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Solar System Read and React Activity

Solar System Read and React Activity

Read about our solar system and then fill in the short answers about them.

 

 • There are eight planets in our solar system that we know of at this time. From the sun outward, they are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

 • The distance of the planets from the sun varies with Mercury being the closest – at 36 million miles from the sun. Neptune is furthest from the sun at 2.8 billion miles away. The smallest planet in our solar system is Mercury at 3,000 miles wide. The largest planet is Jupiter at 87,000 miles wide. The only planet with rings is Saturn. Saturn has the most moons. It has 18 moons. Neither Mercury nor Venus have any moons at all. Neptune has the longest trip around the sun lasting 164 Earth years. Mercury has the shortest revolution around the sun taking just 88 days. Venus has the longest “day”. It revolves just once in 243 Earth days. Jupiter has the shortest day, revolving once every 10 hours.

 • Mercury has no atmosphere, so is pocked with craters like the moon. It has a daytime temperature estimated at 800°F (426°C).

 • Venus has a thick carbon dioxide (CO2) atmosphere. It is a rocky planet with active volcanoes.

 • Earth is a planet with 75% of its surface covered by water. It’s atmosphere is made up of nitrogen and oxygen and it has active volcanoes. It may be the only planet in the solar system that supports life.

 • Mars is like Earth with mountains, deserts, volcanoes and even dry riverbeds, but no bodies of water or life as we know it. There are even polar ice caps.

 • Jupiter has a small rocky core surrounded by solid and liquid helium. The gaseous outside is kept in place by strong gravity. The large spot seen on Jupiter is a giant storm that has been raging for centuries.

 • Saturn is another gas giant. It has a rock core surrounded by hydrogen and helium in solid and liquid form. The outside layer is a thick cloud of gas. It is a very windy planet, which is why the outside looks streaked with color. Saturn has rings made of dusty ice chunks that orbit the planet. Saturn’s gravity keeps the materials in the ring from spreading out.

 • Uranus is also a gaseous planet with a small rock core at its center surrounded by molten hydrogen, helium, methane and water. The methane in its atmosphere accounts for its blue color.

 • Neptune is the furthest planet from the sun and the fourth of the gas giants. Neptune is a windy planet with storms raging all the time. Large oval storms can be seen on its surface. Its blue color doesn’t come from water, but from methane in its atmosphere.

 

 

Short Answer Quiz
(See PDF at Bottom)

• There are _________ planets in our solar system that we know of at this time. From the sun outward, they are
________________________, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and _________________________.

 • The distance of the planets from the sun varies with Mercury being the closest – at 36 million miles from the sun. Neptune is furthest from the sun at 2.8 billion miles away. The smallest planet in our solar system is ________________________ at 3,000 miles wide. The largest planet is ________________________________at 87,000 miles wide. The only planet with rings is ________________________________. Saturn has the most moons. It has ___________ moons. Neither Mercury nor _____________________________ have any moons at all. Neptune has the longest trip around the sun lasting 164 Earth years.

 • Mercury has the shortest revolution around the sun taking just 88 days. Venus has the longest “day”. It revolves just once in 243 Earth days. Jupiter has the shortest day, revolving once every 10 hours. Mercury has no atmosphere, so is pocked with _____________________ like the moon. It has a daytime temperature estimated at 800°F (426°C).

 • Venus has a thick carbon dioxide (CO2) atmosphere. It is a rocky planet with active volcanoes. Earth is a planet with _______% of its surface covered by water. It’s atmosphere is made up of nitrogen and oxygen and it has active volcanoes. It may be the only planet in the solar system that supports ______________________.

 • Mars is like Earth with mountains, deserts, volcanoes and even dry riverbeds, but no bodies of water or life as we know it. There are even polar ice caps.

 • Jupiter has a small rocky core surrounded by solid and liquid helium. The gaseous outside is kept in place by strong ____________________________. The large spot seen on Jupiter is a giant ____________________________that has been raging for centuries.

 • Saturn is another gas giant. It has a rock core surrounded by hydrogen and helium in solid and liquid form. The outside layer is a thick cloud of gas. It is a very windy planet, which is why the outside looks streaked with color. Saturn has rings made of dusty ___________ chunks that orbit the planet. Saturn’s gravity keeps the materials in the ring from spreading out.

 • Uranus is also a gaseous planet with a small rock core at its center surrounded by molten hydrogen, helium, methane and water. The methane in its atmosphere accounts for its blue color.

 • Neptune is the furthest planet from the sun and the fourth of the gas giants. Neptune is a windy planet with storms raging all the time. Large oval storms can be seen on its surface. Its _________________ color doesn’t come from water, but from methane in its atmosphere.

See a high resolution PDF version (with an answer KEY) below for printing out.

Exploringnature.org has more than 2,000 illustrated animals. Read about them, color them, label them, learn to draw them.