Science Space Lessons 1-5 Notes

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1 Science Space Lessons 1-5 Notes The Planets in order from the Sun are: Mercury Venus Earth Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune To help us remember, we use the sentence: My Very Excited Mother Just Served Us Nachos (Each word of the sentence starts with the first letter of the planet name) All the planets orbit the Sun. The Sun is a star (the only star in our solar system). Along with planets, there are also asteroids, meteors, comets, and moons in our solar system. The Sun is the center of the solar system and is the main source of energy for everything in the solar system. The sun is the only body in our solar system that gives off energy. Planets and moons do not give off their own radiation. Without the sun, life on earth would not be possible. Although our star, the Sun, is the biggest thing in our solar system, it is small in comparison to other stars. It is classified as a yellow dwarf. The solar system is BIG. But, it is only a speck compared to the rest of the universe. Some facts about planets: The inner 4 planets are known as rocky planets and are made of rocky material. The rocky planets are mostly made up of rock and metal. These planets are very heavy and move slowly. They do not have rings and have very few moons. The outer 4 planets are known as gas planets and are made of gas material. The gas planets are mostly made up of gases (hydrogen and helium). These planets are light for their sizes (just like a big air balloon) and move quickly. They have rings and lots of moons. The inner planets and the outer planets are separated by the asteroid belt. The Asteroid Belt is a region between the inner planets and outer planets where thousands of asteroids are found orbiting around the Sun.

2 The largest planet is Jupiter. It is twice as big as all the other planets put together. The smallest planet is Mercury The hottest planet is Venus (even though it is not the closest to the sun). It has a thick atmosphere that traps heat. It is sometimes referred to as the Evening Star because it is visible just after sunset and before sunrise. Mercury has a very slight atmosphere, so it doesn't trap heat. That is why it is not the hottest planet even though it is closest to the Sun. At night temperatures are below freezing. The rings of Saturn are made up of ice and debris. Mars is called the red planet because of its red appearance. It is red because of the iron in the sand. (Remember the Bill Nye video experiment with the steel wool?) 3 Ways Stars and Planets are Different 1) Planets do not produce heat or light as stars do. Instead, planets reflect the sun's light. 2) Planets revolve around stars. Stars do not revolve around planets. 3) Stars are much bigger than planets. The sun (our star) is much bigger than all our planets together, yet compared to other stars; it is considered a yellow dwarf. What are the Differences Between Meteoroids, Meteors, and Meteorites? Although all three are essentially the same thing, the name indicates the location of the 'chunk of rock'. A meteoroid is traveling through space. Once the meteoroid hits the Earth's atmosphere, it begins burning up and is called a meteor. Meteors are also referred to as shooting stars (although we know they are not really stars). If any of the meteor is left after it burns up and actually hits the ground, it is then referred to as a meteorite. Comets

3 Comets are balls of ice with bits of rock and metal frozen inside. Comets do not produce any light but they can be seen as flashes of light in the night sky because the ice, gas and dust reflect the sun's light. When they are visible, they may be seen for days. Comets travel in orbit around the sun and when they come close to earth, they can be seen for several days. The tail of a comet is always pointing away from the sun. Comets never strike Earth because they are traveling around the sun in an elliptical orbit. Comets are rarely seen. Once a comet passes Earth it may not be seen again for hundreds or thousands of years. Bright comets tend to appear once every years. One of the most famous comets is Halley's Comet which is seen about once every 77 years. 3 Main Differences Between Comets and Meteors: 1. Comets reflect light, meteors give off light as they burn in the atmosphere 2. Comets are rarely seen, Meteors are seen daily 3. Comets never strike Earth, Meteors strike daily. How Does Gravity Affect Our Solar System Gravity: a pulling force that acts between all objects in the universe. The moon is attracted to the earth by gravity. Weight: a measure of how much gravity pulls on an object or a body. Mass: The amount of matter in an object. There is gravity on the moon. Gravity is a pulling force. When you weigh something on Earth you measure how much Earth's gravity pulls on it. When you weigh something on the Moon, you measure how much the Moon's gravity pulls on it. The Moon's gravity is weaker than Earth's gravity. The Moon's gravity is one-sixth that of Earth. Because the moon's gravity is weaker, astronauts do not have to work as hard to walk or move on the moon. Everything they carry feels lighter. Breathing is totally dependent on carrying tanks of oxygen. Eating is challenging as food tends to float away. Sleeping is also different. While some astronauts float freely, others choose to be strapped into a wall to sleep. **Weight changes on the moon but mass will not. Everything in our solar system feels the force of the sun's gravity. The sun pulls everything in the solar system towards it including Earth. The planets closer to the sun feel the pull of the sun's gravity more than the planets farther away from the sun. This is why the planets closer to the sun move more quickly.

4 Why Doesn't Earth Fall Out of Orbit? These two forces are at work on planet Earth to prevent it from falling out of orbit or smashing into the sun. The centripetal force (gravity) of the sun pulling on the Earth is equal to the centrifugal force of the Earth (which is created by its spinning/orbiting around the Sun). These forces are balanced to keep Earth where it is. If the Sun s gravity were to increase, we would move closer to the Sun. If the spinning were to increase, we would pull further away from the Sun. (Remember our experiment in class with the water bottle and eraser attached to a string which I was spinning. We were able to raise and lower the bottle by speeding up and slowing down the spinning) Centrifugal Force - Flying away from the center (Like when spinning a ball on a string, the ball wants to fly away from you. You feel the pull of it on the string.) Centripetal Force- A force that pulls an object toward another. Gravity is a centripetal force. (highlighted letters are a way to help from confusing the two forces) What changes as the Earth rotates? As Earth rotates on its imaginary axis in a 24 hour period, the amount of light changes, creating day and night. Rotate means to spin around a center point (like a figure skater or a spin top spinning) What changes as the Earth revolves around the Sun? Revolve means to move around an object. The Earth revolves around the sun. Walking around the outside of the building. The Earth revolves around the Sun once every days. As the Earth travels around the Sun, it creates our seasons. Seasons change depending on the amount of sunlight reaching the earth as it revolves around the Sun. Summer will happen in the hemisphere tilted towards the Sun and winter will happen in the hemisphere tilted away from the Sun. During which season of the year does sunlight shine straight down on the Northern Hemisphere? summer During which season is the Northern Hemisphere tilted away from the Sun? winter Why is it generally warmer in Florida than in NL? The Sun's rays hit at less of an angle, so Florida receives more direct sunlight. Florida is closer to the equator, which receives more direct sunlight all year round.

5 WORDS TO KNOW: Definitions: Solar System - The Sun and all objects that orbit it Diameter - the length of a straight line through the center of a circle or round object Astronomers - People who study all the things in the universe beyond Earth Solar - Something that relates to the sun Remote Sensing - Studying the Earth from space without touching it (radar, satellites, pictures) Atmosphere - the layer of gases that surround a planet or moon Meteoroid - Dust or a small chunk of rock which orbits the sun. When it enters Earth's atmosphere it is called a meteor. A meteor that hits the Earth's surface is called a meteorite. Asteroid - A small rocky object orbiting the sun. Thousands are in the asteroid belt, between Mars and Jupiter. Comet - A small icy object orbiting the sun. It is made up of an icy & dusty nucleus with a tail of gas spreading from it. (See more detailed notes in duo, including a diagram). Gravity - A pulling force that acts between all objects in the universe. (The moon is attracted to the Earth by gravity) Weight - A measure of how much gravity pulls on an object or body Mass - The amount of matter in an object. * My weight would change on different planets but my mass would stay the same. * Know the difference between weight and mass. Orbit - The path of one object as it revolves around another object (the Earth orbits the sun. The moon orbits the Earth) Sun - The only star in our solar system Axis - The imaginary line around which a spinning object rotates

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