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Beyond our Solar System

In this worksheet students explore stars, galaxies and what is beyond our Solar System.

'Beyond our Solar System' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:  Physics: Space Physics

Curriculum subtopic:  Our Sun as a Star, Other Stars and Galaxies

Difficulty level:  

down

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Our Sun is a star. We can see lots of stars on a clear night; they are huge balls of gas that give out light and heat. These stars are much further away than the Sun, in other solar systems. Some patterns are visible when looking at the stars carefully, they are called constellations. The diagram below shows various constellations. The names are taken from ancient gods and creatures. 

 

 

The invention of telescopes helped study the stars in more depth as it made it easier to see them clearly. When there are large groups of stars together, they belong to a galaxy. Our Sun is part of a galaxy called The Milky Way. We can see part of the Milky Way from the Earth, as in this picture below:

 

 

The closest large galaxy to the Milky Way is the Andromeda galaxy. All these galaxies make up the Universe. There are enormous distances between the stars. Astronomers measure them in light years, i.e. the distance travelled by light in one year. The nearest star to the Sun is called Proxima Centauri. It is 4.2 light years away. It would take a rocket from the Earth more than 12,000 years to reach Proxima Centauri!

What type of object is the Sun?

a star

a planet

a galaxy

What exactly are the stars?

planets that exploded

huge balls of gas

parts of a galaxy that escaped

What do we call the natural patterns of stars that are visible when we look carefully?

What helped the study of stars?

the invention of telescopes

the invention of space rockets

the invention of binoculars

What is the name of our galaxy?

The Milky Way

Andromeda

Proxima Centauri

What is the name of a large galaxy close the Milky Way?

How do we measure distances between stars?

in miles

in light years

in kilometres

What is the name of the nearest star to the Sun?

How far away is Proxima Centauri from Earth (in light years)?

4.00

2.25

4.2

How long would it take a space rocket to reach Proxima Centauri?

10,000 years

12,000 light years

12,000 years

  • Question 1

What type of object is the Sun?

CORRECT ANSWER
a star
EDDIE SAYS
The Sun is a star.
  • Question 2

What exactly are the stars?

CORRECT ANSWER
huge balls of gas
EDDIE SAYS
Stars are huge balls of gas.
  • Question 3

What do we call the natural patterns of stars that are visible when we look carefully?

CORRECT ANSWER
constellation
constellations
EDDIE SAYS
The natural patterns (made of more than one star) that are visible when we look carefully are called constellations.
  • Question 4

What helped the study of stars?

CORRECT ANSWER
the invention of telescopes
EDDIE SAYS
The invention of telescopes helped the study of stars as it enabled scientists to see the stars more clearly.
  • Question 5

What is the name of our galaxy?

CORRECT ANSWER
The Milky Way
EDDIE SAYS
Our galaxy is called the Milky Way. The Andromeda galaxy is the closest galaxy to ours and the Proxima Centauri is the closest star to the Sun.
  • Question 6

What is the name of a large galaxy close the Milky Way?

CORRECT ANSWER
Andromeda
Andromeda galaxy
the Andromeda galaxy
EDDIE SAYS
Andromeda is large galaxy closest to the Earth. The first letter must be a capital A.
  • Question 7

How do we measure distances between stars?

CORRECT ANSWER
in light years
EDDIE SAYS
Distances between stars are measured in light years.
  • Question 8

What is the name of the nearest star to the Sun?

CORRECT ANSWER
Proxima Centauri
EDDIE SAYS
The nearest star to the Sun is Proxima Centauri. P and C must be capital letters.
  • Question 9

How far away is Proxima Centauri from Earth (in light years)?

CORRECT ANSWER
4.2
EDDIE SAYS
Proxima Centauri is 4.2 light years away.
  • Question 10

How long would it take a space rocket to reach Proxima Centauri?

CORRECT ANSWER
12,000 years
EDDIE SAYS
A space rocket from the Earth would take 12,000 years to reach Proxima Centauri.
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