Saturday, 27 October 2012

Space Quiz
Space is a mysterious place but there are plenty of things we are sure about when it comes to that vast space that surrounds us here on earth. Challenge what you think you know with our fun space quiz. Perfect for kids, this quiz will get you thinking about the fascinating topics of space and astronomy. Test your knowledge of planets, stars, moons, astronauts, our solar system, galaxy and more space related trivia. Try answering the twelve questions on your own and then scroll down to the bottom of the page for the all important answers.
  1. What is the closest planet to the Sun?
  2. What is the name of the 2nd biggest planet in our solar system?
  3. What is the hottest planet in our solar system?
  4. What planet is famous for its big red spot on it?
  5. What planet is famous for the beautiful rings that surround it?
  6. Can humans breathe normally in space as they can on Earth?
  7. Is the sun a star or a planet?
  8. What planet is known as the red planet?
  9. What is the name of the force holding us to the Earth?
  10. Have human beings ever set foot on Mars?
  11. Does the sun orbit the Earth?
  12. Is the planet Neptune bigger than Earth?

Space Quiz Answers
  1. Mercury
  2. Saturn
  3. Venus
  4. Jupiter
  5. Saturn
  6. No
  7. A star
  8. Mars
  9. Gravity
  10. No
  11. No
  12. Yes

Monday, 22 October 2012

The Solar System and its planets

Planet Selector MapThe Solar System is made up of the Sun and all of the smaller objects that move around it. Apart from the Sun, the largest members of the Solar System are the eight major planets. Nearest the Sun are four fairly small, rocky planets - Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars.
Beyond Mars is the asteroid belt – a region populated by millions of rocky objects. These are left-overs from the formation of the planets, 4.5 billion years ago.
On the far side of the asteroid belt are the four gas giants - Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. These planets are much bigger than Earth, but very lightweight for their size. They are mostly made of hydrogen and helium.

Until recently, the furthest known planet was an icy world called Pluto. However, Pluto is dwarfed by Earth’s Moon and many astronomers think it is too small to be called a true planet.

An object named Eris, which is at least as big as Pluto, was discovered very far from the Sun in 2005. More than 1,000 icy worlds such as Eris have been discovered beyond Pluto in recent years. These are called Kuiper Belt Objects. In 2006, the International Astronomical Union decided that Pluto and Eris must be classed as “dwarf planets”.

Even further out are the comets of the Oort Cloud. These are so far away that they are invisible in even the largest telescopes. Every so often one of these comets is disturbed and heads towards the Sun. It then becomes visible in the night sky.

Solar System Song for Kids

Have fun singing along to this solar system song for kids. Learn about the different objects in our solar system as well as some cool facts that make them special. Enjoy the bright, colourful animations that help bring the Sun and planets to life along with a catchy song that kids will love. Learn about the Sun, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and more with this great space video for kids.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Fastest Animals in the World

Enjoy this great video from the BBC featuring two of the fastest animals in the world captured in stunning slow motion footage. Watch a salamander catch an insect by firing its tongue at rapid speed and a mantis shrimp that punches snails with amazing force.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Mars Facts
MarsMars, or the 'Red Planet' as it is sometimes known, has a dusty, rocky surface and a thin atmosphere. Its relatively calm conditions and close proximity to earth make it the most likely destination for future planet exploration by humans.
It has already been visited by a number of Mars Rovers in successful (and unsuccessful) robotic missions. These highly advanced robots gather samples and record important scientific data for scientists back on Earth to study.

  • Mars is nicknamed the red planet because it is covered with rust-like dust. Even the atmosphere is a pinkish red, colored by tiny particles of dust thrown up from the surface.
  • Mars experiences violent dust storms which continually change its surface.
  • Mars has many massive volcanoes and is home to Olympus Mons, the largest volcano in our solar system, it stands 21km high and is 600km across the base.
  • Mars has a very thin atmosphere made mostly of carbon dioxide. It is not thick enough to trap the sun's heat like Venus, so the planet is very cold. Temperatures range from -120 Degrees Celsius on winter nights to 25 Degrees Celsius in the summer.
  • Mars has many channels, plains and canyons on the surface which could have been caused by water erosion in the past.
  • Mars has very weak gravity which cannot hold onto the atmosphere well.
  • The polar ice caps consist of frozen Co2 (dry ice) which lies over a layer of ice.

Challenges of Getting to Mars

Biggest Flower in the World