The Solar System by Edward P. Ortleb and Richard Cadice

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1 The Solar System by Edward P. Ortleb and Richard Cadice The material in this book deals with basic concepts from the modern study of planetary and astronomical sciences. Objects in our solar system and in outer space are studies and compared. Each of the twelve teaching units in this book is introduced by a color transparency, which emphasizes the basic concept of the unit and presents questions for discussion. Reproducible student pages provide reinforcement and follow up activities. The teaching guide offers descriptions of the basic concepts to be presented, background information, suggestions for enrichment activities, and a complete answer key. Artist: Donald O Connor Managing Editor: Kathleen Hilmes Copyright 1986, 2014 Milliken Publishing Company a Lorenz company P.O. Box 802 Dayton, OH Printed in the USA. All rights reserved. Permission to reproduce pages extends only to teacherpurchaser for individual classroom use, not to exceed in any event more than one copy per pupil in a course. The reproduction of any part for an entire school or school system or for commercial use is strictly prohibited.

2 Editor s Note: In 2006, Pluto was reclassified as a dwarf planet. As such, it is no longer considered a traditional planet. Pluto is included in this resource as a dwarf planet. It still has historical significance and relevancy to the study of our solar system. Instructors should explain Pluto s reclassification to students. iv The Solar System Milliken Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

3 Page 1 THE SUN CONCEPTS: 1. The sun is a star. 2. The sun is the center of the solar system. Teaching Guide (produces vitamin D in skin) 4. Oil is formed from ancient organic material, which utilized the sun s energy. It is a liquid source of chemical energy derived from solar energy. BACKGROUND INFORMATION: The sun is the closest star to the planet Earth (149,600,000 km). The sun is composed of gases that are heated to incandescence by nuclear fusion reactions. Hydrogen nuclei are joined to form a helium nucleus with the release of tremendous amounts of heat and light energy. The sun is not a huge star when compared with some giants. It has a diameter of approximately 1,400,000 km while the star Betelgeuse in Orion has a diameter of approximately 600,000,000 km. The volume of the sun is so large that a million Earths could fit inside of it. Like the Earth, the sun rotates on its axis. The core of the sun is the region of the nuclear reactions, and the temperatures may be as high as 15,000,000 K. Surrounding the core is the radiation layer and then a convection layer. The central portion of the sun is termed the photosphere. It is the portion we see when we look at the sun. (For eye safety, never look directly at the sun.) Surrounding the sun is a colored, glowing halo of gases called the chromosphere. During a total eclipse, the corona is visible. It is an envelope of gas that extends millions of miles from the sun s surface. Large whirlpools of gases which appear as dark spots on the photosphere are called sunspots. The darkness is due to their temperatures being comparatively lower than those of the surface. Sunspot activity seems to follow an elevenyear cycle of intensity. Solar flares, or prominences, are another spectacular feature of the sun. These irregularlyshaped clouds of hot gases erupt from the chromosphere. They may shoot out from the surface for many thousands of kilometers. Sometimes they produce disturbances in the ionosphere, which can create interference with radio communications. Also, solar flares produce an aurora, which is the increased interaction of electrons and protons released by solar flares into the Earth s atmosphere. ENRICHMENT ACTIVITIES: 1. Research how scientists are able to determine what gases are on the sun. 2. Find out about the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy. ANSWER KEY: Page 1 1. photosphere 2. solar flares or prominences Study Question: Solar flares produce disturbances in the ionosphere causing interference with radio communications. They also produce auroras. Page 1a 1. A. solar flare or prominence B. corona C. sunspots D. solar flare or prominence E. photosphere F. chromosphere G. convection layer H. radiation layer I. core 2. provides heat and light 3. causes sunburn Page 2 OUR SOLAR SYSTEM CONCEPT: The sun is a star with eight planets orbiting around it. This family of planets is called the solar system. BACKGROUND INFORMATION: The sun is unique among many other stars in that it has a number of bodies orbiting around it. Ancient astronomers saw these objects as points of light that wandered around among the stars. They called the objects planets, which means wanderers in Greek. The orbits of the planets are slightly elliptical in shape. The planets all travel around the sun in the same direction, and are held in orbit by the gravitational pull of the sun. Early astronomers Hipparchus and Ptolemy thought the Earth was the center of the universe. The work of Copernicus in the mid-1500s proposed a sun-centered system of planets. The work of Galileo, Brahe, Kepler, and Newton helped to provide the experimental and mathematical evidence for a heliocentric solar system. The known planets, in order of distance from the sun, are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. An easy way to remember the order of the planets is My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nachos. There are also dwarf planets orbiting the sun. These include Pluto, Eris, and others. There is a sizeable gap between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Astronomers long ago theorized that there should be another planet in this region. Discoveries since the early 1800s have shown that there are thousands of small planet-like objects in orbit around the sun in this region. These are called planetoids or asteroids. It is now thought that these object never formed a planet because of the force of Jupiter s gravity. Since early times, the planets have been given Greek and Roman names relating to mythological stories. Mercury messenger of the gods Venus goddess of love and beauty Mars god of war Jupiter king of the gods Saturn god of agriculture and harvest Uranus god of the skies Neptune god of the sea Pluto god of the underworld Eris goddess of strife and discord ENRICHMENT ACTIVITIES: 1. Find out about the Ptolemaic hypothesis of the solar system. 2. Find out about the role Greek and Roman mythology played in naming the planets. Milliken Publishing Company. All rights reserved. The Solar System v

4 Milliken Publishing Company. All rights reserved. The Solar System 4b

5 Milliken Publishing Company. All rights reserved. The Solar System 5b

6 has greenish color with narrow rings; thick atmosphere of gases; rotates on horizontal axis of about 98º from perpendicular; over 25 natural satellites Distance from sun: 2,870,000,000 km Diameter: 51,800 km Revolution time: 84 years Rotation: 17.2 hours Atmosphere temperature: 215ºC has greenish color; thick atmosphere of gases; twin of Uranus ; more than 10 natural satellites Distance from sun: 4,504,000,000 km Diameter: 48,600 km Revolution time: 165 years Rotation: 16.1 hours Atmosphere temperature: 200ºC discovered in 1930; reclassified as a dwarf planet (2006); at least 5 natural satellites Distance from sun: 5,900,000,000 km Diameter: 2,300 km Revolution time: 248 years Rotation: 6.4 days Surface temperature: 230ºC 1. previously the ninth planet from the sun in the solar system 2. both poles take a turn facing the sun during its 84-year revolution 3. a dwarf planet 4. the eighth planet from the sun in the solar system 5. a gaseous planet with narrow rings about 3,030,000,000 km from Pluto 6. a greenish-colored planet with more than 10 natural satellites 8a The Solar System Milliken Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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