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Focus Question: How can the Solar
System be characterized?
Investigation 1; Part 1
Solar System Definition
is the Solar System?
– Solar refers to Sol, another name for our
– System is a set of objects working together
System = our Sun and a set of
other objects working together in some
How Does the Solar System
of Picture Cards
– Spread out in front of you Picture-side up
– Look at front of card only
cards into groups by similar
– Use just what you observe in images, not
did you sort your cards?
– Planet, dwarf planet, star, comet, asteroid, or
Distance from Sun or other object
– Except for Sun, all orbit the Sun or other object
– How long does it take to orbit the Sun in Earth
days or years
Maximum/Minimum surface temperatures
– Highest & lowest temperature recorded on
– Solid, liquid, gas
or moving in a path around
– Find all the planet cards and Sun card.
– Use “Distance from…” information on
cards to arrange planets in order, starting
with the Sun.
and eight planets in order describe
the solar system
Other objects in solar system
– Use information on cards to incorporate
other objects into solar system*
Solar System Data Sheet
notebook sheet - start by
filling out table on left side of sheet.
– Separate planets into classes based on
– How did you use composition to sort
Ice and rock dwarf planet
What do you notice about the sizes of the
planets you have put in your groups?
What do you notice about the distance from
the Sun for the planets in your groups?
– Four rocky planets closest to the Sun
– Terrestrial means “land”, rocky composition
– Beyond the asteroid belt
– Why “Gas Giant” name?
– Located in Kuiper Belt
filled with “dirty ice” objects, made of
frozen dust, water, and gas
Some objects are planet size
– Rock-and-ice dwarf planet or
– An average star at the center of the solar
system around which all other solarsystem bodies revolve.
– The Sun and all the bodies that orbit it,
including the planets and their moons, the
asteroids, and the comets.
– The path an object takes around another
object; for example, Earth has an orbit
around the Sun.
– A large natural object that orbits around a
star, such as the Sun.
– A rocky object, which can be a few
hundred meters to several hundred
kilometers wide, that orbits the Sun.
– A small body of ice and dust that orbits the
Sun in a large oval path.
is the Sun?
– Average-sized star; mostly hydrogen
(72%) and helium (26%); other solar
system bodies revolve around it
is the solar system?
– Sun and all the bodies that orbit it,
including planets and their moons,
asteroids, and comets
Homework- Read A Tour of the Solar
System, pg 145-158. Use 3-Column
notes for each section. Answer
questions on page 158 in notebook.