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Chapter 6 - The Solar System and Beyond

earth_science

Unit C - Observing the Sky

Chapter 6 - The Solar System and Beyond

Discover more about the planets, stars, and how the solar system formed. Learn more about Mars and why scientists speculate that life once existed there.

Space-Travel-Guide

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. 

Stargazing

Hands-on Activity

Stargazing

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.

Solar-System-Scavenger-Hunt

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. 

3d-universe_thumb

Article

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.

An-Interview-with-Mars

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. 

Mars-Past-Present-Future

Young Naturalist Awards Essay

Mars: Past, Present, Future

In the early 1900s, some astronomers believed that the color contrasts on Mars' surface were great oceans. Today we know they are huge dust storms. Track how our knowledge of Mars has changed with this seventh-grader.

Beyond Our Solar System

Science Bulletin

Beyond Our Solar System: Searching for Extrasolar Planets

Astrophysicists are discovering new extrasolar planets—those outside our Solar System—almost daily. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope (originally called SIRTF, or the Space Infrared Telescope Facility) and AMNH's Lyot Project Coronograph are two of the many technologies uncovering the attributes and evolution of these faraway worlds. The techniques employed by these instruments may one day help answer one of astronomy's reigning mysteries: do any extrasolar planets host life?
The feature video relates scientists' hopes for the Spitzer Space Telescope before its launch in 2003. It also gives a firsthand look into the making of the Lyot Project. The feature essays share how these two remarkable technologies are making progress in their goals to seek and understand extrasolar planets.

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