Why is Pluto not a planet?

Planet Pluto

Astronomers originally estimated Pluto to be much bigger than it actually is and the largest object in its solar system. Now, instead of being the only planet in its region, Pluto and its moons are just a collection of objects called the Kuiper Belt.

Why is there a black hole in space?

Black hole

Black holes are thought to form from stars or other massive objects when they collapse from their own gravity. Astronomers can't see black holes, because light and everything else that enters them is lost and can no longer be seen. What is a black hole?

Space Facts

Space shuttle

In our Solar System, nine planets circle around our Sun. The Sun sits in the middle while the planets travel in circular paths (called orbits) around it. These nine planets travel in the same direction.

The Solar System is made up of two parts:
1. The Inner Solar System contains planets Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. These four planets are closest to the Sun.
2. The Outer Solar System contains Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and dwarf planet Pluto.

The Inner planets are separated from the Outer planets by an Asteroid Belt.

The First Moon Landing

Moon landing

In 1961, U.S. President John F. Kennedy had a challenge for NASA. The challenge was to land a man on the moon before the end of the decade (before 1970). The race to meet his goal would require the greatest technological achievement the world has ever seen.

The first Apollo missions were spent getting ready for the moon landing. Apollo 8 and Apollo 10 even flew all the way to the moon, around it, and back to Earth. Finally, everything was ready.

On July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 launched from Kennedy Space Centre in Florida with Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins prepared for a moon landing. They travelled to the moon and arrived in lunar orbit on July 19. Neil Armstrong was the first astronaut to step on the moon. He was soon joined by Buzz Aldrin. The two astronauts spent 21 hours on the moon. They did experiments and took pictures. They also brought back 20kgs of moon rocks.

While on the moon Neil and Buzz planted a United States flag and left a sign that read, ‘Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon July 1969, A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.’

What are stars?

Is there life on Mars?

Scientists have long speculated about the possibility of life on Mars owing to the planet's proximity and similarity to Earth. It remains an open question whether life exists on Mars now, or existed there in the past. The Phoenix mission landed a telerobot in the polar region of Mars on May 25, 2008. One of the mission's two main objectives is to search for a 'habitable zone' where life could exist, the other goal being to study the history of water on Mars. Scientists have not been able to locate life on Mars yet, what do YOU think?

Wouldn’t it be fun to be an Astronaut?

An astronaut or cosmonaut is a person trained by a human spaceflight program to command, pilot, or serve as a crew member of a spacecraft. While generally reserved for professional space travelers, the term is sometimes applied to anyone who travels into space, including scientists, politicians, journalists, and tourists. Scientists predict that in the not-too-distant future, space travel could become a recreational activity for ordinary citizens.

Interesting Space facts!

  1. Olympus Mons, a volcano found on Mars, is the largest volcano found in the solar system. It is 370 miles (595 km) across and rises 15 miles (24 km).

  2. We know more about space than we do about our deep oceans!
  3. If you attempted to count all the stars in a galaxy at a rate of one every second it would take around 3,000 years to count them all.
  4. The one and only satellite that Britain has launched was called Black Arrow.
  5. The odds of being killed by space debris - 1 in 5 billion.
  6. The Earth's revolution time increases .0001 seconds annually.
  7. Driving at 75 miles (121 km) per hour, it would take 258 days to drive around one of Saturn's rings.
  8. Astronaut Neil Armstrong (the first man on the moon) first stepped on the moon with his left foot.
  9. ‘Moon’ was Buzz Aldrin's (second man on the moon) mother's maiden name.
  10. The first conventional use for rockets was rocket mail and catching whales and deer.
  11. If you shouted in space even if someone was right next to you they wouldn't be able to hear you.
  12. Feb 1865 and Feb 1999 are the only months in recorded history not to have a full moon.
  13. The first man-made satellite in space was called sputnik.
  14. Venus is the only planet that rotates clockwise.
  15. Just 20 seconds worth of fuel remained when Apollo 11's lunar module landed on the moon.
  16. The first woman in space was a Russian called Valentina Tereshkova.
  17. One Day on the planet Pluto is about the length of a week on Earth

Fact: Pluto used to be the farthest planet from the Sun and by far the smallest of the nine planets. Now it's officially not a planet at all, just a ‘dwarf planet’.

Fact: Venus' surface is very hot - about 400 degrees Celsius!

Try This: Look for Mercury! You can see Mercury with a pair of binoculars or even the naked eye. Because it is always very near the Sun, Mercury may be hard to see in early evening skies.


 The planets of the solar system

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