Beautiful simulation of the solar system, with good info.
"Take a 360 degree virtual tour of our Solar System, with the help of Crash Course Astronomy host Phil Plait!"
"In today's Crash Course Astronomy, Phil takes a look at the explosive history of our cosmic backyard. We explore how we went from a giant ball of gas to the system of planets and other celestial objects we have today."
Congrats, you’ve been awarded the Solar Smart award!
"Facts and figures about the Red Planet and how it compares to our home world."
The following posts are not key material for the US SAT or UK KS4 (but they are fun). Teachers can remove these posts when assigning the board.
"Hawaii's Mauna Kea is a gigantic mountain—but it doesn't quite stack up to some of the other landforms in our solar system. Here's a look at our neighbors' most impressive peaks."
'Earth isn't the only ocean world in our solar system. Oceans could exist in diverse forms on moons and dwarf planets, offering clues in the quest to discover life beyond our home planet.
This illustration depicts the best-known candidates in our search for life in the solar system."
"[Here we] examine the atmospheric compositions of the other planets in the solar system, as well as our own. Practically every other planet in our solar system can be considered to have an atmosphere, apart from perhaps the extremely thin, transient atmosphere of Mercury, with the compositions varying from planet to planet. Different conditions on different planets can also give rise to particular effects."
"Saturn's moon Enceladus joins Earth, Saturn's moon Titan and Jupiter’s moon Europa in being a solar system body with liquid water on or below its surface. An ocean of water lies beneath Europa's 18 to 24 miles (30 to 40 kilometers) of icy crust. Near the moon's south pole, jets of water escape into space."
"Each time NASA's Galileo spacecraft orbits the planet Jupiter, it encounters one of the four Galilean satellites. From left to right in this mosaic, the moons shown are Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.
The top row displays the correct relative sizes of the satellites in global views. In these relatively low resolution images the smallest features that can be seen are about 20 kilometers in size. These views show how the surfaces have been affected on the largest scales by either tectonic or volcanic changes in the interiors of the moons or by deposition from the exterior environment. In the middle row the picture resolutions are up to ten times higher and are suitable for investigations of the dominant regional features that are seen, such as fields of volcanic caulderas on Io (the black spots), tidally induced cracks thousands of kilometers long on Europa, bright grooved regions on Ganymede's extended surface, and enormous impact basins on Callisto due to hypervelocity impacts with primitive comets or asteroids. The bottom row displays views typical of the highest resolutions that have been achieved (up to about 20 meters) and which are used to study the nature and physical origins of individual structures on the surface, such as the individual vents from which volcanic plumes originate on Io, the ridges that are everywhere on Europa, the fractured and pulled apart grooved terrain on Ganymede, or the heavily eroded and mantled craters on Callisto."
"Hank fields one of the most commonly asked questions about our solar system: Why does Saturn have rings? Part of the answer has to do with the fact that it's not the only planet that has them. Watch to learn more!"
"scroll to explore"
(warning: you have to do a LOT of scrolling to get through it all ;) )
Callisto is often described as a simple solar body because of its simple composition and its level of inactivity at the surface. Callisto carries the title of being the oldest body in the solar system with a surface age of 4 billion years and also the most cratered. Callisto, the second largest moon of Jupiter, is the only body its size in the solar system that has had no resurfacing since its original impacts left their mark.
The largest craters on the surface of Callisto are surrounded by concentric rings which appear as cracks, but have smoothed out some with age. At nearly 1900 miles in diameter, Valhalla, the largest crater on Callisto, is a good example of a crater surrounded by concentric rings. The icy crust of Callisto has smoothed out some with age, the result being that there are no impressive mountains and the craters are not as deep as one might suspect. In fact, it is believed that the largest craters have been diminished by the flow of the ice across the surface over time."
via NOAA Science on a Sphere http://sos.noaa.gov/Datasets/dataset.php?id=248