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Have you ever wondered how astronomers discover planets orbiting stars outside our solar system? This activity takes you through the steps astronomers use when they study extrasolar planet transits.
Asteroids, also known as Minor Planets or Planetoids, are a class of astronomical object generally used to describe a diverse group of small bodies that drift around the Solar System in orbit around the Sun. A near-Earth object (NEO) is a Solar System object whose orbit brings it into close proximity with the Earth.
Charles Messier lived in Paris in the 18th century. He wanted to become famous by discovering comets. When he looked through his telescope he often re-discovered objects which were already known and were not comets. So he didn't waste time, each time he found an object that did not move in the sky he catalogued it.
1. Print and cut out all of the Solar System Taboo cards and place them in a pile face-down.
2. Ask the students to name the largest object in the Solar System (answer: the Sun).
3. The first student to give the correct answer begins the game.
4. Ask the first student to pick up the top card and, without showing it to the rest of the group, try to describe the object given at the top of the card without using the 3 ‘taboo’ words underneath.
5. The other students must try to guess the correct Solar System object or region.
Have you ever wondered what happens to the different stars in the night sky as they get older? This activity lets you explore the life-cycle of stars.