SOLAR SYSTEM LESSON
Print the Solar System reading
comprehension passage and questions (see
Students should read the passage
silently, then answer the questions. Teachers may also use the text as
part of a classroom lesson plan.
Our solar system is the system of planets and other objects that orbit our sun. It has many parts. Our sun, the star of our solar system, holds everything in place by its gravity. There are eight planets and many moons. There are asteroids and comets. There are meteoroids and tiny particles of rock and dust. The sun, which is actually a star, is the largest object in the solar system. It contains more than 99% of the mass of the solar system.
What is a star? A star is a huge body in space made of gases that is held together by its own gravity. It makes heat and light by the chemical process of nuclear fusion. This process combines hydrogen atoms by joining them or fusing them together. When this happens, a huge amount of energy is released. Our sun is an average-sized star that is about half way through its life cycle. It should continue making heat and light for another 5 billion years!
Our sun provides all the energy for life on Earth. Without its heat, Earth would be too cold to live on. Without its light, plants could not grow, and there would be no food for people and animals.
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