Interesting Questions, Facts and Information
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Interesting Questions, Facts, and Information
Space and Astronomy for Kids
Neptune. Neptune has the strongest winds of any planet.
Uranus. Uranus is the only planet where the poles are hotter than the equator.
Saturn. Saturn's rings are made up of tiny ice crystals.
Jupiter. Jupiter is the biggest planet. The big red spot on Jupiter is large enough to hold three Earths. Io is one of the moons of Jupiter
Mars. Mars has the highest mountains and volcanoes in the solar system.
Venus. Venus is the hottest planet because of its clouds.
Orbit. All the planets move in an orbit around the Sun. When a planet has gone all the way around the Sun, that is the end of one year.
Milky Way. The Milky Way is the name of our galaxy, not just the solar system. The solar system is the Sun and the nine planets, satellites, and asteroids, etc.
Neil Armstrong. Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong went on that same mission.
Saturn. Saturn's rings are large and are the most obvious, but other planets have rings as well.
|In 2006 Pluto was no longer counted as being a planet. How many known planets are there in our solar system now?||Space Questions for Kids!
8. They are: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune.
Jupiter. Saturn is the sixth, and Uranus is the 7th.
Mercury. Earth is the third, and Venus is the second.
|You are now in the northern hemisphere, and the southern hemisphere is angled towards the sun. What season is it for you in the north?||Space and Science!
Winter. It is cold because the northern hemisphere farther away from the sun, and the sun's rays have further way to travel, making the rays cooler by the time they get to us. When it is winter in the northern hemisphere, it is summer in the southern hemisphere.
|You are now on the moon, a long journey, and the Earth is blocking the sun's rays to it. From Earth, your friends see the moon go red. What is this called?||Space and Science!
A lunar eclipse. A lunar eclipse is a spectacular show, and is very fun to watch. These are caused when the Earth blocks the sun's rays from the moon. Indirect sunlight filtered through the Earth's atmosphere still reaches the moon, creating a reddish color.
Scientific word for a moon. A satellite is the scientific word for an object that orbits another object, such as a planet or the sun. Satellites can be natural moons or man-made objects like the Hubble telescope.
|Sydney's new text book states that Jupiter has 16 known satellites. Jennifer's older text book lists 14 satellites for Jupiter. Why is the information in the two books different?||Space and Science!
Scientists are always finding new information. Scientists are finding new information right now (they never make up new information, though!). Now Jupiter and Saturn have hundreds MORE known satellites. Some of Saturn's moons are located in its rings!
|Which extremely bright planet can appear after sunset or before sunrise, giving it its names of the Evening Star or Morning Star?||Space and Science!
Venus. Venus is named after the goddess of beauty. It may look pretty, but it is actually a very hostile place. Its hotter than the planet Mercury! The surface temperature is incredibly hot because the planet's thick clouds are made mostly up of carbon dioxide, which is a greenhouse gas.
|I am a very big gas giant, although you would have to fit 900 of me together to reach the size of the sun. It looks like I'm wearing pajamas that have a great red spot on them. Which planet am I?||Space and Science!
Jupiter. Mars cant be right, because it is a terrestrial (solid) planet. Saturn is big, but doesn't have stripes. Neptune is named after a god of the sea and has a dark spot.
|Another very famous rocket scientist was called Wernher von Braun. He designed the rockets which were used during the Apollo space program, to boost the Lunar Modules towards the Moon.
What were these rockets called?||Rocket Science for Kids!
Saturn V. The Saturn V rockets were the biggest and most powerful rockets ever launched. They were designed to boost the actual "spaceship" part of the Lunar Module up into space. Each one was made up of three separate stages, and by firing one after the other, they boosted the Lunar Module in stages, going higher each time, until it was finally free of the Earth's atmosphere and on its way to the Moon.
After they had fired they were jettisoned (dumped) and either fell back to Earth or went into orbit. At least two Saturn V stages from the Apollo missions are still out in space, and are tracked by NASA as Near Earth Objects.
|A very famous name in the history of rocket science was the man who launched the first ever liquid fuelled rocket, way back in 1926.
He was born in Massachusetts in 1882, and became a Research Fellow at Princeton in 1912.
Who was he?||Rocket Science for Kids!
Robert Goddard. Although Robert Goddard is mainly remembered for his pioneering work on rockets, he also invented the bazooka gun, at the end of World War I.
In the 1930s he moved to New Mexico and set up his rocketry research facility near a little town named Roswell...
|Geostationary orbits are used for communications satellites, and were first suggested by a man called Arthur Clarke, in a paper published in 1945.
What was Mr. Clarke's profession?||Rocket Science for Kids!
Science Fiction Writer. A geostationary orbit is a special orbit where a satellite orbits above the equator, at the same speed as the Earth rotates. To an observer on the ground, the satellite seems to "hang there" above the same point on the ground, and not move at all.
Arthur C. Clarke is most famous for his science fiction books which include "2001: A Space Odyssey", published in 1968, and made into a film by Stanley Kubrik, also in 1968.
It was Clarke's paper "Extra-Terrestrial Relays - Can Rocket Stations Give Worldwide Radio Coverage?" (published in "Wireless World" magazine in 1945), which first brought the idea of the geostationary orbit to the attention of the general public. These orbits are even sometimes called "Clarke Orbits", and there are more than 110 satellites in geostationary Earth orbit in the western hemisphere alone.
|Suppose you are here on Earth, and you have a mass of 25 kilos (about 55lbs).
If you were to go to the Moon, what would your mass be there, in kilos?||Rocket Science for Kids!
25 kilos. Your mass on the Moon, or anywhere else in the Universe for that matter, will be exactly the same as it is here on Earth.
Lots of people get confused with the difference between mass (measured in kilos or pounds etc) and weight, which is a force, measured in Newtons (symbol N).
The "standard gravity" on the surface of the Earth is a constant of 9.81 metres per second (m/s). What this means is that weight is equal to mass multiplied by 9.81 - our 25 kilo mass actually weighs 25 X 9.81 so 245.25 Newtons.
Mass is the "amount of stuff" in an object and is the same on the Moon as on Earth, but the gravity of the Moon is approximately one sixth of that of Earth. This is because the Moon is much smaller than Earth.
On the Moon, our 25 kilo mass will weigh 25 X 1.64 = 40.96 Newtons.
If you are prepared to risk your pocket money for the rest of your life, explain this to your Mum next time she's getting weighed, and point out that she actually weighs 9.81 times as much as the reading on the scales. Wear running shoes! :-D
|In 1977, two identical space probes were launched, which are now the farthest away from Earth that man made objects have ever gone.
What are they called?||Rocket Science for Kids!
Voyager 1 and 2. Voyager 1 and 2 visited Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, and Uranus on their way out of our Solar System.
They will continue on their journey through space for many more years, only stopping if an accident befalls them.
They reached a region of space known as the heliosheath early in 2009, and are heading for the heliopause; the heliopause marks the extreme limits of our Sun's gravitational field, and is thus classed as the end of our solar system.
On board the Voyager probes is a "Golden record" - this has recordings of voices, music, sounds, and pictures from Earth, just in case the probes are ever found by alien life forms somewhere out in space.
The message with the golden record says "This is a present from a small, distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts and our feelings. We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours." which was said by President Carter of the USA.
|For a rocket to leave the gravitational pull of the Earth, it needs to reach a very special speed.
Once it reaches this speed, the gravity of the Earth can no longer pull it back, and it can "boldly go" off into space.
What term is used to describe this special speed?||Rocket Science for Kids!
Escape Velocity. The existence of escape velocity is because of a rule (or law) of physics called the Law of Conservation of Energy.
The escape velocity for the planet Earth is approximately 34 times the speed of sound, or 11.2 kilometres per second.
If a rocket is traveling slower than this speed, when the boost cuts off, the Earth's gravity will 'catch' it, and it will fall back to the ground.
Rockets can leave Earth without reaching escape velocity directly from their launch, by placing them into a lower orbit and then boosting again to a higher one. The escape velocity is not the speed needed to leave the planet, but the speed needed to overcome the force of gravity pulling the rocket back.
If a rocket managed to achieve escape velocity whilst still at low altitude, it would probably burn up in the atmosphere like a meteorite. This is why rockets boost in stages rather than using a 'gun like' arrangement to just shoot them straight out into space.
|Although the maths involved in actual rocket science can be very complicated, the basic principles are stated in three equations called the Laws of Motion devised by a very famous scientist, way back in the 17th century.
Who is this scientist who wrote "Principia Mathematica"?||Rocket Science for Kids!
Isaac Newton. Isaac Newton first published his "Principia Mathematica" in July 1687.
It is the math laid out in Newton's three Laws of Motion, coupled with his Universal Law of Gravitation that is fundamental to all rocket science and space flight.
Astronautics. As aeronautics is the science of regular atmospheric flight, astronautics is the science of space and rocket flight.
It is a branch of a discipline called aerospace engineering, which means it deals with machines that are made to leave the Earth's atmosphere and go out into space.