1. The Universe


   1. The Universe

   By looking at the sky during a cloudless night, we can observe a lot of luminous points. They are known as the stars.

    The whole set of stars in space are what make up the Universe or the Cosmos.

    There are different types of cosmos. The most important are the following: stars, planets, satellites, and comets.

    2. The Stars

    Stars are celestial bodies that produce their own light, and are composed of hydrogen and helium. Stars have an extremely high temperature, and can reach up to 16 million degrees centigrade.

    In the Universe there is an incalculable number of stars, which are more than four light years away from the Earth – except for the Sun, which is the nearest star to our planet Earth. (One light year is the distance that light travels 300,000 KM per second during one year).


   A). Indicate whether the sentences below are true or false:
 

The Universe has a lot of Cosmos

Stars have their own light

The Sun is a star

Stars have a low temperature

Stars are made up of hydrogen and helium


    3. The Planets

    Planets are celestial bodies that do not produce their own light; however, they receive their light from the Sun or from other stars. They are opaque. They revolve around a star, and the path they follow is known as an orbit.

    Planets have two motions: one of translation around a star, and another one of rotation on their own axis.

    4. The Satellites

    Satellites are celestial bodies that are opaque and non-luminous. Instead, they reflect off the light of a star. We can see them in the sky giving off a more pale light.

    Every satellite revolves around its own planet following its own orbit as well as rotating on its own axis.    The Moon is Earth’s satellite.



5. The Comets

    Comets are celestial bodies with orbits that are very eccentric (long and narrow), and do so at very high speeds. In some occasions, they can be spotted from Earth crossing the sky rapidly.

    Comets are composed of three parts:

    - The nucleus, which is the central part that is very bright.    - The head, which is the luminous wrap around the nucleus.

    The tail, or light burst, which extends towards the opposite directions of the Sun.


 B). Indicate whether the parts below are from a planet, satellite or comet

It has a head

Revolves around a star

Has a tail

Revolves around a planet

The Moon is a

The Earth is a






    6. The Galaxies

   A galaxy is made up of a group of stars, planets, satellites, comets, cosmic gases and dust, which all form an ensemble in space.

    As you can see in the drawing on the side, galaxies can be classified by their shape: spiral, barred spiral, and elliptical.

    There are over thousands of millions of galaxies in the Universe. One of them is the Milky Way, or the Road to Santiago, which is the galaxy to which the Sun belongs to.


       7. The Constellations

    Constellations are an ensemble of stars that look like figures, even if they are just arbitrary groupings.

    In the Northern Hemisphere, we can spot the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper, which have the Polar Star. This star serves to facilitate our orientation, since it signals towards the North Pole.

    In the Southern Hemisphere, we can spot the Southern Cross and the twelve constellations of the Zodiac: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Aquarius, Capricorn and Pisces. Each one corresponds to the twelve months of the year.


   C) Indicate if it is a galaxy or a constellation:

It is formed by an ensemble of celestial bodies

It has the Polar Star

It has cosmic dust

It has planets and satellites

It forms arbitrary figures

Some can be spiral

There are twelve from the Zodiac



 
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®Arturo Ramo García.-Record of intellectual property of Teruel (Spain) No 141, of 29-IX-1999
Plaza Playa de Aro, 3, 1º DO 44002-TERUEL (Spain)