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  • Mountains, Valleys and Caves

    Mountains, Valleys and Caves Mountains are formed when two of the continental plates that make up the Earth’s crust collide. The force caused by the collision pushes both plates (also called tectonic plates) upwards, creating a mountain. Valleys and caves are also natural features created by ...
  • Seasons and Climate

    Seasons and Climate The Earth not only orbits the Sun, but also rotates on its own axis as it does so. The Earth’s axis is in fact tilted – meaning that neither of the Earth’s poles faces the Sun directly. This tilted axis is responsible for weather and different climates. What a...
  • Earth’s Atmosphere

    Earth’s Atmosphere The protective blanket of air that covers the Earth is called the atmosphere. The Earth’s atmosphere not only prevents too much heat from entering the planet, but also protects us from asteroids and meteors. The Earth’s gravity helps hold the atmosphere in place...
  • Could I see the Sun rise and set from space?

    Could I see the Sun rise and set from space? A Astronauts aboard a space shuttle orbiting the Earth actually see 16 sunrises and sunsets every day! This is because once in orbit, a space shuttle goes around the Earth at a speed of more than 28,000 kilometres per hour (17,400 miles per hour) and take...
  • Humans in Space

    Humans in Space Ever since ancient times, humans have wanted to know more about the skies above them. They invented stories to explain the presence of the stars, the Moon and the Sun. Today, advanced technology helps us to travel into space and expand our knowledge about the world beyond our planet....
  • Comets and Asteroids

    Comets and Asteroids Along with the Sun, the planets and their moons, several other objects made up of small pieces of rock, metal and ice are also a part of the solar system. These objects are asteroids, comets and meteors. Quick Q’s: 1. What are sungrazers? Some comets crash into the Sun or ...
  • The Moon

    The Moon There are many moons in our solar system, which orbit planets, just like planets orbit the Sun. Earth has one Moon, Mars has two small moons, Mercury and Venus don’t have any, while Jupiter has at least 63! The Earth’s Moon is made up of rocks, both solid and molten. Quick Q&r...
  • Dwarf Planets

    Dwarf Planets In 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) made a decision that changed the way we organize our solar system. The IAU announced the removal of Pluto from the list of planets. They reclassified Pluto as a dwarf planet. Instead of nine, we now have only eight planets in our so...
  • The Last Planets

    The Last Planets Next to Jupiter are Saturn, Uranus and finally Neptune. Saturn is the second largest planet in the solar system. Like Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus are made up of gases. All three planets have rings, but it is Saturn’s rings that are the most spectacular. Quick Q’s: 1. How...
  • The King of Planets

    The King of Planets Jupiter is the first of the gas giants and the fifth planet from the Sun. It is the largest of all planets. In fact, more than a thousand Earths could fit inside it! Volcanic moon Io, one of the four largest moons, lies very close to Jupiter. There is a great deal of pressure on...
  • The Red Planet

    The Red Planet Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and is named after the Greek god of war. It is also called the red planet because it glows red in the sky. The presence of rust (iron oxide) on its surface gives the planet its colour. Quick Q’s: 1. Can you see Mars from the Earth? On a cle...
  • The Hot Planet

    The Hot Planet Mercury is the planet closest to the Sun. It is also very small – about the size of Earth’s moon. It is named after the Roman messenger god because it moves very quickly. Why are nights on Mercury freezing cold, although it’s the planet closest to the Sun? A Unlike...
  • What are the distinguishing features of each of the rocky plane

    What are the distinguishing features of each of the rocky planets? Mercury is the closest to the Sun and therefore its temperature can be as high as 467 °C (873 °F). Venus is covered with carbon dioxide containing droplets of sulphuric acid. This traps the Sun’s heat and makes Venus h...
  • The Planets

     The Planets  Planets are large masses of matter that orbit around a star. Our solar system consists of eight planets – Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, which are called inner or rocky planets, and Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, which are the outer planets, or gas giants. How wer...
  • Is the Sun really a star?

    Is the Sun really a star? A The Sun is a medium-sized star known as a yellow dwarf. It is younger and smaller than most stars in the universe, but is very bright and extremely hot. In about five billion years, when all the hydrogen in its core has been used up, the Sun will change into a red giant s...
  • How was the Sun created?

    How was the Sun created? The Sun Our solar system is made up of the Sun, eight planets, three dwarf planets and many asteroids, comets and other space rocks. The Sun is the largest object in the solar system and is located right at its centre. The planets, dwarf planets, asteroids and comets travel...
  • What is a black hole?

    What is a black hole? Black holes are extremely compact space objects that were once massive stars. Sometimes a huge star begins to shrink until it is smaller than an atom. This is called a black hole. The centre of the black hole is called ‘singularity’. The gravity near this point is ...
  • What is a protostar?

    Stars A star is a huge ball of gas and dust that gives out both heat and light. When the gases in the star burn out, it dies. A star can live for millions, even billions, of years depending on its size. Each galaxy in the universe is made up of several billion stars. Stars are born in clouds of dus...
  • How did the Milky Way get its name?

    How did the Milky Way get its name? y. Galaxies A galactic crash Sometimes, galaxies crash into one another due to the force of gravity. But the stars in them are too far apart to cause any real damage. Our own galaxy is on a collision course with its neighbour Andromeda. The collision will take pl...
  • How was the universe formed?

    Galaxies The universe is a huge open space made up of billions of galaxies and an even larger number of stars. Our galaxy is called the Milky Way. Our solar system, including the Sun, the planets and their moons, forms just a tiny part of the Milky Way. How was the universe formed? Q How was the u...