Sample Soaring Through Our Solar System (Grades 2-4) Worksheet
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Soaring Through Our Solar System
By Laura G. Smith

1     Five, four, three, two, one... BLAST OFF! Come along as we explore our solar system! If we were flying high above the Earth, what would you see? The biggest, brightest thing you would see is the sun. You would also see many objects traveling around the sun, including the Earth and its moon!
2     The sun, planets, and moons are all part of our solar system. The sun is a huge star in the middle of the solar system. It is the only star we can see during the day. The sun is much brighter than the stars we see at night, because it is much closer to the Earth. It is made of gases that are released in the form of light and heat.
3     The planets are all different sizes. Mercury is the smallest planet. Jupiter is the largest planet. It is eleven times wider than the Earth! All eight of the planets are much smaller than the sun. If you had a hollow ball the size of the sun, you could fit one million balls the size of the Earth inside it!
4     All of the planets in our solar system move around the sun in an oval path called an orbit. This path is shaped something like an egg. The sun has a strong force that pulls all of the planets toward it. This force, called gravity, is what makes the planets stay in their orbits. As each planet orbits the sun, it is also spinning around like a top. This spinning is called rotation. Each planet rotates at a different speed. It takes Jupiter less than 10 hours to rotate one time, but it takes Venus 243 days!
5     The planets can be divided into two groups. The first group is called the inner planets. The second group is the outer planets. The inner planets-Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars-are smaller and are made of mostly rock and iron. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune make up the outer planets, which are much larger. They are made mostly of hydrogen, helium, and ice.

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