Chapter 8 - The Universe
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.
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!
How much do you know about the Earth's little neighborhood within the vast universe? Take a virtual tour of our solar system to explore its many mysteries. Then put your new-found knowledge to the test.
Young Naturalist Awards Essay
Like Earth, the Moon rotates on its axis. So why do we see only one view of its face? Grab two oranges, and let this 8th-grader from Pennsylvania show you the answer.
Could a space rock destroy life on Earth? Learn more about asteroids, comets, and other space objects and what happens when they collide—with each other and with our planet.
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.
What happened after the Big Bang? This comic strip explains the interactions that lead to the creation of stars, planetary nebulas, and supernovas.
We owe our lives to gravity. It holds the atmosphere to Earth and keeps us all from falling off into space. Not to mention that without gravity, the stars and planets—including Earth—wouldn't even exist!
Collisions between space objects are a vital part of the evolution of our Solar System. Most of Earth's impact craters have been wiped away due to plate tectonics, but evidence of such cosmic catastrophes, such as Arizona's 50,000-year-old meteor crater, do remain. When is Earth due for another major blast? Meet the professional and amateur astronomers who may be the first to know: first at LINEAR, a near-earth asteroid detection facility in New Mexico, and then at the Smithsonian's Minor Planet Center, where orbits of near-earth objects are tracked for possible hits and misses.
Science Bulletins is a production of the National Center for Science
Literacy, Education, and Technology (NCSLET), part of the Department of
Education at the American Museum of Natural History. This visualization
was supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration