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Science Study Guide

The Solar System:

Section I: Vocabulary
Define each word:
star a huge ball of gas, light, and heat that is very hot. It is superheated gases.
axis an imaginary line that runs through the North and South Pole. The Earths
axis helps the Earth rotate.
orbit a closed path of one object around another. The Earth orbits around the
phases One of the shapes of the moon it appears to have as it orbits the Earth.
solar system - a group of objects in space that orbit a star in the center, and the
star itself.
planet a celestial body or large object that moves in an elliptical orbit around a
revolve to travel in a closed path. The Earth revolves around the sun in an orbit
once every 365 days.
rotate to spin around on a central axis. It takes 24 hours for the Earth to rotate
one time on its axis.
sun a large star that planets in a solar system orbit
galaxy - a grouping of gas, dust, and many stars, including objects that orbit stars
universe everything that exists in space

Section II: Short Answer

The Earth & Sun


What causes the Sun to appear to rise and set each day?

The Earth spins on its axis. The Earth rotates, and makes it look like the sun is moving. When
the Earth rotates, the Earth faces towards the sun creates daytime, when the Earth faces away
from the sun creates night.
12. Explain why we have night and day on Earth.
When the Earth rotates, the Earth faces towards the sun creates daytime, when the Earth faces
away from the sun creates night.
13. What causes the Earths seasons?
The Earths tilt and the Earths revolution around the sun. RST Revolution, Seasons, Tilt
14. What are 3 characteristics of the sun?
Center of our solar system, biggest star in our galaxy, closest star to the Earth, sun produces
heat and light, its made of hot gases hydrogen and helium
15. Why do the sun and moon appear to be the same size from Earth?
The sun is farther from the Earth, and the moon is closer to the Earth.
The Moon
16. How long is the cycle of the moons phases?
29 days
17. Why do we have phases of the moon?
The sun shines on the moon and the moon rotates. We see different amounts of light as it is
reflects the light onto the Earth.
18. Which moves faster planets that are closer to the sun or planets that are further from the
planets that are closer to the sun inner planets
19. Which planets have longer years? List the planets in order from the shortest to the longest
Outer planets because their orbit is larger it takes them longer to revolve around the sun.

Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Asteroid Belt, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
20. Which planets are inner planets and which planets are outer planets?
Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars (inner)
Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune (outer)
21. Which planet is large, gaseous, and has many moons?
22. Which planet is almost the same size as the Earth?
23. Where is the asteroid belt located?
Between Mars and Jupiter
24. What do stars produce?
Heat and light
25. Why do some stars appear to be brighter than other stars?
Because some are closer to Earth than others, some are bigger than others too.
26. List the stars in order from hottest to coldest.
Blue, white, yellow, red, red-orange

27. What are the differences and similarities between stars and planets?
Stars produce light; planets dont
Planets move; stars dont
Stars make their own heat; planets dont
Stars are brighter than planets
Planets can hold life; stars cant
Stars are made of hot gases; planets are made of rock (inner), gases (outer)
Stars twinkle; planets dont
28. What man made object is used to take pictures of planets and stars?
The Hubble Space Telescope

29. What is a constellation?
A group of stars that form pictures in the sky. They are named after heroes.
30. What are 3 examples of a constellation?
The Orion, Draco, Ursa Major, Cancer, Big Dipper, Little Dipper
31. Below, draw the seasons of the Earth with the sun's rays.

32. Below, draw a model of the phases of the moon with the sun, earth, full moon, new moon,
first quarter, last quarter, waning gibbous, waxing gibbous, waxing crescent, waning crescent.