Solar System: Asteroids, Comets, and Meteorites

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 third of four Science Objects in the Solar System SciPack. It provides an understanding of the bodies other than planets that exist in our solar system. There are many asteroids and meteoroids composed of rock orbiting the Sun. Occasionally, one of these bodies enters the Earth’s atmosphere, glowing as they disintegrate from atmospheric friction. Those that do not completely burn up in the atmosphere may impact the ground. Other chunks of rock mixed with ice have such long and off-center orbits that they only periodically come very close to the Sun, where some of their surface material is boiled off by the Sun's radiation and pushed into a long illuminated tail that we see as a comet.

Level

Elementary SchoolMiddle School

Details

Type Science Object

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