Science vocabulary & information for teachers
Part One by Elaine Gallagher This information is taken from Elaine Gallagher’s book, MY VERY FIRST ENGLISH ATLAS, published in 2009 by the Secretaria de […]
by Elaine Gallagher
This information is taken from Elaine Gallagher’s book, MY VERY FIRST ENGLISH ATLAS, published in 2009 by the Secretaria de Educación y Cultura de Coahuila, with copies donated to 300,000 primary school children in Coahuila, Mexico.
(You can teach this data to your students, so they’ll see how SMART you are!)
Let’s look at the COSMOS
1. What does the word “cosmos” mean?
COSMOS refers to the study of the origin of the world, of man, and of the universe.
2. What’s the universe?
The universe is everything out there that occurs naturally….space, planets, galaxies, stars, black holes, moons, asteroids, comets, and space “dust”.
3. How old is the universe?
The universe is believed to be somewhere between 15 billion and 20 billion years old.
4. What was the “Big Bang”?
The “Big Bang” is a theory accepted by most astronomers for the origin of the universe. It says that the universe began as a result of a huge explosion –the Big Bang — 15 billion to 20 billion years ago.
5. Where did we get the idea of the “Big Bang”?
From several astronomers:
(1) Edwin Hubble (1889 – 1953) demonstrated that the universe is expanding uniformly, with objects at a greater distance receding at a greater speed.
(2) The Earth has a glow of radiation, discovered by Arno Penzias (born 1933) and Robert Wilson (born 1936). This radiation has characteristics that look like, and might be the remains of an ancient, hot fireball.
Most astronomers believe that matter created by the Big Bang joined together in huge clumps to form the galaxies. Smaller clumps within the galaxies formed stars.
Parts of at least one clump formed one star —our Sun—and also became a group of planets —our solar system.
( A clump is a huge bunch of anything that is stuck together…such as: A clump of hair had to be cut off because gum was stuck in it.)
6. What is a galaxy?
A GALAXY is a huge system of stars separated from one another by largely empty space. The Hubble Space Telescope has found there may be 125 billion galaxies in the universe.
7. What is the “Milky Way”?
The Milky Way is a hazy band of light that can be seen in the night sky. This light comes from the stars that make up the Milky way galaxy, which is the galaxy to which the Sun and the Earth belong. Astronomers estimate that the Milky Way galaxy contains at least 100 billion stars and is about 100,000 light years in diameter.
Galaxies have various forms. The Milky Way galaxy is shaped like a CD with a central bulge, or nucleus, and spiral arms coming out from the center.
8. What is a light year?
A “light year” has nothing to do with time. A LIGHT YEAR measures distance.
A light year is the distance that light can travel in one year.
If a star is 100,000 light years from Earth, it means that when light left that star, it will take 100,000 earth-years for the light to reach Earth.
The Speed of Light is 186,000 miles (300,000 Km) per second. In one year, light, at this speed, travels 5,870 billion miles (9,460 billion kilometers)
9. What is a solar system?
A solar system is a star (or stars) that has/have large bodies of solid or gaseous planets that revolve around the star(s) in a path. Some solar systems, such as ours, has one star (the Sun), but there are some solar systems that have twin suns with revolving planets.
10. What does our solar system contain?
Our solar system has one star (the Sun) and eight planets that revolve around the sun in a regular path (orbit). It also includes various other natural objects such as moons, meteors, and asteroids.
11. How old is our solar system?
It is currently believed to be 4.5 billion years old. The Earth and the rest of the solar systems formed from an enormous cloud of gas and dust, gradually forming the sun and planets. This process took about 25 million years.
12. What is the Sun made of?
The sun is a gigantic ball of gases. It is 330,000 times larger than the Earth.
(TEACHER: Show a relative size…the sun (HUGE) with a pinpoint to represent the Earth.)
The Sun’s two main gases, totaling 98.31 % of the sun’s mass are:
HYDROGEN (73.46 % of the sun’s gases)
HELIUM (24.85 % of the sun’s gases)
(TEACHER: show a pie graph to illustrate this, OR HAVE STUDENTS MAKE A PIE GRAPH IN TEAMS.)
There are also small traces of:
Oxygen (0.77 %)
Carbon (0.29 %)
Iron (0.16 %)
Neon (0.12 %)
Nitrogen (0.09 %)
Silicon (0.07 %)
Magnesium (0.05 %)
Sulfur (0.04 %)
Other (0.10% )
13. How hot is the Sun?
The sun’s center is about 27,000,000 degrees Farenheit (15,000,000 degrees Celsius).
The sun’s surface (photosphere) is about 10,000 degrees F (5,500 degrees C).
The sun’s outer layer of atmosphere is about 1,800,000 degrees F (1,000,000 degrees C).
TEACHERS: By the way, the word “PHOTO” means “LIGHT.”
14. What are sunspots?
Sunspots appear on the sun’s surface in 11 year cycles. Scientists are still learning about how they affect the world’s weather. The sunspots are cooler than the rest of the sun’s surface, about 6,700 degrees F (4,000 degrees C).
15. When will the sun die?
The sun is approximately 4.5 billion years old. In about 5 billion years from now, the Sun will burn all its hydrogen fuel into helium. When this occurs, the sun will change from the yellow dwarf (as we know it) to what is called “a red giant” star. Its diameter will extend beyond the orbit of Venus, and maybe even beyond the Earth’s orbit. In either case, the Earth will be burned to a cinder.
Whenever that may happen, if humans are still on Earth, they would have discovered other safe places to live, other planets, other galaxies, or even space stations, so life can continue.
16. How long does it take light from the Sun to reach the Earth?
Sunlight takes about 8 minutes and 20 seconds to reach the Earth, traveling at 186,282 miles per second. (299,792 Km per second).
END OF PART ONE