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Formation of the Solar System: Birth of Worlds
Educational Resources

Type Link Description
Images Planetary Photojournal Planetary Photojournal offers an extensive collection of images of varying resolutions from past and present NASA missions operating across the solar system and beyond.
Suggested images for this month:
Double the Rubble
Gas Giants Form Quickly
Video NASA/JWST Feature - Planetary Evolution A fully produced video about planetary evolution and how the Webb Telelscope's ability to see inside dense clouds of gas and dust will help us better understand solar system formation and evolution.
Video Science Channel - Space School - Solar System Scientists are still discovering hidden objects in the 7 billion mile long region of space we call home.
Animation Planetary Demolition Derby Visualization of planets and other large objects colliding.
Podcast How Did the Earth Form? How did the Earth form? Are we really just a piece of cosmic flotsam? With its profusion of landscapes and climates, animals and people, Earth certainly seems to be something special. Yet, to planetary astronomers, the Earth and the other planets of the solar system are nothing more than cosmic flotsam, debris left over from the formation of the Sun.
Podcast Are We Made from Stardust? Where did the chemical elements that make up all living things come from? To tackle the problem of how life began on Earth, we need to go back to the final stages of the planet's formation, when it was pummeled with asteroids and comets. This 'late bombardment' began 4.6 billion years ago and lasted approximately 700 million years bringing water, carbon dioxide, methane and ammonia to the planets. Life on Earth is based on carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur.
Podcast The Origins of the Moon How did the moon form and what can it tell us about the history of our solar system? Lunar scientist Bill Bottke from the Southwest Research Institute, who has been studying the formation history of planetary bodies, discusses the different theories there have been over the years for the moon's formation, and how our current studies are revealing some secrets about the Moon -- kind of like snooping through your Grandmother's attic.
Podcast Unsettled Youth: A Chaotic Planetary System During the infancy of our solar system, when our planets had not yet settled down into their orbits, this was a dangerous place to live. The planets wobbled and jostled around left over asteroids, comets and other debris floating in between their orbits, causing frequent collisions throughout our solar system.
Interactive The Outer Planets: How Planets Form This website has a variety of information about the formation of planets in our solar system, and a few interactives on condensation and accretion of the planets.
Interactive Gravitation 3.8 An interactive gravity modeler that can simulate a solar system, and allows you to drag the planets into new parameters; this can be used to observe gravitational interaction.
Interactive Build a Solar System Try to build the perfect solar system. See how different planets react with one another, and see how some planets are important in keeping the solar system stable.
Presentation DPS Slide Set: The Chaotic Early Solar System This four-slide powerpoint by the Division of Planetary Science includes basic information for college-level introductory courses.
Network Solar System Ambassadors The Solar System Ambassadors is a nation-wide network of volunteers who are trained to communicate the excitement of NASA's space exploration missions and recent discoveries to people in their local communities.
Network Museum Alliance The Museum Alliance is a network of museums, science centers, planetariums, observatories, parks, NASA visitor centers, nature centers, zoos, and aquariums that bring current NASA science and technology to their visitors through professional development of their staff and access to NASA staff, content and materials.
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Last Updated: 12 Sep 2014