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The Planets

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Many people don’t know that on an clear winter night, you can see five planets with no telescope. But where are they? How can you tell if you’re looking at a star, a jet or a planet?  Let’s learn more.

TEACHERS OR LIBRARIANS: Download this column as a one page PDF.

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Click on this image to download a one page PDF. Permission to copy is permitted.

1. Which planets can you seen without a telescope? At EarthSky.org http://bitly.com/1RUARDO you will learn that you can see the planets that are closest to the earth: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. To find them, you can use an app like Star Walk (see the review in CTREX).

2. The smallest planet is ________. The biggest planet is ________. You’ll find the answer at Space-Facts http://bit.ly/1ZQb981 you can learn about the sizes, order and names.

3. Which planet fluctuates more than 1,100 degrees in one day? At Space.com http://bit.ly/1QoLiOx you’ll learn that you could melt lead in Venus, but it’s Mercury that starts out the day scorching but ends way, way below freezing.

4. Is Pluto a planet? The answer is F, for false. According to NASA http://go.nasa.gov/1gX0ROG, Pluto was reclassified as a dwarf planet. It’s not even as big as the Earth’s moon.

5. You are heaviest on which planet? The bigger a planet is, the more you weigh. A 100 pound kid on Earth would weigh 236 pounds on Jupiter, but just 8 pounds on Pluto. If you could stand on the Sun, you’d way over 2,700 pounds! You can type in your exact weight and find out how much you weigh at http://bitly.com/1Kkr4nR.

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APPLICATIONS

1. Play these NASA Space Games http://go.nasa.gov/1Ufdqmf

2. Play an astronomy word search puzzle http://bit.ly/1hjtQJt or design your own planet http://bit.ly/1PrON1i

FIND ME SOME APPS!

Here are 85 planet or astronomy related apps from CTREX:  http://bitly.com/ctrastronomy

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Filed in: Astronomy

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