Outer space is perhaps the final frontier for man. Even though the rest of the solar
system objects may seem like tiny dots from Earth, our celestial neighbours are still
important to learn about.

In a Nutshell:

What is the solar system? It is our Sun and everything that travels around it. Our solar
system is elliptical in shape. That means it is shaped like an egg. The Sun is in the
centre of the solar system. Our solar system is always in motion. Eight known planets
and their moons, along with comets, asteroids, and other space objects orbit the Sun.
The Sun is the biggest object in our solar system. It contains more than 99% of the solar
system's mass. Astronomers think the solar system is more than 4 billion years old.

Astronomers are now finding new objects far, far from the Sun which they call dwarf
planets. Pluto, which was once called a planet, is now called a dwarf planet.

Do you ever wonder about the things in the sky—the
Sun, the Moon, the stars? People
have been watching the sky for a long time, trying to figure out what is out there. We keep
coming up with new ways to learn more about outer space.

Planets are big balls of rock or gas that move around stars. We live on one we call the
Earth, which moves around a star we call the Sun. There are at least seven other
planets moving around the Sun and a lot of other smaller things as well. All these things
together are called a system. The Latin word for the Sun is Sol, so we call this system
the Solar System.

The planets, most of the satellites of the planets and the asteroids revolve around the
Sun in the same direction, in nearly circular orbits. When looking down from above the
Sun's North Pole, the planets orbit in a counter-clockwise direction. The planets orbit the
Sun in or near the same plane, called the ecliptic. Pluto is a special case in that its orbit
is the most highly inclined (18 degrees) and the most highly elliptical of all the planets.
Because of this, for part of its orbit, Pluto is closer to the Sun than is Neptune. The axis
of rotation for most of the planets is nearly perpendicular to the ecliptic. The exceptions
are Uranus and Pluto, which are tipped on their sides.

Composition Of The Solar System
The
Sun contains 99.85% of all the matter in the Solar System. The planets, which
condensed out of the same disk of material that formed the Sun, contain only 0.135% of
the mass of the solar system.
Jupiter contains more than twice the matter of all the other
planets combined.

A long time ago, people didn't realize that all these things in the Solar System move
around the
Sun. They thought everything moved around the Earth, including the Sun.
This seems sensible, because the
Earth doesn't feel as if it's moving, does it?

About 500 years ago, however, a man named Copernicus suggested that all the planets
moved around the
Sun. Then, about 100 years later, a man called Galileo began looking
at the sky with a new invention: the telescope. He showed that it was very likely that all
the planets moved around the
Sun. Soon, more and more people started using
telescopes to study the sky. They began to learn how the planets and the other things in
the Solar System moved.

Now, we send rockets into space to learn more. Astronauts travel around the Earth.
Some of them have landed on the
Moon. Robots can fly to other planets to take pictures.
We can see things that people like Copernicus and Galileo could only dream about.

We can use very large telescopes to see what has happened to other stars. We
compare pictures of distant stars with pictures of the
Sun. We can use thousands of
pictures of the planets to learn more about
Earth. We use what we learn about all the
things in the Solar System to figure out how it was formed. We can also guess what
might happen to it in the future.

DOWNLOAD THIS PRINTABLE BOOKLET


SOLAR SYSTEM
What's in the Night Sky
Space Exploration

EQUINOX
COMETS
SUN
EARTH
MOON
NEPTUNE
MARS
SATURN
JUPITER
URANUS
MERCURY
VENUS
PLUTO


ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES and PRINTABLES
Create Astrological Chart
Colouring Book
Moon Activities
Printable Crossword - Answer Key
Online crossword - Answer(printable)
Crossword Grid Printable
Solar System Activity Pack

Chinese Lunar Zodiac
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Our Solar System
This comprehensive book
contains information on all
major planets, major star
constellations, space
exploration and our solar
system. Included are fact
sheets, fast facts,
wordsearches, crossword
puzzles, Q's & A's, Student
Activity Sheets,
Teacher/parent resources
and tips, lesson plans and
crafts and activities.  
Preview
entire book 208 pages
The Chinese lunar calendar
dates back to the second
millennium BC. The Chinese
calendar is cyclical. Each
cycle is made up of 12 years;
after the 12th year, the cycle
is repeated.  
This book
contains comprehensive
teacher/parent resources,
lesson plans and activities
relating both to the Chinese
Zodiac and to the Chinese
New Year. A Fun interactive
learning experience for Gr
K-5  with a particular focus on
adjectives,  characteristics
and traits.  
Preview the entire
book here