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Solar System Exploration
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YSS February 2011 Science Education Standards

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Benchmarks

The Physical Setting: The Universe: Grades 6-8

  • Many chunks of rock orbit the Sun.
  • Those that meet the Earth glow and disintegrate from friction as they plunge through the atmosphere-and sometimes impact the ground. Other chunks of rock mixed with ice have long, off-center orbits that carry them close to the Sun, where the Sun's radiation (of light and particles) boils off frozen materials from their surfaces and pushes it into a long, illuminated tail. 4A/M4

The Physical Setting: The Universe: Grades 9-12

  • Increasingly sophisticated technology is used to learn about the Universe. Visual, radio, and X-ray telescopes collect information from across the entire spectrum of electromagnetic waves; computers handle data and complicated computations to interpret them; space probes send back data and materials from remote parts of the solar system; and accelerators give subatomic particles energies that simulate conditions in the stars and in the early history of the Universe before stars formed. 4A/H3

National Science Education Standards

Content Standard D: Earth and Space Science:

Grades 5-6: Earth in the Solar System

  • The Earth is the third planet from the Sun in a system that includes the Moon, the Sun, eight other planets and their moons, and smaller objects, such as asteroids and comets. The Sun, an average star, is the central and largest body in the solar system.

Grades 9-12: The Origin and Evolution of the Earth System

  • The Sun, the Earth, and the rest of the solar system formed from a nebular cloud of dust and gas 4.6 billion years ago. The early Earth was very different from the planet we live on today.

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Last Updated: 22 May 2012