Ch 22: Planets and the Solar System

About This Chapter

Use our video lessons and quizzes to help you understand how the moon and planets were formed and the life cycle of the sun. Learn about all the bodies in the solar system.

About This Chapter

In this chapter, video instructors show you the cycles of Earth-moon-sun system (seasons, tides, eclipses, precession, and moon phases). You'll be introduced to the dwarf planets (Pluto, Eris, Haumea, and Ceres), outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune), and inner planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars) of our solar system. This chapter will discuss theories of the origin of planet Earth and of the moon.

You'll learn about the structure of the sun and the stages in the sun's life cycle. As you progress through the chapter, you'll learn about planetary predictors of extraterrestrial life as well as asteroids, meteors, and comets. When you finish this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Explain the stages of the sun's life cycle
  • Discuss theories of the origin of the planet and the moon
  • Understand the factors that make a planet able to sustain life
  • Name and differentiate between the inner, outer, and dwarf planets
  • Define asteroids, meteors, and comets
  • Describe the cycles of the Earth-moon-sun system

These videos are designed to be long and in-depth enough to thoroughly cover the topic, but short enough to keep you engaged. These lessons are easy to use, with transcripts for each lesson so you can follow along and video tags that allow you to jump to the main points. Each lesson also includes a self-assessment quiz, so you can judge for yourself how well you've learned and remembered the lesson. Watch the videos and take the quizzes as many times as needed to clarify any ideas that may still be fuzzy.

9 Lessons in Chapter 22: Planets and the Solar System
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Stages of the Sun's Life Cycle

1. 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.

Inner Planets of the Solar System: Mercury, Venus, Earth & Mars

2. 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.

Formation of the Earth: Theories

3. 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.

Formation of the Moon: Theories

4. 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.

Planetary Predictors of Extraterrestrial Life

5. 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.

Outer Planets of the Solar System: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune

6. 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.

Dwarf Planets of the Solar System: Pluto, Eris, Haumea & Ceres

7. 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.

Asteroids, Meteorites & Comets: Definitions and Characteristics

8. 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.

Structure of the Sun

9. 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.

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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