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Did you know?…
- The Apollo space program was named after the Greek god of light and music.
- The gravity on the Moon is just one-sixth of the Earth’s, so you would weigh less on the Moon. You could jump higher and carry much heavier things too!
- If you want to see lots of shooting stars (also known as meteors) you should watch the Perseid meteor showers in August. You’ll see the most meteors after 10pm, and you’ll need to go somewhere dark so you can see them, so make sure you take a responsible grownup with you.
- Solar eclipses occur when the Moon gets between the Earth and the Sun, meaning we can’t see the Sun anymore. They don’t happen all the time because the Moon’s orbit is wobbly
- The next solar eclipse in the UK will be 10 June 2021. Remember, don’t look at the Sun, even during an eclipse!
Facts about the solar system
- The solar system formed around 4.6 billion years ago and includes the Sun and all the objects that orbit around it due to its gravity. This includes things such as planets, comets, asteroids, meteoroids and moons.
- There are eight planets in the solar system. The four inner planets are Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars, while the four outer planets are Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.
- The Moon is roughly 220,575 miles from the Earth. It’s so far away, it would take you about 8 years to walk there! That’s why we use spaceships.
- The Sun is over 864,000 miles wide. It’s so big that you could fit 1,300,000 planet Earths inside!
- In 1977, we launched two space probes called Voyager 1 and Voyager 2. Voyager 2 was actually launched first! Voyager 1 has been to Jupiter and Saturn, and Voyager 2 went to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Both of the probes have left the Solar System, and they’re both still working too!
- The Curiosity Rover is like a little robot car. It runs on a nuclear battery, and once it sang Happy Birthday to itself.
- Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first people to walk on the Moon. When they were ready to leave the moon, Buzz accidentally broke the switch they needed to press in order to take off! Luckily, their felt-tip pen fitted into the hole, and they used that to switch on the engine.
- Constellations are groups of stars that ancient astronomers thought looked like other things, like when you see shapes in clouds. They could see stars we can’t, which is why some of the constellation names don’t make sense anymore.
- The International Space station orbits around the Earth at 17,000 miles per hour! You can sometimes see it at night; it looks like a very bright star, and NASA has a special website that tells you when you’ll be able to spot it.
- People used to follow the star Polaris to find their way north, which is why it’s also called the North Star. If you want to find it, it’s right at the end of the constellation Ursa Minor (also known as the Big Dipper). Ursa is Latin for ‘bear’!
Download a Space Facts for Kids Poster!