About This Chapter
Below is a sample breakdown of the Solar System Characteristics chapter into a 5-day school week. Based on the pace of your course, you may need to adapt the lesson plan to fit your needs.
|Day||Topics||Key Terms and Concepts Covered|
|Monday||The inner and outer planets||Review the differences and similarities in location, environments, and sizes of the following planets: Mars, Earth, Venus, Mercury, Neptune, Uranus, Jupiter, and Saturn|
|Tuesday||Properties and characteristics of Jupiter||Liquid metallic hydrogen, magnetosphere, the Great Red Spot, Galilean moons, Jupiter's rings, other moons, and Jupiter's atmosphere|
|Wednesday||Properties and characteristics of Saturn||Saturn's rings, lower density, gravitational collapse, liquid metallic hydrogen, planetary layers, moons, and Titan|
|Thursday||Uranus and Neptune||Planetary twins, differences and similarities between these two planets, Voyager 2 discoveries, the relationship between Uranus's atmosphere and its color, effect of planetary temperature on appearance, the moons of Uranus, the moons of Neptune, International Astronomical Union (IAU), occultation and planetary rings, convection, Triton, and Nereid|
|Friday||Planetary geology||Review the techniques for studying planetary geology, understand the goals of planetary geologists, and define the following terms: geology, celestial bodies, planet, comet, moon, and asteroid|
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Jupiter's Important Properties
This lesson will go over the basic but important concepts related to Jupiter's interior, atmosphere, moons, and ring. You'll learn whether Jupiter is mainly a gaseous, liquid, or rocky planet!
4. Saturn's Major Characteristics
This lesson will describe for you what Saturn is made of, how it compares to the Earth and Jupiter, and some interesting things about its rings and moon.
5. Belt-Zone Circulation on Jovian Planets
This lesson explores the concept of belt-zone circulation in the Jovian planets of our solar system as well as why it occurs and what the differences between bands and zones are. A short quiz follows after the video.
6. Jupiter's & Saturn's Magnetospheres
This lesson will compare and contrast the magnetospheres of Jupiter, Saturn, and Earth. You'll learn how they're similar and what major difference exists between them.
7. Uranus's Moons, Rings, Atmosphere & Rotation
This lesson will explore the planet Uranus, its atmosphere, internal layers, rings, moons, and much more. You'll learn why Uranus has such an interesting color and why it doesn't have the cool clouds Jupiter has.
8. Neptune's Moons, Rings, Atmosphere & Temperature
This lesson will go over the major components of Neptune's atmosphere, interior, color, and why it is as warm as Uranus despite being farther away from the Sun.
9. Planetary Geology: The Study of Celestial Bodies
Planetary geology is a field of geology that explores celestial bodies like planets, moons, comets, and asteroids. Scientists use a variety of advanced techniques and procedures to carry out their research on these distant bodies.
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Other chapters within the Astronomy 101 Syllabus Resource & Lesson Plans course
- The History of Astronomy Lesson Plans
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- Matter in Astronomy Lesson Plans
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- Newton's Laws in Astronomy Lesson Plans
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- Properties of Galaxies Lesson Plans
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