Resource Image Solar System: Formation of Our Solar System
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Type of Resource: Science Object
Average Rating: Rating
 based on 2 reviews
Publication Title: None
Grade Level: Elementary School, High School, Middle School


Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object, co-developed between NASA and NSTA, is the fourth of four Science Objects in the Solar System SciPack. It explores the hypothesis that the solar system coalesced out of a giant cloud of gas and debris left in the wake of exploding stars about five billion years ago. Everything in and on the earth, including living organisms, is made of the material from this cloud. As Earth and the other planets formed, the heavier elements fell to their centers. On planets closer to the Sun (the inner planets), the lightest elements and their compounds were mostly blown or boiled away by radiation from the newly formed sun. However, on the outer planets, the lighter substances still surround them as deep atmospheres of gas or as frozen solid layers.

Ideas For Use


Getting to Know the Solar System
Posted in Earth and Space Science by Adah Stock on Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:39 AM

Ladies: This is great news that your students enjoyed learning about the solar system. I am glad you joined the discus...

Additional Info

Science Discipline: (mouse over for full classification)
Solar system origin
Intended User Role:Elementary-Level Educator, High-School Educator, Middle-Level Educator, Teacher
Educational Issues:Achievement, Professional development, Teacher content knowledge


Resource Format:
Size: KB
Installation Remarks:

National Standards Correlation

This resource has 8 correlations with the National Standards.  

This resource has 8 correlations with the National Standards.  

  • Earth Science
    • Origin and evolution of the earth system
      • The sun, the earth, and the rest of the solar system formed from a nebular cloud of dust and gas 4.6 billion years ago. (9-12)
    • Origin and evolution of the universe
      • The origin of the universe remains one of the greatest questions in science. (9-12)
      • The "big bang" theory places the origin between 10 and 20 billion years ago, when the universe began in a hot dense state; according to this theory, the universe has been expanding ever since. (9-12)
      • Early in the history of the universe, matter, primarily the light atoms hydrogen and helium, clumped together by gravitational attraction to form countless trillions of stars. (9-12)
      • Fusion and other processes in stars have led to the formation of all the other elements. (9-12)
  • Process Standards for Professional Development
    • Research-Based
      • Address teachers' needs as learners and build on their current knowledge of science content, teaching, and learning. (NSES)
    • Design
      • Introduce teachers to scientific literature, media, and technological resources that expand their science knowledge and their ability to access further knowledge. (NSES)
    • Learning
      • Build on the teacher's current science understanding, ability, and attitudes. (NSES)

State Standards Correlation

Use the form below to view which of your state standards this resource addresses.

User Reviews

I Love Science Objects!
  Naomi Beverly (Marietta, GA) on September 3, 2014
  I really enjoy Science Objects. In 1-3 hours, the Solar System: Formation of Our Solar System Science Object will help me re-learn, refresh, or learn for the first time some critical science concepts I will have to know to obtain my Science Educator credentials. I appreciate that I can complete them at my own pace, and that, if used as park of a SciPack, I have access to a content expert to go to for help. The NSTA Learning Center Science Objects are very beneficial! Not only do they enrich my teaching, the knowledge enriches my life as well!.

Current understandiing Solar System formation
  Arlene Jurewicz Leighton on May 30, 2012
  I use Formation of Our Solar System in one of my courses for pre and inservice science teachers. This SLO explores the current understanding of Nebular Theory with a timeline of how we have come to this understanding and includes its limitations. It ends with a view of expanding exploration through technology of other solar systems and what we can learn about our own solar system formation from these technological advances..