ISTAT Banner

The Solar System

The solar system is often used as a starting point in astronomy, and is also a possible continuation from Earth science.  You may wish to look at the ISTAT Earth Sciences Scope and Sequence for suggestions of how to integrate Astronomy into your Earth science program. Given the wealth of planetary science materials available today, the activities in these pages define only one of many possible themes for the unit, as guided by the California state standards.

With the recent growth of interest in extra-solar planets and the possibility of life, comparative planetary science, Earth vs. other worlds both within the solar system and elsewhere, has increased relevance.

Two sites with many resources for educators from NASA:

NASA Solar System Exploration Education and Outreach Forum

NASA Sun-Earth Connection Education Forum

Another site that may be generally useful for making illustrations, posters, etc., is:

Fourmilab/John Walker's Solar System Live an interactive program that displays the positionsof planets and other specified bodies at (almost) any specified time. Use links in the first paragraph to specify display of all nine planets or just the inner planets.