Out of this World: The Solar System
Q: How do you organize a Planet Party? ...A: You Organize it!
Our Solar System contains all objects in space that move around the Sun including us. The Sun is part of a galaxy called the Milky Way Galaxy where billions of other stars exist in space. There's lots of information being found out about other galaxies, but our knowledge of the Sun's gravitational force pulls and places 8 planets into orbit around it.
Mercury is the first planet closest to the Sun. It is the fastest and smallest, too. It is similar to our Moon covered in craters. It has no atmosphere or moons.
Venus is the second planet from the sun. Venus has the thickest atmosphere heat is trapped; a greenhouse effect takes place making it the hottest planet! The atmosphere is dangerous and poisonous to us humans so we won't be making any trips there soon! Venus rotates backwards and has zero moons.
Earth is the third planet from the sun. It is the only known planet that is able to sustain life. We also have the only known oceans on a planet! Since about 70% of the Earth is covered in water we have a stable weather system. Surprisingly we know more about Mars and our Moon than our deep sea.
Mars is the fourth planet from the sun. Covered with red dust and similar to Earth is the only planet that has polar ice caps, where there is frozen water at the top and at the bottom. Mars also has the largest known mountain called Olympus Mons. It's about three times as big as Mount Everest.
These 4 planets closest to the Sun: Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars are all a group of type of planets called Terrestrial Planets. They all have solid, rocky surfaces composed primarily of silicate rocks or metals. We could be able to walk on all of their surfaces. I don't recommend Venus, due to its atmosphere is poisonous to us!
Wow! So many Fun Facts! Now Let's Play!
Get your Space Sand and pretend to leave footprints on Mercury or the Moon where their is no atmosphere to blow them away. Send a Man-less Space Rocket to explore Venus, and have your Space Rover collect soil samples and data on Mars! Space Sand is easy clean-up, non-toxic slow moving sand. Great for sensory play and comes in a variety of bright colors with a plastic mold and sealable container.
Get 2 Space Sand in the June At Home Play Pak (limited time) and receive the 4-eraser set in your At Home Play Pak (while supplies last).
Ready for more Space facts?
Once we get past Mars there's actually the Asteroid Belt containing 1-2 millions asteroids and minor planets. The largest is Ceres, a dwarf planet - like Pluto.
The next category of planets are known as the Gas Giants, made mostly of Hydrogen, Helium. The Two Gas Giants are Jupiter and Saturn. Further out from the Sun is Uranus and Neptune. They are much colder and have a higher abundance of atmospheric water and other ice-forming molecules, earning them the nickname Ice Giants.
Introduce these planets with some kinesthetic play using a Tornado Tube (available in the Science Shop). These four planets have 1000 mph winds and 100 year-old storms. Add in red glitter to represent Jupiter's Red Spot, Blue Food Coloring for Neptune's methane blue hue, Icy Cold water to represent the coldest planet, Uranus, and attach 7 Rubber Bands for Saturn's famous rings!
Jupiter is the fifth and largest planet that has 79 moons, but that's not the most! It's famous Red Spot is a hurricane and it has been moving for more than a century on the planet. The storm is about 3 times the size of Earth! If Jupiter was a basketball, Earth would be a grape! It's also the fastest spinning, taking just 10 hours to complete a day.
Saturn is the sixth planet, second largest, but least dense! Saturn is actually less dense than water, it could float like an apple. Winds in Saturn’s atmosphere travel up to 1,100 miles (1,800 km.) per hour, however it's not the windiest planet. Mostly known for the seven rings made mostly of ice particles, with a smaller amount of rocky debris and dust. It has the most moons at 82. Jupiter and Saturn hold 92% of the total planetary mass in the Solar System.
Uranus is seventh planet, the coldest planet in the solar system. The surface has been recorded to have dropped as low as -370 degrees Fahrenheit. It's axis is on its side making the poles where other planets have their equators. Uranus has 27 known moons. The names of these satellites are chosen from characters in the works of Shakespeare and Alexander Pope.
Neptune is the eighth and farthest known planet from the Sun in the Solar System. In the Solar System, it is the fourth-largest planet by diameter, the third-most-massive planet, and the densest giant planet. Traces of methane in the outermost regions in part account for the planet's blue appearance. At the time of the Voyager 2 flyby in 1989, the planet's southern hemisphere had a Great Dark Spot. These weather patterns are driven by the strongest sustained winds of any planet in the Solar System, with recorded wind speeds as high as 2,100 km/h (580 m/s; 1,300 mph).
Prior to 2006 Pluto was part of the nine planets but the International Astronomical Union (IAU) decided that Pluto was going to move on out from the main Planet category and become a Dwarf Planet. Pluto is only the size of the United States so you could be able to travel all the way around the diameter of Pluto just like we were to take a road trip from Ocean to Ocean in the US. Surprisingly Pluto has enough mass to have five moons traveling around it!
Hop aboard to learn about some Hip Habitats, Amphibians, Reptiles and other Egg-laying Animals in July!
Tune in on Facebook & Instagram (click each to like) to be notified when I go LIVE at 10:30 AM EST. Say Hello /Comment who's watching to be put in the monthly raffle! July's raffle is an At Home Play Pak! Watch the Livestream on July 1st 2020 as I reveal all new products that come inside that will inspire your young scientist!
Here is a Special Edition Infographic about our Solar System!