You could also provide some examples of travel brochures for them to look at as a guide. These are available free at travel agents. You could also ask the learners to present their work in class. In this activity learners must summarise all the information they know about a particular planet on a one page fact sheet.
This activity is easier than the Planetary holidays activity as it requires less imagination, and can therefore be done as an alternative activity. Asteroids are small rocky objects that are believed to be left over from the formation of our solar system 4.
They range in size from tens of metres across to several hundred kilometres across and come in a variety of shapes. Most asteroids are found in the asteroid belt , which lies between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. More than , asteroids lie in the asteroid belt and several thousand of the largest ones have been named. A record close asteroid fly-by past Earth.
In the region of the asteroid belt closest to the Sun, the asteroids are mainly metallic objects. Those further away are rocky objects. Rocky asteroids appear darker than metallic asteroids. Although science fiction movies give the impression that the asteroid belt is a tightly packed region of dangerous rocks, in reality the asteroids are separated from each other by millions of kilometres.
However, very rarely, collisions between asteroids do occur which is why asteroids are covered with impact craters. We will look at impact craters more closely in the following activity. Help the crew prepare by classifying the underwater images. In this activity learners will investigate how craters are formed by dropping balls into a tray of sand.
Although you can do this activity with flour, it works best with sand. There are two parts to this experiment. In the first part learners will investigate how the mass of an object affects the crater size formed. In the second part, learners will investigate how the height at which an object is dropped affects the size of the crater it leaves.
You can use more objects in the investigation if you have time, and as an extension you can examine the effect of impact angle on the shape of the crater formed. You will need to experiment beforehand with the type of sand that you are using. Before your class performs this investigation, drop marbles into the sand that you have, to observe what kinds of craters the marbles leave.
Experiment with the best possible option, for example, you might need to add some moisture to the sand so that you are able to see the craters. How does the height at which an object is dropped affect the size of the crater it leaves? While investigating the effect of object mass, the height that the objects are dropped from should remain constant. While investigating the effect of dropping height, the mass of the object being dropped should be kept constant. Learner dependent answer. Learners should summarise their results and provide a reason why they think they got the results they did.
Objects dropped from greater heights hit the sand with a higher speed and therefore have greater energy kinetic energy. As they have more energy they make a larger impact crater. It tells us that craters on the surfaces of other planets are formed due to impacts. The impacting objects must have been travelling very fast or have been very massive, because the craters we observe on other planets are much larger than the craters made in this experiment.
As Jupiter is more massive than all the other planets in the solar system, its large gravity attracts many asteroids and comets travelling in towards the inner solar system that would otherwise potentially crash into the Earth. Gerard Kuiper - is regarded by many as the father of modern planetary science.
He is well known for his many discoveries. Read more about them here. The Kuiper belt is a region of space filled with trillions of small objects that lies in the outer reaches of the solar system, past the orbit of Neptune. The Kuiper belt is a region between 30 and 50 times the Earth's distance from the Sun. This belt is similar to the closer asteroid belt, except that the objects are not made of rock, but rather of frozen ices. These icy objects can range in size from a fraction of a kilometre to more than a km across and are called Kuiper belt objects. The two largest known members of the Kuiper Belt are Eris and Pluto, both dwarf planets.
It will arrive at Pluto in Dwarf planets are objects that orbit the Sun, just like the planets. However, they are smaller than planets. Due to their small size, they are unable to meet the official definition of a planet. Can you remember what the three criteria are to be classed as a planet?
List them below. Why Pluto is not a planet anymore video. Asteroids are clearly not planets as they have irregular shapes and they are not spherical. Some dwarf planets are spherical, but they do not meet the third criterion. With their weak gravities they are unable to clear out other objects from their orbits. Which famous ex-planet is now considered a dwarf planet because it failed to meet the third criterion? For many years the object Pluto was considered to be a planet.
However, since the s many more objects very similar to Pluto have been discovered orbiting the Sun out past Neptune's orbit. This resulted in new criteria to be drawn up to be considered a planet and Pluto was demoted to dwarf planet status. Pluto was named by Venetia Burney, an 11 year old from Oxford, England, in She suggested that the planet be named after the Roman god of the underworld, Pluto. Read more about dwarf planets. Scientists estimate that there might be or more dwarf planets in the Kuiper Belt, and thousands more beyond the Kuiper Belt.
The Oort Cloud has not been observed. At this point, it is purely hypothetical although very likely. Its existence cannot be stated as fact since it has not yet been confirmed to exist. We therefore refer to the Oort Cloud as hypothetical or predicted. Comets are icy, dusty objects, orbiting around the Sun at great distances. Comets are found in the Kuiper Belt and in the predicted Oort Cloud. The Oort Cloud is thought to be a huge cloud of icy objects surrounding the Sun at the very edge of our solar system at a distance between 5, and , times the Earth's distance from the Sun!
In , South African researchers found the first evidence of a comet hitting Earth. Read more about it. A comet will remain in the Kuiper Belt or Oort Cloud unless it is disturbed by another comet. If this happens, then the comet's orbit changes and occasionally the comet will come into the inner solar system for us to see.
Comets that come from the Kuiper Belt tend to have orbits around the Sun of years or less. Comets originating in the Oort Cloud take even longer to orbit the Sun. We can only see comets directly when they come into the inner solar system because they are small and only visible by reflected sunlight. As a comet approaches the Sun, the Sun's heat evaporates the dust and ices it consists of, forming a bright dust tail which is visible from Earth. Some comet dust tails can be millions of kilometres long. The dust tail usually points back along the path of the comet.
Comets often have a second tail called an ion tail. The ion tail is made of ions that are pushed away from the comet's head by particles emitted from the Sun's atmosphere, called the solar wind. Let's find out more about this type of tail. An ion is an atom with an electrical charge due to the gain or loss of electrons.
In this activity learners will discover that a comet's ion tail always points away from the Sun, no matter which way the comet is travelling! You can either get learners to make their own comet tails or if you do not have many materials you can make one comet yourself and pass it around for the learners to see. Which direction did the ion tail move when you held up the comet in front of you and blew on the comet? Which direction did the ion tail move when you moved the ball left and right while still blowing? It still moves directly away from you as it is blown away by your breath. It does not follow the direction of movement of the comet.
Learn more about comets with this interactive website. Halley's comet is visible from Earth every 75 to 76 years. Comets that come into the inner solar system do not live forever. The Sun's heat melts comets, just like a snowman melts out in the Sun. After several thousand years the remains are so small that they no longer form a tail. Some comets completely melt away. It is completely safe to fly through a comet's tail.
The only thing that would hit your space ship would be microscopic pieces of dust. Astronomers did not know if it would break up or not. See if you can find out what happened to comet ISON in the beginning of , and tell your learners about this, or set it as a fun, small homework task. In this section learners will discover just how fortunate they are to be on Earth, which is currently the only planet known to harbour life.
They will consider the conditions thought necessary for life and compare those with the conditions found on Earth and on Earth's neighbours. A nice way to introduce this topic is to have a class discussion about whether learners think aliens exist on other planets and, if so, what they might be like. This could then lead into a discussion about what conditions learners think are necessary for life. Talking about aliens usually excites learners!
As you discovered in the last section, the Earth, along with the other planets, orbits around the Sun. The Earth is the third most distant planet from the Sun, lying in between Venus and Mars. Let's compare the Earth and its two neighbours in more detail. Citizen science: Help search for planets orbiting other stars.
In this activity learners will plot a graph of distance versus temperature for the planets Venus, Earth and Mars. They will also be provided with information regarding the habitable zone around the Sun.
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Using this information learners will have to decide which of the three planets lie within the Sun's habitable zone. Graph showing the average temperature and the distance from the Sun of Venus, Earth and Mars. Our solar system's habitable zone video. Because of this, water can exist in liquid form on Earth. This is important because scientists think that liquid water is one of the key things needed for life.
On Mars, the opposite is true. Earth is unique in our solar system as it is the only planet known to have liquid water on its surface and to harbour life. If the Earth were too close to the Sun it would be too hot and all the water would evaporate from the oceans, like it has on Venus.
If the Earth were too far from the Sun it would be too cold, and all the water would be frozen, like on Mars. Earth is at just the right distance from the Sun to have liquid water on its surface. The other planets in the solar system are either too close or too far from the Sun. The range of distances that a planet can lie from the Sun and still have liquid water on the planet's surface is called the habitable zone.
Estimates for the habitable zone in our solar system range from 0. You will probably find different quoted ranges for the habitable zone from different sources. This is because different scientists have used slightly different criteria to define what "habitable" means. Many studies focus on how life on Earth would be affected if the Earth were closer to or farther from the Sun.
However, the point at which life can no longer exist on Earth is uncertain. The habitable zone is sometimes called the Goldilocks zone after the famous children's story where Goldilocks eats the porridge that is neither too hot nor too cold. What other conditions do you think are necessary for life on Earth or other planets? List your answers in the space below. Learner-dependent answer. This is also an ideal opportunity for a class discussion. Answers could include, sunlight for energy, oxygen, carbon we are carbon based , liquid water.
Note that other life forms might not be carbon based and that life comes in many forms like bacteria, animals and plants. Scientists are looking for more than just human-like beings and other forms of life that we find on Earth. Also, we are likely to be biased in what we think the conditions are that are needed for life, because we only know about life on Earth. Other stars also have habitable zones. Scientists believe that planets orbiting other stars within the habitable zone could support life forms.
Kepler Mission: A search for habitable planets. Which of the planets in the solar system have moderate temperatures and liquid water on their surface? Which of the planets in the solar system have significant amounts of oxygen in their atmosphere or oceans? As you can see the Earth is very fortunate, because it lies at just the right distance from the Sun to have moderate temperatures and abundant liquid water.
The Sun provides the energy for plants to grow. There is plenty of oxygen in Earth's present day atmosphere and oceans, which means that life can survive on land and in the Earth's oceans. The Earth is unique in that it is the only planet we know of that has life. The moons Europa orbiting Jupiter and Titan orbiting Saturn are considered to be places where life may exist.
Europa's surface is covered in smooth water ice and scientists think that there might be a water ocean beneath the icy surface. Titan has liquid lakes and seas on its surface, although they are not made of water, but rather liquid methane and ethane. Some scientists think that life may be able to survive in these lakes.
You may have heard a lot about global warming and the greenhouse effect in the news and in our studies in Energy and Change. During the day, the Sun shines through the atmosphere heating the Earth's surface. At night, the Earth's surface cools, releasing the heat back into space. Some of the heat is trapped by greenhouse gases in the air like carbon dioxide, which causes the Earth to remain warmer than it would have otherwise.
This is called the greenhouse effect. Scientists think that due to human activities, like cutting down forests and burning fossil fuels, the greenhouse effect is now too strong. This is known as global warming.
Global warming: How humans are affecting our planet. Average temperatures on Earth have increased by 0. The rate of warming is also increasing. Venus provides us with a clue as to what might happen to the Earth if global warming continues. Venus's oceans have boiled away leaving behind a hot, inhospitable planet. We should therefore try our best to look after our precious planet! Scientists do not know how life began on Earth, but they estimate that the early ancestor of modern bacteria was alive on Earth 3. The early Earth's atmosphere had almost no oxygen.
Instead, it was composed mainly of carbon dioxide, nitrogen and water vapour with some methane and ammonia. Carbon dioxide and water vapour were pumped into the atmosphere during volcanic eruptions, which caused the atmosphere to change over time. Eventually the water vapour in the atmosphere condensed to form rain, forming the first oceans. Eventually living organisms bacteria appeared in the oceans. These simple organisms used sunlight, water and carbon dioxide in the oceans to produce sugars and oxygen.
What is this process called? This is where the first oxygen in the ocean and atmosphere came from. That oxygen made it possible for other organisms to develop and flourish and is the reason that you are here today. Do you enjoy English and Science? Read more about a career as a science writer. Complete the concept map which summarises the key concepts from this chapter about our solar system.
They are much cooler than the rest of the surface. Intensity is proportional to temperature. They are mostly made of hydrogen and helium which are the most abundant elements in the universe. Its atmosphere is so thick, there is a runaway greenhouse effect on the planet heating the planet to high temperatures.
Common Core 8th Grade Science Practice Workbook: Earth in the Solar System
On which planet have landers found frozen water in the rocks under the planet's surface? As comets come close to the Sun, the Sun's heat evaporates their surface, resulting in long bright tails which we can see. Far from the Sun it is too cold for the tails to form, so we have to wait until the comet is close enough to the Sun for it to form a tail before we can see it. What is the official definition of a planet and why was Pluto downgraded to a dwarf planet?
The official definition of a planet states that a planet must orbit the Sun, be large enough so that its own gravity squashes it into a spherical shape and that it has cleared out other objects from its orbital path. Pluto has not swept out other objects from its orbit and so it was downgraded from planet to dwarf planet status. Earth has a moderate temperature, with liquid water on its surface. There is also abundant oxygen for respiration and plenty of sunlight energy for plants to grow.
The orbits of these three planets lie within the habitable zone around the star. This is the zone which is the right distance from the star for water to exist as a liquid, making these planets possible candidates to support life.
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Toggle navigation Grade Workbooks. English Afrikaans. The solar system Chapter overview 3 weeks The ordering of the chapter in Gr 8 Planet Earth and Beyond in CAPS is as follows: The solar system Beyond the solar system Looking into space Although this is the order in CAPS and it is the way in which the content has been ordered here in these workbooks, we suggest starting with Chapter 3 on 'Looking into space' first, and then going on to the other two chapters. The main aims of this chapter are to ensure that learners understand the following: The Sun is a star and produces heat and light energy via nuclear reactions.
The planets, dwarf planets and asteroids all orbit around the Sun, held in their orbits by the force of gravity. Different planets have different observed properties and characteristics. The Earth is located in a special zone around the Sun, where life is possible. The Siyavula textbooks that are currently available are: Gr Natural Sciences and Technology: www.
How does the Sun produce its energy? How can we observe the Sun without damaging our eyes? What objects are in orbit around the Sun in our solar system? Why are there two types of planets? How do the planets in our solar system differ? What are asteroids and comets? What is the difference between a planet and a dwarf planet? Why is life possible on Earth? The Sun solar system star nuclear fusion convection sunspot solar wind. Observing the Sun using a telescope This is an outdoors activity. Draw a picture of what the surface of the Sun looks like on the white card in the circle below.
Observing the Sun with a pinhole camera In this activity you will reflect an image of the Sun onto a white card or screen for your learners to observe. Cut or punch a very small hole, about 5 mm, in the middle of the plain cardboard. If you do not have cardboard, you can use tape to cover all but a small portion of the surface of the mirror. Includes two texts, seven text-dependent questions, one constructed-response writing prompt, and explanatory information for teachers r….
Includes an excerpt from the book Because of Winn-Dixie, seven text-dependent questions, and explanatory information for teachers regar….
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Includes two nonfiction texts, including an excerpt from Nathaniel Hawthorne, twelve text-dependent questions including one optional c…. Includes one text, seven text-dependent questions, one constructed-response writing prompt, and explanatory information for teachers re…. Includes six text-dependent questions, one constructed-response writing prompt, and explanatory information for teachers regarding alig…. Includes two literary excerpts and eleven text-dependent questions including one optional constructed-response prompt for students , a…. Includes six text-dependent questions, one constructed response writing prompt, and explanatory information for teachers regarding alig….
Includes an excerpt from the book Winesburg, Ohio, six text-dependent questions, one optional writing prompt, and explanatory informati…. Includes two nonfiction texts, a link to a video, and 13 text-dependent questions including one optional constructed-response prompt f…. Includes an excerpt from the novel Esperanza Rising, ten text-dependent questions including one optional constructed-response prompt f…. Includes an excerpt from "Forensic Science: Evidence, Clues, and Investigation", seven text-dependent questions, one optional writing p….
Includes one poem and nine text-dependent questions including one optional constructed-response prompt for students , and explanatory …. Provides guidance on creating questions that align to language standards and includes exemplar passages and items. Informational paried passage mini-assessment that includes two articles and one accompanying recording, thirteen text-dependent questio…. Includes two poems, eleven text-dependent questions including one optional constructed-response prompt for students , and explanatory ….
Includes two nonfiction texts, a link to a video, and 17 text-dependent questions including one optional constructed-response prompt f…. Maps Map Skills. More Social Studies. More Holiday Worksheets. Brain Teasers. Mystery Graph Pictures. Number Detective. Lost in the USA. More Thinking Puzzles. Teaching Tools. Award Certificates. More Teacher Helpers. Alphabet ABCs.
Numbers and Counting. Shapes Basic. More Kindergarten. Word Search Generator. Multiple Choice Generator. Fill-in-the-Blanks Generator. More Generator Tools. Full Website Index. This is our collection of solar system, outer space, and planet worksheets that you use for your Science lessons. To see Common Core Standards for these worksheets, click on the common core symbol. Discover what each organ in the human body does to keep us alive and healthy.
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Teacher Helpers. Teaching Tools Award Certificates. Pre-K and Kindergarten. Worksheet Generator. Planets and Solar System. Projects and Activities. Planet Research Report. To the Moon Printable Board Game. Game: Solar System Scoot! Scoot is a fast-faced game that the whole class can play at once. Students move around to each desk in the classroom and answer questions about the planets, the sun, and the moon. Cut out and assemble the cipher wheel. Use it to decode a series of interesting planet facts. We recommend you print the cipher wheel on card stock.
Foldable Game: Solar System. Students cut and fold to make an origami cootie catcher fortune teller game.