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Our Place in Space
Shell Education
Group 1
Group 2
Group 3
Group 4
Group 5
Group 1: Have you ever looked up into the night sky and wondered
what was out there?
Group 2: Throughout time, astronomers have gazed to the heavens,
hoping to find clues about our place in the universe.
Group 3: Long ago people assumed that Earth was the center of the
universe. They believed that the Sun, Moon, stars and other
planets orbited around it.
Group 4: Astronomers finally learned that Earth is one of at least
eight other planets that travel around the Sun.
Group 5: The Sun is a star at the center of the Solar System. It isn’t
the biggest or the brightest star in our galaxy, but it is the
star closest to Earth.
Group 1: It is the largest body in our Solar System: in fact, it contains
99.8 percent of the Solar System’s mass.
Group 2: Like other stars, the Sun is made up of hot hydrogen and
helium gases. The temperature in its center is about 15
million degrees Celsius (27 million degrees Fahrenheit).
Group 3: The Sun’s mass gives it a powerful gravitational pull. That
gravity keeps Earth and other planets of the Solar System
in place and orbiting around the Sun.
Group 4: The Sun, through its light and heat, is the primary source of
energy on Earth. It’s responsible for the growth of plants,
winds, ocean currents, and the water cycle.
Group 5: Without the Sun’s energy, Earth would be very cold. It would
be so cold that no living thing could survive.
Group 1: Earth is tilted to one side as it orbits around the Sun, and it is
that tilt that causes the seasons. For part of the year, the
northern hemisphere of Earth leans toward the Sun and gets
direct sunlight.
Group 2: So, it’s summer there. At the same time, the southern
hemisphere leans away from the Sun and gets less sunlight, So
it’s winter there.
Group 3: The tilt doesn’t change. It is the position of the planet around
the Sun that changes. As Earth goes around the Sun. different
parts get more sunlight.
Group 4: So at one part of the year it is winter in the northern
hemisphere of the planet. At the opposite time of the year,
the Earth is tilted differently and it is summer in the
northern hemisphere.
Group 5: Astronomers also now know that our Solar System is almost
5 billion years old. It is located at the edge of the Milky Way
Group 1: It is one of at least 100 billion galaxies in the universe. Each
one of them has billions of stars. Our galaxy alone has about
200 billion stars.
Group 2: The Milky Way is a spiral galaxy with many arms. On very
dark nights, you can see the neighboring arms as a bright
band in the sky.
Group 3: The galaxy is so wide that light would take 100,000 years to
travel across it.
Information courtesy Jordan School District, Utah