Space Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Mary Beth Burns

Mary Beth has taught 1st, 4th and 5th grade and has a specialist degree in Educational Leadership. She is currently an assistant principal.

Outer space is a magnificent thing with so much to learn, study, and explore. Come and learn about different objects in our solar system, our galaxy, our universe, and where in space we will travel to next.

Our Solar System

Do you live in a neighborhood? Our planet is a part of a neighborhood in outerspace, known as our solar system. Our solar system consists of eight planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune. Mercury is the closest planet to our Sun and Neptune is the furthest.

Our Solar System
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Our Sun is the only star in our solar system. The planets orbit the Sun, meaning they travel around it in a circular motion. Earth has a moon, too. Planets can have one moon, no moons at all, or even many moons. The planet Jupiter has at least 63 moons circling it!

Objects in Space

Moons, planets, and the Sun are not the only objects in space. Our solar system also has comets, asteroids, and meteoroids.

Comets are large chunks of rock and ice that soar through outer space. If a comet gets close enough to Earth, you can see that it has a tail made of dust and gas flying off of it as it goes through space!

Asteroids space objects made of metal and rock. They are similar to comets, except that they do not have a tail. Many asteroids are found between Jupiter and Mars. Asteroids can be pretty big.

If an asteroid is smaller than about 30 feet across, it's called a meteoroid instead. When a meteoroid comes close enough to Earth, it burns up in the atmosphere and we call it a meteor!

The Galaxy and Universe

If our solar system is like a neighborhood, then our galaxy is like a city. Just like many neighborhoods make up a city, many solar systems make up a galaxy. We live in the Milky Way Galaxy, which is about 100 times larger than our solar system.

Constellations in the Milky Way Galaxy
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Do you enjoy looking at the different stars in the night-time sky? Since our Sun is the only star in our neighborhood, we know that those stars are not in our solar system. But they are all in the Milky Way Galaxy. Some of the stars in our galaxy form constellations, which are groups of stars that form a pattern, like the Big Dipper.

Think about the biggest thing you have ever seen, or even the biggest thing you have ever imagined. Our universe is so much bigger than that! Our universe is infinite, meaning it has no end. This means that it is impossible to see everything in the universe - it's just too big!

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