FC: Our Solar System
1: Welcome to my Mixbook technology curriculum project! The following pages are examples of work that students might create and publish following the directions of my Solar System lesson plan found at the end of this Mixbook. Technology is a powerful motivator for students. They can create projects that are aesthetically pleasing and that can be published to share with other students, family, and friends. In addition to being viewed on the Web, a Mixbook creation can be printed out as a hard copy book that can be housed in the classroom, presented to the school library, or purchased by parents and guardians as a keepsake of their student's work. -Melissa Waisner
3: Mercury Mercury is the closest planet in our Solar system to the Sun, the average distance being 58 million Km (0.38 Au), Earth by comparison is nearly three times this distance further away. Although most of the Planets in the Solar System posses multiple moons Mercury is one of the few planets which has neither moons nor satellites captive within it's gravity well. The surface of Mercury consists of cratered terrain and smooth plains and many deep craters similar to those on the moon. The craters formed when meteors or small comets crashed into the planet. The largest known crater is Caloris Basin, with a diameter of 1300 km (800 miles).Like the other terrestrial planets (Venus, Earth and Mars) Mercury is made mostly of rock and metal. Mercury's surface appears to be much like that of the moon. It reflects approximately 6 percent of the sunlight it receives, about the same as the moon's surface reflects. Like the moon, Mercury is covered by a thin layer of minerals called silicates in the form of tiny particles.
5: Venus Venus is the second planet from the Sun, at a distance of roughly 108,209,000 kilometers. With an orbital circumference of 680,000,000 kilometers, Venus is just slightly smaller than the Earth and has a very similar chemical composition. For this reason, Venus is commonly referred to as the Earth’s “sister” planet. It takes Venus just under 225 days to orbit the Sun on full time, compared to the 365 day orbital period of the Earth. Venus is sometimes regarded as Earth's sister planet. In some ways they are very similar: Venus is only slightly smaller than Earth (95% of Earth's diameter, 80% of Earth's mass). Both have few craters indicating relatively young surfaces. Venus is scorched with a surface temperature of about 482 C (900 F). This high temperature is primarily due to a runaway greenhouse effect caused by the heavy atmosphere of carbon dioxide. Sunlight passes through the atmosphere to heat the surface of the planet. Heat is radiated out, but is trapped by the dense atmosphere and not allowed to escape into space. This makes Venus hotter than Mercury.
7: Earth Earth is the 3rd planet from the Sun at a distance of about 150 million kilometers (93.2 million miles). It takes 365.256 days for the Earth to travel around the Sun and 23.9345 hours for the Earth rotate a complete revolution. It has a diameter of 12,756 kilometers (7,973 miles), only a few hundred kilometers larger than that of Venus. Our atmosphere is composed of 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen and 1 percent other constituents. Earth is the only planet in the solar system known to harbor life. Our planet's rapid spin and molten nickel-iron core give rise to an extensive magnetic field, which, along with the atmosphere, shields us from nearly all of the harmful radiation coming from the Sun and other stars. Earth's atmosphere protects us from meteors, most of which burn up before they can strike the surface. Earth has a single large Moon that is about 14 of its diameter and, from the planet's surface, is seen to have almost exactly the same angular size as the Sun.