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Chapter 7 - Sun, Moon, and Planets


Unit C - Earth and Beyond

Chapter 7 - Sun, Moon, and Planets

Learn more about the Earth, the Sun, the Moon and the planets of our Solar System. Read interviews with astronomers and learn what tools they use to study our universe.


Curriculum Materials

3-D Model of the Big Dipper

In outer space, you might not recognize the Big Dipper. The stars that form this constellation exist in 3-D not 2-D—so the star pattern changes with your viewpoint. Take another look at the Big Dipper.



What Do You Know about Astronomy?

How much do you really know about our place in space? Test your astronomy knowledge with this interactive quiz. Don't worry, there's no grading—just a helpful look at the answers when you're done! 



What's the Big Idea About Astronomy?

Huge distances, gigantic sizes, and long periods of time—astronomy is a BIG subject. We've brought learning about it down to size with this look at the big ideas you need to know. 


Hands-on Activity

An Interview with Mars

Join forces with Stella Stardust to create a red-hot interview of the red planet. As Mars, you can proudly tell the world about being home to the largest volcano in the solar system. 


Hands-on Activity


There are thousands of stars in the night sky. Hidden among them are constellations and planets. How many can you find? Record your sightings in a stellar sky journal.


Hands-on Activity

Space Travel Guide

Can you convince your friends to spend the next school break on Pluto? Let your imagination run wild, and write an inspiring work of science fiction. 


Hands-on Activity

Cosmic Cookies

Did you know Jupiter's Great Red Spot is really a 300-year-old hurricane that's twice as wide as Earth? Find out more awesome facts. Then celebrate your cosmic smarts with a solar system of cookies.


Hands-on Activity

Solar System Scavenger Hunt

Try this on for size: If Earth were the size of your head, then Mercury would be an orange and Jupiter a small car. Size up the planets for yourself with a model scavenger hunt. 




In the late 1970s a group of researchers led by physicist Luis Alvarez and geologist Walter Alvarez made an important discovery. While analyzing rock samples from 65 million years ago, the father-son team measured exceptionally high concentrations of a rare element, iridium.



The 3-D Universe

A 2-D map is a great guide here on Earth—and virtually worthless for finding your way around in outer space. Take a 3-D look at mapping our solar system and universe.


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