8 hours
Temperature: -170 F
A day on the planet only takes 9 hours and
55 minutes, meaning that the planet spins
very fast, although a year on Jupiter (the
length of time it takes for the planet to
orbit the Sun) takes 11.9 Earth years. This
is because the planet is so far away from
Year: 29.4 Earth years
Day: 10.7 hours
Temperature: -215 degrees F
Like Jupiter, Saturn is also made up mainly of hydrogen and helium.
It is so full of gas that its density (the amount of matter in an area)
is so low that, if there was a sea of water big enough, it would float
Saturn takes 10 hours and 39 minutes to turn on its axis, so, every
time a day has passed on Earth, over two days have passed on
But the planet, being so far away from the Sun, takes 29 and a half
Earth years to completely orbit the Sun.
A Hubble Space Telescope image of Saturn in
Saturn's most famous feature are its great rings, which appeared like
ears when Galileo observed Saturn in the Seventeenth Century. These
are rings of small dust, rock and ice particles, probably what remains
of a shattered moon which once orbited Saturn.
Astronomers did not know that there any other planets with rings until
1977 when Uranus’ rings were discovered. Soon after that,
astronomers discovered rings around both Jupiter and Neptune.
Saturn has at least 60 moons orbiting it. Most of them are small, apart
from one called Titan which has an atmosphere similar to what
scientists believe Earth's atmosphere was like before life began on it.
Year: 83.8 Earth years
Day: 17.2 hours
Temperature: -280 F
Possibly the most boring planet in the Solar System, Uranus has an
atmosphere of Hydrogen, Helium and Methane. The Methane gives the
planet a pale blue color. The planet is tipped on its side, possibly from
a collision with a planet the size of Earth. It rotates on its tilted axis
in 16 hours and 7 minutes, taking 84 years to orbit the Sun. The planet
has 27 known moons, including one called Miranda which appears to be
a moon that was shattered in a collision but reformed itself.
The twin planet of Uranus, with a similar
size and similar contents in its
atmosphere. It is the smallest of our
outer planets. (Pluto – Dwarf Planet)
Still, it is four times wider than Earth.
It orbits the Sun every 165 years,
meaning it will never complete a orbit
during the lifetime of a person living on
Earth. The planet takes 16 hours and 7
minutes to turn on its axis.
The winds on the planet are the
strongest in the Solar System, with
areas of high pressure shown by Dark
Spots. Clouds of icy droplets of methane
can also be seen in the upper
atmosphere of Neptune.
The planet has 13 moons known to orbit
it, including a moon with eruptions of
Year: 164 Earth years
Day: 16.1 hours
Temperature: -235 degrees F
Pluto was discovered in 1930. In 2006, it became classified as a
dwarf planet. The dwarf planets are round, orbiting bodies much
like planets, but smaller.
Pluto is rocky and icy. It’s orbit is tilted compared to the planet
and the shape is a long stretched oval.
Once every 248 years, Pluto moves inside Neptune’s orbit.
Year: 248 Earth years
Day: 6.4 Earth days
Temperature: -385 degrees F