Solar System

Topic 11 – Exploring the Solar System

11.1 - Be able to use data about the names and relative locations of bodies in the Solar System, including:
a) planets
b) dwarf planets
c) Small Solar System Objects (SSSOs): asteroids, meteoroids
d) comets

11.2 - Understand the structure of comets (nucleus, coma and tails)

11.3 - Understand the orbits of short-period comets and their likely origin in the Kuiper Belt

11.4 - Understand the orbits of long-period comets and their likely origin in the Oort Cloud

11.5 - Understand the location and nature of the Kuiper Belt, Oort Cloud and the heliosphere

11.6 - Understand the following principal characteristics of the planets:
a) relative size
b) relative mass
c) surface temperature
d) atmospheric composition
e) presence of satellites
f) presence of ring systems

11.7 - Understand the main theories for the formation and current position of the gas giant planets in our Solar System

11.8 - Be able to use information about the size of the Solar System

11.9 - Be able to use the astronomical unit (1 AU = 1.5 × 108 km), light year (l.y.) and parsec (pc)

11.10 - Understand the origin and structure of meteoroids and meteorites

11.11 - Know that most bodies in the Solar System orbit the Sun in, or close to, a plane called the ecliptic

11.12 - Understand the use of transits of Venus (as proposed by Halley) to determine the size of the astronomical unit and thus the absolute size of the Solar System

Topic 7 – Early models of the Solar System

7.5 - Be able to use information about the scale of the Solar System


In this section you will learn about the various bodies that orbits our central star, our Sun.

At the end of this section take the mini quiz to test yourself.



Major Bodies of the Solar System