About This Chapter
Who's it for?
This unit of our High School Physics Homeschool course will benefit any student who is trying to learn about the galaxies and planets within the universe. There is no faster or easier way to learn about physics. Among those who would benefit are:
- Students who require an efficient, self-paced course of study to learn the locations and environments of Neptune, Saturn, Jupiter and Pluto.
- Homeschool parents looking to spend less time preparing lessons and more time teaching.
- Homeschool parents who need a physics curriculum that appeals to multiple learning types (visual or auditory).
- Gifted students and students with learning differences.
How it works:
- Students watch a short, fun video lesson that covers a specific unit topic.
- Students and parents can refer to the video transcripts to reinforce learning.
- Short quizzes and a Universe unit exam confirm understanding or identify any topics that require review.
The Universe Unit Objectives:
- Explore evidence for the Big Bang Theory.
- Discuss the structure of the sun.
- Compare different theories on how the moon was formed.
- Explain the steps in the life cycle of neutron stars.
- Discuss the type of information that can be obtained by using refracting and reflecting telescopes.
- Learn about dwarf planets in our solar system.
- Read about spiral, elliptical and irregular galaxies.
1. Origins of the Universe: The Big Bang and Expanding & Contracting Universes
Students will learn the origins of the universe, the Big Bang theory, the timeline of the universe, how the universe is still expanding to this day, and what astronomers expect the universe to look like in the future.
2. Evidence for the Big Bang Theory: Background Radiation, Red-Shift and Expansion
Discover what evidence exists to support the Big Bang theory of the birth of the universe. Learn how cosmic background radiation, the red shift of light and the ongoing expansion of the universe led scientists to believe that the universe was started with the Big Bang.
3. Star Formation: Main Sequence, Dwarf & Giant Stars
Learn how stars are born, beginning with a protostar. Then learn about stars in later stages of life, including main sequence stars, brown dwarfs, red giants, and black holes.
4. Types of Telescopes: Radio, Reflecting & Refracting Telescopes
Learn about the different types of telescopes that astronomers use: X-ray, radio, gamma ray, reflecting and refracting. Learn what the differences are between them and what different things they show us about the universe.
5. Galaxy Formation: Spiral, Elliptical & Irregular Galaxies
This lesson explains how galaxies form, starting with the Big Bang. You'll also learn about the solar nebula hypothesis and three galaxy types, including spiral, elliptical, and irregular galaxies.
6. Types of Stars by Size, Color and Life Cycle
Learn to identify the different sizes and colors of stars and how they relate to the star life cycle. In this lesson, we'll talk about spectral classification, how many stars there are of each type and the approximate color of the different classes of stars.
7. Structure of the Sun
Discover the layers of the sun, including the core, radiative zone, convective zone, photosphere, chromosphere, and corona. Find out which layers you can see from Earth. Investigate what sunspots and solar flares are.
8. Stages of the Sun's Life Cycle
Discover our sun, the provider of energy for life on Earth. Learn how the sun was born, how it lives as a main sequence star, how it will age into a red giant and how it will die as a white dwarf.
9. Life Cycle of Neutron Stars
Discover the life of a neutron star, including how it's born after a supernova explosion and how its extreme pressure causes protons and electrons to combine into neutrons. Discover also how pulsars are rotating neutron stars that will eventually slow down to become regular neutron stars.
10. Supernova and Supergiant Star Life Cycle
Learn about one of the biggest explosions known to humankind - a supernova. Follow a star's life cycle and learn how a star changes from a red giant to a supernova to a black hole or neutron star.
11. Life Cycle of Black Holes
Learn about black holes, their myths and their reality. Learn how black holes form after stars undergo supernovae and create singularities. Discover how big black holes grow, how scientists find black holes and where black holes are located in the universe.
12. Inner Planets of the Solar System: Mercury, Venus, Earth & Mars
Take a tour of the four inner planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. Known as the terrestrial planets, find out what makes each of them unique and how they are different from the outer planets, the gas giants.
13. Formation of the Earth: Theories
In this lesson, the theory of how the planet Earth formed will be discussed. This includes looking at how it differentiated into three layers, how it formed its atmosphere, water, and land features, and how it continues to evolve today.
14. Formation of the Moon: Theories
Explore the four major theories on the formation of the Moon. The theories include the fission theory, capture theory, condensation theory and giant impact theory. Also look at both information supporting and flaws found in these theories.
15. Planetary Predictors of Extraterrestrial Life
Investigate what is needed for life to exist anywhere and the implications for life in our solar system beyond Earth. Consider Mars and some of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, including Europa, Callisto, Ganymede and Enceladus.
16. Outer Planets of the Solar System: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
Take a tour of the outer planets of our solar system: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Find out what makes each of these gas giants unique and learn about Pluto, a dwarf planet.
17. Dwarf Planets of the Solar System: Pluto, Eris, Haumea & Ceres
Discover why Pluto had to leave the league of planets and was downgraded to a dwarf planet. Learn the definitions for planet and dwarf planet. Find out about the currently classified dwarf planets in our solar system: Pluto, Eris, Ceres, Haumea and Makemake.
18. Asteroids, Meteorites & Comets: Definitions and Characteristics
This lesson will cover the definitions and characteristics of asteroids, comets and meteorites. It will also explore what impact they have had on Earth and the impact they might have in the future.
Earning College Credit
Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.
To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page
Transferring credit to the school of your choice
Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.
Other chapters within the High School Physics: Homeschool Curriculum course
- Introduction to High School Physics: Homeschool Curriculum
- Vectors in Physics: Homeschool Curriculum
- Kinematics in Physics: Homeschool Curriculum
- Newton's Laws in Physics: Homeschool Curriculum
- Work, Energy & Power in Physics: Homeschool Curriculum
- Linear Momentum in Physics: Homeschool Curriculum
- Rotational Motion in Physics: Homeschool Curriculum
- Circular Motion & Gravitation in Physics: Homeschool Curriculum
- Oscillations in Physics: Homeschool Curriculum
- Electrical Forces and Fields in Physics: Homeschool Curriculum
- Potential & Capacitance in Physics: Homeschool Curriculum
- Direct Current Circuits in Physics: Homeschool Curriculum
- Magnetism in Physics: Homeschool Curriculum
- Waves, Sound & Light - High School Physics: Homeschool Curriculum
- Atomic and Nuclear Physics - High School: Homeschool Curriculum
- Fluid Mechanics in Physics: Homeschool Curriculum
- Thermal Physics & Thermodynamics: Homeschool Curriculum
- Relativity & Quantum Theory: Homeschool Curriculum
- Motion - Physics Lab Experiments: Homeschool Curriculum
- Matter & Light - Physics Lab Experiments: Homeschool Curriculum
- Electricity - Physics Lab Experiments: Homeschool Curriculum