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Ch 26: Overview of the Solar System & Universe

About This Chapter

In this engaging chapter you'll find fun lessons you can study at your convenience to improve your understanding of the solar system and universe. Self-assessment quizzes make it easy to check your comprehension and ensure you're ready to excel on an upcoming test.

Overview of the Solar System & Universe - Chapter Summary

The bite-sized lessons in this chapter provide a comprehensive overview of solar system and universe topics. Get reacquainted with stars, asteroids and gravity in the solar system. The lessons also ensure you understand the origins of the universe and Big Bang theory. After finishing this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Discuss the solar nebula theory and formation of the solar system
  • List and describe major characteristics of planets in the solar system
  • Define and explain characteristics of meteorites and comets
  • Describe orbit as it relates to planets and satellites
  • Point out major interactions in the Sun-Earth-Moon system
  • Identify important points on the celestial sphere
  • Provide a description of a galaxy
  • Detail how to use technology to study Earth and theuniverse

All the lessons in this chapter are available 24 hours a day via your computer, smartphone or tablet of choice. This flexibility allows you to study whenever and wherever you desire. As you progress through the lessons, feel free to assess your comprehension of concepts covered by taking multiple-choice quizzes. To get a broader review of this chapter before exam day, be sure to take our comprehensive practice exam.

11 Lessons in Chapter 26: Overview of the Solar System & Universe
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Origins of the Universe: The Big Bang and Expanding & Contracting Universes

1. Origins of the Universe: The Big Bang and Expanding & Contracting Universes

The Big Bang Theory may be a popular television show, but it also is an explanation of the origins of the universe. Explore the theory and learn about expanding and contracting universes. Understand the timeline of the universe's development and review scientists' predictions for the universe's future.

The Solar Nebula Theory: Formation of the Solar System

2. The Solar Nebula Theory: Formation of the Solar System

The solar nebula theory asserts that the solar system was birthed by a monolithic interstellar gas cloud that condensed to form the sun and planets. Learn more about the solar nebula theory and the distinction between the catastrophic theories of the solar system's formation and the more gradual, evolutionary theories.

Major Characteristics of Planets in the Solar System

3. Major Characteristics of Planets in the Solar System

How the planets in the solar system relate to one another depends on a few key characteristics. Discover how temperature, mass, and diameter, revolution, and rotation form the foundational characteristics of planets in the solar system.

Asteroids, Meteorites & Comets: Definitions and Characteristics

4. Asteroids, Meteorites & Comets: Definitions and Characteristics

When Big Bang happened, it left a lot of space debris which we know as asteroids, meteorites, and comets. Learn about the definition and characteristics of those spatial matters and see how likely it is for them to impact Earth.

What is Orbit? - Planets & Satellites

5. What is Orbit? - Planets & Satellites

An orbit is a path or trajectory of a body that revolves around another body in space. Look into the concepts and terms related to orbit, and explore the orbits of planets and satellites.

Important Points on the Celestial Sphere

6. Important Points on the Celestial Sphere

The imaginary celestial sphere surrounding Earth is a reference tool that allows for the locations of objects in the sky to be located. Learn about the important points on the celestial sphere, including the horizon, zenith, nadir, equator, the North and South poles, and the meridian.

Interactions in the Sun-Earth-Moon System

7. Interactions in the Sun-Earth-Moon System

The dynamic forces between the sun, earth, and moon can be measured or observed in various ways. See the geometry of the phases & eclipses, causes of tides, and the dynamics of sunlight, seasons, & solar winds over different time periods.

Stars: Definition & Facts

8. Stars: Definition & Facts

Stars live through distinct phases. Learn the definition of a star and facts about its birth, main sequence and late life phase. Discover the role stars play in human culture.

Galaxy: Definition & Types

9. Galaxy: Definition & Types

Galaxies are collections of stars, dust, and gas bound together by gravity. This lesson will cover the structures and types of galaxies, including spiral, elliptical, and irregular galaxies.

Gravity in the Solar System: Shaping Planets & Stars

10. Gravity in the Solar System: Shaping Planets & Stars

Gravity is the force that holds the solar system together and keeps materials on their respective planets, life included. Discover how gravity helps with shaping the plants and stars to keep them round and, most importantly, stable.

Using Technology to Study the Earth & Universe

11. Using Technology to Study the Earth & Universe

Have you ever wondered how we know so much about the universe? Learn about how we use technology to study the universe, from the tiny to the enormous. Then take a quiz to test your knowledge.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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More Exams
There are even more practice exams available in Overview of the Solar System & Universe.
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