The Beauty of the Solar System

Students will learn about an overview of our Solar System.

Planets of the Solar System and more

The Eight Planets Tour

In this video Paxi takes you on a tour of our Solar System, visiting all eight planets and other minor bodies such as asteroids, comets and the dwarf planet Pluto.

​Join Paxi on a journey through our Solar System, from the rocky inner planets close to the Sun, past the giant planets to the freezing edge, the home of comets. 

The Solar System is made up of all the planets that orbit our Sun. In addition to planets, the Solar System also consists of moons, comets, asteroids, minor planets, and dust and gas. Everything in the Solar System orbits or revolves around the Sun.

Can you name the planets? In addition to the planets, can you name what else the Solar System consists of?

  • Mercury
  • Venus
  • Earth
  • Mars
  • Jupiter
  • Saturn
  • Uranus
  • Neptune
  • moons
  • comets
  • asteroids
  • minor planets
  • dust
  • gas

What is the oldest planet identified?

Long before our Sun and Earth ever existed, a Jupiter-sized planet formed around a sun-like star. Now, almost 13 billion years later, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has precisely measured the mass of this farthest and oldest known planet.  This planet is more than twice as old as Earth's 4.5 billion years.


NASA's Hubble Space Telescope precisely measured the mass of the oldest known planet in our Milky Way galaxy. At an estimated age of 13 billion years, the planet is more than twice as old as Earth's 4.5 billion years. Until Hubble's measurement, astronomers had debated the identity of this object. Was it a planet or a brown dwarf? Hubble's analysis shows that the object is 2.5 times the mass of Jupiter, confirming that it is a planet. Its very existence provides tantalizing evidence that the first planets formed rapidly, within a billion years of the Big Bang, leading astronomers to conclude that planets may be very abundant in our galaxy (NASA).

How old is the oldest planet?

  • At 4.5 billion years, around the same age as planet Earth.
  • Around 1 billion years.
  • At an estimated age of 13 billion years, the planet is more than twice as old as Earth's 4.5 billion years.

The Ring Planets

The Rings     

 Saturn is most well-known for its rings.  However, it is not the only planet with rings.  Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune also have rings.  Saturn is a favorite object for many observers.  Its beautiful rings are 169,800 miles wide.  But the rings are amazingly thin, estimated to be less than a kilometer thick. The rings are split into categories, Ring A, Ring B, Ring C, Ring D, Ring E, Ring F and Ring G, totaling 7 in all.  The rings are not solid but rather are made up of particles of ice, dust and rocks.  The rings are held in place around Saturn by the moons that also orbit this large planet.  The gravity of these moons also cause the gaps that are seen in between the rings (Astronomy for Kids).

From far away, Saturn looks like it has seven large rings. Each large ring is named for a letter of the alphabet. The rings were named in the order they were discovered. The first ring discovered was named the A ring, but it is not the ring closest to or farthest from Saturn (NASA).

Some of the rings are close together. Others have large gaps between them. The rings do not sit still. They circle around Saturn at very high speeds. A closer look shows that each large ring is made up of many small rings. The small rings are sometimes called ringlets. More rings and ringlets could still be discovered (NASA).

Can you name all of the ring planets?

Can you name the planet(s) with rings?

  • The ring planets are Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune.
  • Saturn is the only planet with rings.

Find the "Gas Giants"

Order the planets according to their distance from the Sun

  • Mercury
  • Venus
  • Earth
  • Mars
  • Jupiter
  • Saturn
  • Uranus
  • Neptun

Black Holes

How big are Black Holes?

Black holes can be big or small. Scientists think the smallest black holes are as small as just one atom. These black holes are very tiny but have the mass of a large mountain (NASA).



What is a Black Hole?

A black hole is a place in space where gravity pulls so much that even light can not get out. The gravity is so strong because matter has been squeezed into a tiny space. This can happen when a star is dying.

Because no light can get out, people can't see black holes. They are invisible. Space telescopes with special tools can help find black holes. The special tools can see how stars that are very close to black holes act differently than other stars.

Black holes can be big or small. Scientists think the smallest black holes are as small as just one atom. These black holes are very tiny but have the mass of a large mountain.

Scientists think the smallest black holes formed when the universe began.

How big are Black Holes?

Scientists think the smallest black holes are as small as just one ______. These black holes are very tiny but have the mass of a large _________

Thanks and see you at the next astronomy lesson!

Mission completed!