This Threshold Today: Planets and Solar System

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Explore current news articles that describe newly discovered planets and how planets are formed.

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This Threshold Today: Planets and Solar System

  1. 1. BIG HISTORY PROJECT / UNIT 4 THIS THRESHOLD TODAY 1 4 THIS THRESHOLD TODAY Threshold 4: Earth & the Solar System The fourth major threshold of increasing complexity in this course is the formation of Earth and our Solar System. Even after millions of stars had aged and died to create new elements, most of the atomic matter in the Universe was still hydrogen and helium. New stars continued to form and our Sun formed about 4.5 billion years ago. Matter that was left over after the Sun’s formation formed the planets and other orbiting bodies in the Solar System. The inner rocky planets, like Earth, ended up containing a lot of the heaviest elements, metals like iron and magnesium. Scientists, and all of us, continue to learn more about our Solar System and our planet Earth. You can join in this process of discovery by searching for news stories about Earth and the Solar System. Use some of the suggested articles or find ones on your own that highlight new information that you think contributes to a discussion of the formation of our Earth and the Solar System. Use the research cards on the next page to record your source(s) and some of the details about what you discover. Here are a couple of places to get started with your research: • Oldest Objects in Solar System Indicate a Turbulent Beginning http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110303141544.htm • Modeling Jupiter and Saturn’s Possible Origins http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130305174637.htm • Our Solar System Is Not Quite as Special as Once Believed, New Research Suggests http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121102151950.htm • NASA Lunar Scientists Develop New Theory on Earth and Moon Formation http://www.nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/features/moon_formation.html • Modern Plate Tectonics Arose 3.2 Billion Years Ago http://sciencenordic.com/modern-plate-tectonics-arose-32-billion-years-ago
  2. 2. BIG HISTORY PROJECT / UNIT 4 THIS THRESHOLD TODAY 2 4 THIS THRESHOLD TODAY Threshold 4: Earth the Solar System THRESHOLD 4 EARTH THE SOLAR SYSTEM HEADLINE/TITLE SOURCE/DATE IMPORTANCE TO THIS THRESHOLD THRESHOLD 4 EARTH AND THE SOLAR SYSTEM HEADLINE/TITLE SOURCE/DATE IMPORTANCE TO THIS THRESHOLD THRESHOLD 4 EARTH THE SOLAR SYSTEM HEADLINE/TITLE SOURCE/DATE IMPORTANCE TO THIS THRESHOLD

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