Our solar system consists of the sun, nine planets (and their moons), an asteroid belt, and many comets and meteors. The sun is the center of our solar system; the planets, their moons, the asteroids, comets, and other rocks and gas all orbit the sun.
Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.
An easy way to remember the order of the planets is this mnemonic device: "My Very Excellent Mother Just Sent Us Nine Pizzas.” The first letter of each of these words represents a planet - in the correct order.
Hi, I’m Abby the astronaut. Let’s blast off to the space station!
Mercury is the planet closest to the Sun in our Solar System.
This small, rocky planet has almost no atmosphere.
Mercury has a very elliptical orbit and a huge range in temperature. During the long daytime (which lasts 88 Earth days or an entire Mercurian year), the temperature is hotter than an oven; during the long night (the same length), the temperature is colder than a freezer.
Venus is also known as the "morning star" or the "evening star" since it is visible and quite bright at either dawn or dusk. It is only visible at dawn or dusk since it is closer to the sun than we are.
Like the moon, Venus' appearance from Earth changes as it orbits around the Sun. It goes from full to gibbous to crescent to new and back.
Jupiter is the fifth and largest planet in our solar system. This gas giant has a thick atmosphere, 39 known moons, and a dark, barely-visible ring. Its most prominent features are bands across its latitudes and a great red spot (which is a storm).
Jupiter is composed mostly of gas. This enormous planet radiates twice as much heat as it absorbs from the Sun. It also has an extremely strong magnetic field. It is slightly flattened at its poles and it bulges out a bit at the equator.
Saturn is the sixth planet from the sun in our solar system. It is the second-largest planet in our solar system (Jupiter is the largest). It has beautiful rings that are made mostly of ice chunks (and some rock) that range in size from the size of a fingernail to the size of a car. Saturn is made mostly of hydrogen and helium gas.
Saturn is visible without using a telescope, but a low-power telescope is needed to see its rings.
Neptune is the eighth planet from the sun in our solar system. This giant, frigid planet has a hazy atmosphere and strong winds.
This gas giant is orbited by eight moons and narrow, faint rings arranged in clumps. Neptune's blue color is caused by the methane (CH 4 ) in its atmosphere; this molecule absorbs red light.
Neptune cannot be seen using the eyes alone. Neptune was the first planet whose existence was predicted mathematically (the planet Uranus's orbit was perturbed by an unknown object which turned our to be another gas giant, Neptune).
Pluto is a dwarf planet that usually orbits past the orbit of Neptune. It was classified as a dwarf planet in 2006; before that it was considered to be a planet, the smallest planet in our solar system.
It is smaller than a lot of the other planets' moons, including our moon.
Pluto is the only “planet” in our solar system that has not been visited by our spacecraft yet. We only have blurry pictures of its surface; even the Hubble Space Telescope orbiting the Earth can only get grainy photos because Pluto is so far from us.
Wrap construction paper around the tube. Tape or glue the construction paper in place. If a single piece of construction paper isn't big enough, use another piece of construction paper to finish covering the tube.
Cut 4 slits on one end of the tube. Each slit should be about 2 1/2 inches long, and each pair should be located opposite another. (They should divide the tube into 4 equal sections.)
Using construction paper, cut out two triangles that are about 5 inches long and 4 inches tall.
Cut a slit in each of the two triangles. Each slit should go halfway through the triangle; one goes through the top of a triangle, the other goes through the bottom of the triangle.
Using the triangle with the slit in the bottom, slip the triangle onto the rocket's body in two of the slits.
Using the triangle with the slit in the top, slip the triangle onto the rocket's body (in the other two slits). In addition to going onto the rocket, this triangle should also slip into the other triangle. You may have to jiggle the paper a bit to line the slits up. This forms a steady base for your rocket.
Using construction paper, cut a circle about 4 inches in diameter. Cut a slit from the outer edge to the center.
Turn the circle into a cone, and secure it with glue or tape.
Tape the cone to the top of the rocket. Decorate the rocket with stickers, markers or crayons. You now have a great rocket ship to play with.