Solar System: The Earth in Space

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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 first of four Science Objects in the Solar System SciPack. It provides an understanding of where Earth is located in space and explores evidence used by astronomers to place Earth at this location. Earth is a relatively small planet and the third from the Sun in our solar system. The Sun is the central and largest body in the solar system. Our still-growing knowledge of the solar system comes to us in part by direct observation from Earth, including the use of optical, radio, and x-ray telescopes that are sensitive to a broad spectrum of information coming to us from space; computers that can undertake increasingly complicated calculations, find patterns in data, and support or reject theories about the origins of the solar system; and space probes that send back detailed pictures and other data from distant planets.

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Reviews (12)
  • on Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:36 AM

I really like this science object because it provides so much useful information as well as many wonderful pictures and illustrations. It is also very well suited for the elementary level and will be beneficial to me as a teaching tool. I don't think students would have a problem understanding the concepts introduced in this activity.


  • on Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:17 PM

This was a great resource and was exceptionally helpful in learning more about our Solar System and its creation


  • on Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:17 PM

This was a great resource and was exceptionally helpful in learning more about our Solar System and its creation


  • on Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:59 PM

This resource has great illustrations of the solar system!

Ictzel B
Ictzel B

  • on Sat Apr 09, 2016 10:55 PM

Nice concise history of how our knowledge of the earth in our solar system came about.

Ellen O'Donnell  (Deerfield, NH)
Ellen O'Donnell (Deerfield, NH)

  • on Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:09 PM

This resource is wonderful and very helpful to students that are learning about the Solar System.

Eunice R
Eunice R

  • on Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:55 AM

I really enjoy Science Objects. In 1-3 hours, the Solar System: The Earth in Space 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!.

Naomi Beverly  (Marietta, GA)
Naomi Beverly (Marietta, GA)

  • on Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:42 PM

I loved this presentation and all the information. It's got a lot of depth yet is simple enough for children to understand. The pictures and other visual aids were great and I learned a lot, which surprised me.

Josh  (Thoreau, NM)
Josh (Thoreau, NM)

  • on Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:30 PM

This is a great resource. I think he can be very helpful when teaching elementary students about the earth in space, for the solar system as a whole family. This resource has great illustrations entails how the planets came into existence. I think that this resource will help students learn or even refresh Many science concepts. It would help me in my personal classroom as it will enhance my teaching and Is it girls in today that the students can relate to. A lot of great pictures it illustrations it will allow the students to be engaged in allowed them to connect so real world objects. The overview is very helpful is it related to current technology.

Washonda Foote  (Athens, GA)
Washonda Foote (Athens, GA)

  • on Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:30 PM

Good visuals that will keep students engaged


  • on Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:55 AM

From Copernicus to Kepler, this resource provides an excellent overview of observations of our solar system made by great scientists and mathematicians. This resource takes us on a journey from thinking of a ‘geocentric system’ to a ‘heliocentric system’; interactivity is useful in helping the viewer to see how as technologies developed, early astronomers were able to prove that Earth is only one of the planets that revolve around the sun.

Lorrie Armfield  (Laurel, MD)
Lorrie Armfield (Laurel, MD)

  • on Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:19 PM

Excellent overview of the various scientists which established the heliocentric model and of today's current technologies. I reduced my rating by one star due to the explanation of retrograde motion, which is introduced but requires another example to expand on the interactive already provided.


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