Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Planets Song

Amazing video footage of flying through space! !

Exploring The Solar System

The Formation of the Planets Part One

The sun is a star, a hot ball of glowing gases at the heart of our solar system. Its influence extends far beyond the orbits of distant Neptune and Pluto. Without the sun's intense energy and heat, there would be no life on Earth. And though it is special to us, there are billions of stars like our sun scattered across the Milky Way galaxy. The Romans called the sun Sol, which in English means sun. In ancient Greece, the sun was called Helios.


The sun is by far the largest object in our solar system, containing 99.8 percent of the solar system's mass. It sheds most of the heat and light that makes life possible on Earth and possibly elsewhere. Planets orbit the sun in oval-shaped paths called ellipses, and the sun is slightly off to the side of the center of each ellipse.
Inner Solar System
  • Inner Planets
The inner four planets — Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars — are made up mostly of iron and rock. They are known as terrestrial or earthlike planets because of their similar size and composition.
  • Asteroid belt
Asteroids are minor planets, most of which circle the sun in a region known as the asteroid belt, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Scientists estimate that there are more than 750,000 asteroids in the belt with diameters larger than three-fifths of a mile (1 kilometer), and there are millions of smaller asteroids. A number have orbits that take them closer into the solar system that sometimes lead them to collide with Earth or the other inner planets.
Outer Solar System
  • Outer Planets
The outer planets are giant worlds with thick outer layers of gas. Nearly all their mass is made up of  hydrogen and helium, giving them compositions like that of the sun. Beneath these outer layers, they have no solid surfaces — the pressure from their thick atmospheres liquefy their insides, although they might have rocky cores. Rings of dust, rock, and ice encircle all these giants, with Saturn's being the most famous.
  • Comets
Comets are often known as dirty snowballs, and consist mainly of ice and rock. When a comet's orbit takes it close to the sun, some of the ice in its central nucleus turns into gas that shoots out of the comet's sunlit side, which the solar wind carries outward to form into a long tail. Short-period comets that complete their orbits in less than 200 years are thought to originate from the the disk-shaped Kuiper belt, while long-period comets that take more than 200 years to return are thought to come from the spherical Oort cloud.
Many scientists think our solar system formed from a giant, rotating cloud of gas and dust known as the solar nebula. As the nebula collapsed because of its gravity, it spun faster and flattened into a disk. Most of the material was pulled toward the center to form the sun. Other particles within the disk collided and stuck together to form asteroid-sized objects named as planetesimals, some of which combined to become the asteroids, comets, moons and planets. The solar wind from the sun was so powerful that it swept away most of the lighter elements, such as hydrogen and helium, from the innermost planets, leaving behind mostly small, rocky worlds. The solar wind was much weaker in the outer regions, however, resulting in gas giants made up mostly of hydrogen and helium.
Trans-Neptunian Region
Astronomers had long suspected that a band of icy material known as the Kuiper belt existed past the orbit of Neptune extending from about 30 to 55 times the distance of Earth to the sun, and from the last decade of the 20th century up to now, they have found more than a thousand of such objects. Scientists estimate the Kuiper belt is likely home to hundreds of thousands of icy bodies larger than 60 miles (100 km) wide, as well as an estimated trillion or more comets.
Well past the Kuiper belt is the Oort cloud, which theoretically extends from 5,000 to 100,000 times the distance of Earth to the sun, and is home to up to two trillion icy bodies. Past that is the very edge of the solar system, the heliosphere, a vast, teardrop-shaped region of space containing electrically charged particles given off by the sun. Many astronomers think that the limit of the heliosphere, known as the heliopause, is about 9 billion miles (15 billion kilometers) from the sun.
Pluto is now considered a dwarf planet dwelling in the Kuiper belt. It is not alone — recent additions include Makemake, Haumea and Eris. Another object dubbed Sedna, which is about three-fourths the size of Pluto, might be the first dwarf planet discovered in the Oort cloud.

Moons, Rings, and Magnetospheres
There are 140 known natural satellites, also called moons, in orbit around the various planets in our solar system, ranging from bodies larger than our own moon to small pieces of debris.

From 1610 to 1977, Saturn was thought to be the only planet with rings. We now know that Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune also have ring systems, although Saturn's is by far the largest. Particles in these ring systems range in size from dust to boulders to house-size, and may be rocky and/or icy.

Most of the planets also have magnetic fields, which extend into space and form a magnetosphere around each planet. These magnetospheres rotate with the planet, sweeping charged particles with them. The sun has a magnetic field, the heliosphere, which envelops our entire solar system.

Ancient astronomers believed that the Earth was the center of the universe, and that the sun and all the other stars revolved around the Earth. Copernicus proved that Earth and the other planets in our solar system orbit our sun. Little by little, we are charting the universe, and an obvious question arises: Are there other planets where life might exist? Only recently have astronomers had the tools to indirectly detect large planets around other stars in nearby solar systems.


Our Cosmic Neighborhood

From our small world we have gazed upon the cosmic ocean for thousands of years. Ancient astronomers observed points of light that appeared to move among the stars. They called these objects "planets," meaning wanderers, and named them after Roman deities—Jupiter, king of the gods; Mars, the god of war; Mercury, messenger of the gods; Venus, the goddes of love and beauty, and Saturn, father of Jupiter and god of agriculture. The stargazers also observed comets with sparkling tails, and meteors or shooting stars apparently falling from the sky.

Since the invention of the telescope, three more planets have been discovered in our solar system: Uranus (1781), Neptune (1846), and, now downgraded to a dwarf planet, Pluto (1930). In addition, there are thousands of small bodies such as asteroids and comets. Most of the asteroids orbit in a region between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, while the home of comets lies far beyond the orbit of Pluto, in the Oort Cloud.

The four planets closest to the sun—Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars—are called the terrestrial planets because they have solid rocky surfaces. The four large planets beyond the orbit of Mars—Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune—are called gas giants. Tiny, distant, Pluto has a solid but icier surface than the terrestrial planets.

Nearly every planet—and some of the moons—has an atmosphere. Earth's atmosphere is primarily nitrogen and oxygen. Venus has a thick atmosphere of carbon dioxide, with traces of poisonous gases such as sulfur dioxide. Mars's carbon dioxide atmosphere is extremely thin. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are primarily hydrogen and helium. When Pluto is near the sun, it has a thin atmosphere, but when Pluto travels to the outer regions of its orbit, the atmosphere freezes and collapses to the planet's surface. In that way, Pluto acts like a comet.

Solar System, Solar System Information, Facts, News, Photos -- National Geographic

Solar System, Solar System Information, Facts, News, Photos -- National Geographic

Sunday, December 25, 2011



Meteorites have proven difficult to classify, but the three broadest groupings are stony, stony iron, and iron. The most common meteorites are chondrites, which are stony meteorites. Radiometric dating of chondrites has placed them at the age of 4.55 billion years, which is the approximate age of the solar system. They are considered pristine samples of early solar system matter, although in many cases their properties have been modified by thermal metamorphism or icy alteration. Some meteoriticists have suggested that the different properties found in various chondrites suggest the location in which they were formed.

Enstatite chondrites contain the most refractory elements and are believed to have formed in the inner solar system. Ordinary chondrites, being the most common type containing both volatile and oxidized elements, are thought to have formed in the inner asteroid belt. Carbonaceous chondrites, which have the highest proportions of volatile elements and are the most oxidized, are thought to have originated in even greater solar distances. Each of these classes can be further subdivided into smaller groups with distinct properties.

There are three main types of meteorites: stony, iron and stony-iron. A lot of them have been smashed off from very large chunks of rock, called asteroids, in collisions before eventually finding their way to our planet. Iron meteorites, for example, are bits of metal iron cores of large asteroids that were once hot enough to have melted, causing all of their iron to sink to the centre. Stony meteorites look most like the stones that you find on Earth and come from the outer layer of asteroids, whereas stony-iron meteorites are a mixture of the two.



Among the most brilliant and most rare objects in the night sky. These soaring beacons with their beautiful tails come from the outer realms of the Solar System. A comet is a small world which scientists sometimes call a planetesimal. They are made out of dust and ice, kind of like a dirty snow ball. Comets come from two places:  The Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud. 
Imagine a place far, far away at the very edge of the Solar System. A place where millions of comets can be seen swishing around in every direction. These icy comets are orbiting the Sun in two different places, both of which are very distant.  One place is called the Oort cloud, and the other is called the Kuiper Belt. 
Comets have a wide range of orbital periods, ranging from a few years to hundreds of thousands of years. Short-period comets originate in the Kuiper belt, or its associated scattered disc,[1] which lie beyond the orbit of Neptune. Longer-period comets are thought to originate in the Oort cloud, a spherical cloud of icy bodies in the outer Solar System. Long-period comets plunge towards the Sun from the Oort cloud because of gravitational perturbations caused by either the massive outer planets of the Solar System (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune), or passing stars. Rare hyperbolic comets pass once through the inner Solar System before being thrown out into interstellar space along hyperbolic trajectories.



An asteroid is a large rock in outer space. Some, like Ceres, can be very large, while others are as small as a grain of sand. Due to their smaller size, asteroids do not have enough gravity to pull themselves into the shape of a ball.  Astronomers group asteroids into different categories based on the way they reflect sunlight.

The asteroid belt is divided into an inner belt and an outer belt. The inner belt which is made up of asteroids that are within 250 million miles (402 million km) of the Sun, contains asteroids that are made of metals.
The outer belt, which includes asteroids 250 million miles (402 million km) beyond the Sun, consists of rocky asteroids. These asteroids appear darker than the asteroids of the inner belt, and are rich in carbon.There are millions of asteroids, many thought to be the shattered remnants of planetesimals, bodies within the young Sun’s solar nebula that never grew large enough to become planets.[3] A large majority of known asteroids orbit in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter or co-orbital with Jupiter (the Jupiter Trojans). However, other orbital families exist with significant populations, including the near-Earth asteroids. Individual asteroids are classified by their characteristic spectra, with the majority falling into three main groups: C-type, S-type, and M-type. These were named after and are generally identified with carbon-rich, stony, and metallic compositions, respectively.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Real Perspective on the Solar System - With Music

In astronomy mythology, Uranus was the lord of the skies and husband of Earth. He was also the king of the gods until he was overthrown by his son Saturn.It would take you many years to fly a rocket to Uranus. When you arrived you would weigh less because Uranus' gravity is not as strong as the Earth's. If you weigh 70 pounds (32 kg) on Earth, you would weigh 62 pounds (28 kg) on Uranus.
In astronomy mythology, Venus was the Roman goddess of love and beauty. In Greek, her name was Aphrodite.Because Venus and the Earth are almost the exact same size, you would weigh almost exactly the same on either planet. If you weighed 70 pounds (32 kg) on Earth, you would weigh 63 pounds (29 kg ) on Venus.
Pluto was thought to be the god to whom all men must eventually go. Romans believed him to be the god of the underworld. In Greek mythology, he is known as Hades.Because Pluto is so small you would be very light if you visited. If you weigh 70 pounds (32 kg) on Earth, you would only weigh 4 pounds (2.5 kg) on Pluto.
In astronomy mythology, Mercury was the Roman version of the Greek god Hermes. He was the messenger for the other gods, and for this reason Mercury is often depicted in pictures with winged sandals. In addition to delivering messages, he was also the protector of travelers and merchants.If you moved to Mercury you would not weigh as much as you do on Earth. Not because you would lose weight on the spaceship, but because Mercury is smaller, and so has less gravity. If you weigh 70 pounds (32 kg) on Earth, you would weigh only about 27 pounds
(12 kg) on Mercury.

At first, Neptune was only the god of water, but later on this was extended to include the sea when he became associated with the Greek god Poseidon.If you weigh 70 pounds (32 kg) on the Earth, you would weigh 78.5 pounds (36 kg) on Neptune.

Saturn was the Roman god of agriculture. He was called Cronus by the Greeks. He is the son of Uranus and the father of Jupiter. Saturn overthrew his father to become king of the gods, but was then overthrown himself by his son Jupiter.Because Saturn is bigger than the Earth, you would weigh more on Saturn than you do here. If you weigh 70 (32 kg) pounds on Earth, you would weigh 74.5 pounds (34 kg) on Saturn.
Jupiter, known as Zeus in Greek mythology, over threw his father Saturn to become king of the gods. He then split the universe with his brothers Neptune and Pluto.If you traveled to Jupiter on vacation, you would be very heavy. If you weigh 70 pounds (32 kg) on Earth, on Jupiter you would weigh 185 pounds (84 kg). This is because Jupiter is such a large planet and so has more gravity.
Our planet is  an oasis of life in an otherwise desolate universe.  The Earth's temperature, weather, atmosphere and many other factors are just right to keep us alive.

In astronomy mythology, her Greek name was Gaea. Earth was the mother of the mountains, valleys, streams and all other land formations. She was married to Uranus.The Earth is the biggest of all the terrestrial planets. A terrestrial planet is a dense planet found in the inner Solar System. The diameter of Earth is 7,926 miles. The circumference measured around the equator is 24,901 miles. There are currently almost 7 billion people living on the Earth. About 30% of the Earth's surface is covered with land, while about 70% is covered by oceans.

Mars was the Roman god of war and agriculture. It may not seem like these two things go together, but they do. Mars protected those who fought for their communities, and stayed home to raise crops for food. In Greek, Mars was known as Ares.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What is Solar System?

The Solar System is made up of all the planets that orbit our Sun. In addition to planets, the Solar System also consists of moons, comets, asteroids, minor planets, and dust and gas.

Everything in the Solar System orbits or revolves around the Sun. The Sun contains around 98% of all the material in the Solar System. The larger an object is, the more gravity it has. Because the Sun is so large, its powerful gravity attracts all the other objects in the Solar System towards it. At the same time, these objects, which are moving very rapidly, try to fly away from the Sun, outward into the emptiness of outer space. The result of the planets trying to fly away, at the same time that the Sun is trying to pull them inward is that they become trapped half-way in between. Balanced between flying towards the Sun, and escaping into space, they spend eternity orbiting around their parent star.
This is an important question, and one that is difficult for scientists to understand. After all, the creation of our Solar System took place billions of years before there were any people around to witness it. Our own evolution is tied closely to the evolution of the Solar System. Thus, without understanding from where the Solar System came from, it is difficult to comprehend how mankind came to be.

Scientists believe that the Solar System evolved from a giant cloud of dust and gas. They believe that this dust and gas began to collapse under the weight of its own gravity. As it did so, the matter contained within this could begin moving in a giant circle, much like the water in a drain moves around the center of the drain in a circle.

At the center of this spinning cloud, a small star began to form. This star grew larger and larger as it collected more and more of the dust and gas that collapsed into it.

Further away from the center of this mass where the star was forming, there were smaller clumps of dust and gas that were also collapsing. The star in the center eventually ignited forming our Sun, while the smaller clumps became the planets, minor planets, moons, comets, and asteroids.

A Complete Journey Of The Solar System

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


This is some information Solar System Facts for Teaching Science for year 4 Students.Click here for infromation...