You may have observed or at least heard of the news about Global warming, Climate changes, and Greenhouse gases increasing at a rate that our planet may become inhabitable if the current global problems are not addressed immediately. When you analyse properly, many questions can occur to us, like –
- Why should we address these problems – Global warming, Climate change and the Greenhouse effect?
- Why increasing population is a problem?
- Why should we protect our planet?
All the above problems’ immediate addressing reason is alone that there is no other planet that can support life on it. Due to Earths special ability to prosper life and it’s the only planet in our whole solar system that can support life system, so we need to protect its beauty and resources for our future generations to come. To know more about our Planet, its special ability and its surroundings we must know about our Solar System.
If you are from a Village or a city that has less pollution or clear atmosphere, we can observe many bright and twinkling objects in the night sky.
- What are these twinkling objects in the sky?
- What are those bright but not twinkling objects in the Sky?
The objects that twinkle and are bright in the sky are the Stars, Planets; Moon and other objects which are called as Celestial Bodies.
The Solar System
The Sun and its Orbiting Celestial bodies together form the Solar system. The solar system consists of planets, moons, asteroids, comets and meteoroids. Our solar system used to have 9 planets until the critical decision on Pluto was taken in the 1990s as a dwarf planet of our solar system. The solar system includes the objects between interplanetary space like – Meteoroids, Comets and Asteroids.
- Meteoroids – Meteoroids are lumps of rock or iron that orbit the sun
- Asteroids – Asteroids are the small rocky bodies orbiting the sun. These are found between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter farming Asteroid Belt.
- Comets – Comets are dusty snowballs which orbit the Sun. They are made of ice, dust and rocky materials.
The solar system consists of 8 planets, namely – Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Earth is the only planet that supports life existence.
- Why outer planets are gaseous when inner planets are solid?
- What brings the difference in their composition?
- Why do other planets don’t support life system?
- How does the earth have a special ability for prospering life?
The position of the earth and its distance from the Sun gives the ability of the life support system. If we observe or explore our solar system we can find out that the planet till Mars is solid and next are gaseous or liquid form
The difference of their physical state occurs due to the distance and the heat they receive from our star i.e. Sun. Due to the equilibrium heat and light source on our planet helped to flourish the life.
Satellites – Natural and Artificial
Recently you may have heard about the Satellite launching for a better mapping system and many more other satellites related to communication, mapping, and weather satellites to get various information about the earth from space.
- What are Satellites?
- Does earth have any satellites?
Satellites are the objects or celestial bodies that orbit around other bigger Celestial bodies. There are two types of celestial bodies, they are –
I. Natural Satellites –
The moons are the natural satellites across the solar system. The numbers of moons are different for each planet as the Earth has one moon, The Mars has 2, the Jupiter 79, Saturn 82, and Uranus has 27 moons. Theses provide illumination for their respective planets by reflecting the sunlight which is received due to their position when respective planets experience night or darkness.
II. Artificial or Manmade Satellites –
The satellites that are made to study the earth and other celestial bodies of the solar system by humans are called Artificial satellites. These are used to acquire useful information about planets and explore other parts of space. They are also used for the betterment and ease of human activities on earth. Did you ever wonder –
- How your Swiggy/Zomato delivery boy does come at your doorstep without even calling you?
- How do Google maps know every location on the earth?
- How your phone does show the moving car or bike when you order your taxi car or bike?
- How does your Google map show your exact location when you press crosshair sign in the map?
The mapping system of any app has a connection with the satellites that send a signal of our location. This occurs through the mechanism of Trilateration. Trilateration is the process of determining absolute or relative locations of points by measurement of distances, using the geometry of circles, spheres or triangles. To achieve this we use artificial satellites that are positioned to orbit the earth.
These human-made satellites can also help us to study and predict the weather of earth; improve communication systems like –internet and TV signals etc. The recent development in mapping system has an exciting exploration of the earth or some specific places.
Now with the help of Google earth, we can explore the places in a 3D model where a user can explore a place from many angles sitting at home. Now Taj Mahal of India can be seen as if you are standing in front of it with the help of mobile or desktop. These places are explored with the help of interpretation satellite images, aerial photography and GIS data by representing it on the 3D globe.
Studying the solar system may create awareness and the needed intensity to understand the importance of earth for humans and other living organisms on the planet as there is no other planet that can foster life. The study of the solar system may also provoke interest to explore space in your future life as the present explorations of space are to know clearly about the formation of the solar system, the evolution of the life on earth and to explore other habitable planets in the space. To get a better understanding of the fundamentals of the solar system we can use Models, Charts, Visuals and other hands-on learning materials to teach/learn.
Check our hands-on learning activity video glimpses to know more about the ‘Solar System – Celestial objects and Satellites’ and for many more interesting activities.