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Science Topic Book
THE EARTH and BEYOND
Index:
o The Solar System
o Orbits of the Earth and Moon
o Shadows
o Day and Night
o Phases of the Moon
o Seasons
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Name_____________________________
Form______________________________
Our Solar System
Our solar system consists of the SUN , 8 planets and various other objects trapped by the pull of
the Sun’s gravity
The planets move around the Sun. The path each travels along is known as its …………………..
The time taken for the planet to go around the sun once is called a ………………………. .
The Earth takes …………………… days to go travel once around the Sun.
Some facts about the planets
Planet
Distance
from sun
Diameter Mass
No.of Planet's
compared moons year1
to Earth
/km
Planet's
day2
Temp.
Notes
/C
/million km
(Earth =
1)
Mercury
58
4,868
0.06
0
88 days
59 days
350
day
Extreme temp. ranges
-170
night
Venus
108
12,112
0.81
0
225 days 243 days 465
Very dense, hot, corrosive
atmosphere
Earth
150
12,756
1
1
1 year
1 day
(3,476)
(.12)
The only planet with oxygen in
atmosphere and liquid water on
surface
6,787
0.11
2
2 years
25 hours -23
(moon)
Mars
228
15
Asteroids
Very thin atmosphere (made of
carbon dioxide)
Lumps of rock (from <300m up to
1000km dia)
Jupiter
778
142,650 318
16
12 years
10 hours -150
Made of liquid hydrogen and
helium
Saturn
1,427
120,670 95
18
30 years
10 hours -180
Hydrogen and helium
Uranus
2,870
51,800
15
15
84 years
20 hours -210
Made of frozen water
Neptune 4,496
49,200
17
8
165 year
19 hours -220
Made of frozen water
Pluto3
5,000
0.1
1
248 year
6 days
Discovered in 1930
5,946
-220
1: A year is the length of time it takes a planet to complete one complete orbit of the Sun (ie to go around the Sun
once). On Earth 1 year = 365 days
2: A day is the length of time it takes a planet to make one complete spin on its axis. The Earth spins once every
24 hours, so on Earth 1 day = 24 hours
3. Pluto is is now called a DWARF PLANET because it is too small to be a planet
The Sun, Earth, Moon and all the other planets in the solar system are spherical in shape
Some well known moons
Earth : one moon just called ‘The Moon’
Mars: Two moons: Deimos and Phobos
Jupiter: 16 moons: including Io, Europa and Ganymede.
Ganymede is the largest moon in the Solar system. (Our moon is the fifth largest)
Saturn: 18 moons the largest is Titan (the second largest in the solar system)
Some history
Early astronomers placed the Earth at the centre of the universe with the Sun, Moon, stars, and planets
circling it. This is known as a geocentric model.
The geocentric model was developed thousands of years ago by Greek philosophers and was the accepted
model of the Solar System for centuries. Geocentric actually means earth centred.
The heliocentric model, which means sun centred, gradually replaced the geocentric model.
In the 16th century, the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus wrote a book on the heliocentric theory and
proposed that the Earth and other planets moved in orbit around the Sun.
The Earth Sun and Moon
Copy the diagram below into your booklet.
The Sun
A STAR
The centre of our solar system
Size: very large and hot
Shape = sphere
Shines – Gives out light
The Earth
A PLANET
Goes around the Sun
Much smaller than the Sun
Shape = sphere
Does not give out light
The Moon
A SATELLITE
Goes around the earth
Smaller than the earth
Shape = sphere
Reflects light from the Sun
Does not give out its own light
Time taken to move around
the sun = 1 year
Time taken to move around
the Earth = 28 days
This diagram shows the Orbits of the Moon and Earth
The orbit is the path they take
Orbits of the Earth and Moon
The Moon goes around the Earth and the Earth goes around the Sun
The path that each take is called its ORBIT
The Earth is held in orbit by the pull of the Sun’s gravity
Moon
Earth
28 days
SUN
This is where the
Earth would be
after 6 months
Moon’s Orbit
around the Earth
= 28 days
Earth’s Orbit
= 365 days
365 days
Earth’s Orbit around
the Sun
= 365 days
A Year
The length of time it takes a planet to go around the Sun is called a year
The Earth takes 365 days to travel around the Sun (1 year)
On Earth a year = 365 days, but it is not the same for all the planets.
It takes Neptune nearly 165 Earth years to orbit the Sun.
This is longer because Neptune is further from the Sun than the earth
The Moon
Any object in orbit around a planet is called a satellite. The moon is a satellite of the Earth
Moon takes 28 days to travel around the Earth
There are many artificial satellites in orbit around the Earth.
These satellites can be used for satellite TV, GPS, telephones or weather photography.
On the next page put the heading:
Orbits of the Earth and the Moon
Draw your own picture showing the orbits of the Earth and the Moon
Write down a fact file showing what you know about the Earth and Moon
Quick test
What word describes the path taken by the Earth as it moves around the Sun?............................
How long is one year on Earth?.......................................... (days)
The Earth is in orbit around which object in our solar system?.....................................
How long does it take the Earth to move once around the Sun?................................. (days)
How long does it take the Moon to move once around the earth?................... (days)
What kind of object is our Sun (a star, planet or satellite)? …………………………………..
What kind of object is our Moon (a star, planet or satellite)? …………………………………..
What kind of object is the earth (a star, planet or satellite)? …………………………………..
Look to see where Neptune is.
Is a year on Neptune longer or shorter than a year on Earth?.................................
What force holds the Earth in place and stops it flying into space? ……………………………..
What shape best describes the Earth, Sun and Moon?
Put the earth, sun and moon in order of size:
………………………………..
(smallest)
Red,
……………………………..
(middle)
………………………………..
(biggest)
Blue, Orbit, Axis, 365¼ , 28, Day, Year, Planet
Sun’s Gravity, Satellite, Longer
Day and Night
Add these labels: SUN, SUNLIGHT, EARTH and shade in the part of the earth where it is night
time
Day and night is caused by the Earth spinning on its axis.
The part lit up has day-light and the rest is in darkness.
The time taken to spin once on its axis is called a day.
On Earth one day is 24 hours
What causes day and night?.......................................................................
The time taken for the Earth to spin once on its axis is called a ………………
How long is a day on Earth? ……………………………………………………..……………..
Read page 210 /211 ‘Do you really want to learn Science’
1. On the next page put a heading ‘Day and Night’
2. Draw a picture of the Earth showing which part is day and which part is in darkness.
3. Explain in your own words why day and night happens
4. Copy the diagram ‘Sun and Shadows’ in the middle of page 211
Remember to add the labels
The MOON
Moon Facts

The moon is a ……… ………………………………. of the Earth

The Moon takes ……………………….days to go around the Earth

We see the moon because it a) shines like the sun
b) reflects light from the Sun
(pick the correct answer)
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We only ever see one side of the moon
The Moon has no atmosphere
The Moon DOES have gravity
Phases of the Moon
We see the moon looking different shapes because
or
or
A
B
C
It changes shape as it goes around the Earth
Different sides of the moon are bring lit by the Sun
Clouds cover the moon
(Pick the correct answer)
Example:
When the Sunlight is coming from the side we see only half the moon lit up.
When the whole moon is lit we call it a ....................
Date..................................
Date.................................
Date.........................
Date...............................
The Moon
Craters on the Moon
Phases of the moon
G
A
E
C
If I stood on the Earth and
looked at the Moon when
it is at position E this is
what I would see:
If I stood on the Earth and
looked at the Moon when
it is at position G this is
what I would see:
If I stood on the Earth and
looked at the Moon when
it is at position C this is
what I would see:
The Seasons
Seasons are caused by the ……………… of the Earth
WINTER the northern hemisphere
The Earth’s axis is tilted ............................... the sun.
This makes the days ........................
(towards / away from)
than the nights. (longer / shorter)
The sun is never very high in the sky (shadows are always.................)
short / long
SUMMER in the northern hemisphere
The Earth’s axis is tilted ...................... the sun. (towards / away from)
This makes the days ...............................than the nights. (longer / shorter )
The sun gets high in the sky and feels ................................ (hotter / colder)
Read page 85 (The Study Book) or Pages 213-215 (So you really want to learn Science)
Astronomy assessment test
Name:………………………………………………..
1. This diagram shows the positions of the Earth, Sun and Moon
Moon
Sun
Earth
a) Draw a line on the diagram to show the orbit of the Earth around the Sun
(mark this line A)
b) Draw a line on the diagram to show the orbit of the Moon around the Earth
(mark this line B)
2.
How long does it take the Earth to complete one orbit around the sun?...............................
3.
How long does it take the Moon to complete one orbit around the Earth?...........................
4.
a) is the SUN a Planet, Satellite or Star? ……………………………………………….
b) is the EARTH a Planet, Satellite or Star? ……………………………………………….
c) is the MOON a Planet, Satellite or Star? ……………………………………………….
5.
Circle the objects below that give out their own light:
Sun
Moon
Earth
6. What word best describes the shape of the earth, Sun and Moon?
Circle, sphere, ellipse
(underline the correct answer)
7.
What force holds the planets in orbit around the sun: gravity, friction or magnetism
(Circle the correct answer)
8. If you were making a model showing the Earth, sun and moon using a football, tennis ball and
marble, which would you choose to use for the Earth?
football, tennis ball, marble (circle the correct
answer)
8.
The Diagram below shows the Sun and the Earth
Sun
Earth
a).
Shade clearly the part of the earth where it would be night time.
c)
Explain clearly what causes day and night:
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
d)
How long does it take the Earth to spin once on its axis? ........................
9. The diagram shows a stick in the ground and the sun in three positions, A, B and C
Sun at position B
(mid-day)
Sun at position C
(late afternoon)
Sun at position A
(Early morning)
Stick
East
West
Ground
a)
Draw a line to show the shadow formed by the stick when the sun is in position A
b)
Which would make the shortest shadow, the sun in position A, B or C?................
c)
Would the shadow be longer in Summer or Winter?................................
d)
Explain why you put the answer above
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………...
10. Why does the moon appear to have different shapes on different nights?
Because it depends on which parts are covered by cloud
Because it depends on which direction the sunlight is coming from
Because part of it is being blocked by another object in space
Because a shadow from the Earth falls on it blocking some of the light
11. Look at the diagram on the screen say at which position we would see a ‘FULL’ Moon
Postion A Position B
Position C Position D (circle the correct answer)
A
Sunlight
D
B
C
12. Circle the statement below which is NOT TRUE
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The moon has no gravity
The moon has no atmosphere (air)
The moon causes our tides
The moon takes 28 days to orbit the Earth
The Earth in Space ….. Summary
Our Sun is a STAR.
A star is very hot and gives out its own light. (An object that gives out its own light is called a LUMINOUS
object.)
A group of stars is called a GALAXY.
Our sun is part of a galaxy called the MILKY WAY.
The Universe is made up of many such galaxies.
The Earth is a PLANET.
The planets do NOT give out their own light but reflect the light from the sun.
The planets are in ORBIT around the sun.
This means they go around the sun, held in place by the pull of the Sun’s gravity
Our planet, Earth, is part of the SOLAR SYSTEM.
The Solar System contains 9 planets.
A SATELLITE is in orbit around a planet.
The MOON is a kind of natural satellite and is in orbit around the Earth.
Satellites are held in orbit by the pull of the Earth’s gravity.
Most planets have several moons. The Earth has only one moon.
A moon does not give out its own light but reflects the light from the Sun
The Earth also has several ARTIFICIAL SATELLITES.
These are often used to measure weather or send television pictures
Seasons and the length of day and night
The time it takes a planet to go once around the sun is called a YEAR.
The Earth’s year = 365 days
.
Most planets SPIN about their own AXIS.
The time it takes the planet to spin once on it’s axis is called a DAY.
On Earth one day = 24 hours
The Earth spins in an ANTICLOCKWISE direction making the sun rise in the East and set in the west.
Shadows are longest in the evening and morning because the sun is low in the sky and short at mid-day
because the sun is high in the sky.
In summer the mid-day shadow is shorter because the sun is more overhead.
The Earth spins in an ANTICLOCKWISE direction making the sun rise in the East and set in the west.
Shadows are longest in the evening and morning because the sun is low in the sky and short at mid-day
because the sun is high in the sky.
In summer the mid-day shadow is shorter because the sun is more overhead.
Seasons, and the length of day and night are both caused by the TILT of the Earth.
In Summer the Northern hemisphere is tilted towards the Sun.
This gives us longer daylight hours.
The Sun is overhead for more of the time so it causes the ground to heat up more.
In winter the northern hemisphere is tilted AWAY from the sun.
This makes the day-light hours less.
The Sun is lower in the sky so the ground does not soak up so much of the Sun’s heat.