Task 2: A Solar System Model

ESS1-3: Analyze & Interpret data to determine scale properties in the solar system.

Guiding Questions:

  • How do scientists and engineers use data to create scale models?
  • What objects is our solar system made of, and how do they compare to one another?


  • Formative Assessment: Task 2 Student Guide & Reflection
  • Summative Assessment: Task 2 Model & Project Organizer
  • Revision Option: Culminating Project

In this Task, we focused on SCALE MODELS. We learned how to scale data, including the orbital radii (distance) and diameter (size) of planets in our solar system. Each group built a scale model of a planet and combined them together to create a class model of our solar system. We will use this model in our culminating project.

Class Resources


Additional Resources:

Inner Planets

Wikipedia: Terrestrial Planets


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Before traveling to the outer planets, you pass through the asteroid belt.

Outer Planets

Pluto & the Dwarf Planets


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Kuiper Belt & Oort Cloud


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  • moons of ss


  • Asteroids are rocky metallic objects that orbit the sun, ranging in size from dust particles to nearly dwarf planets
  • Often irregularly shaped due to the weak amount of gravity
  • Tens of thousands exist in our solar system, located primarily in Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter
  • NASA Asteroids Page
  • Brainpop: Asteroids
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  • Small pieces of rock & debris that orbit the sun, possibly pieces of asteroid or comet
  • They become meteors – or shooting stars – when they fall through a planet’s atmosphere and leave a bright tail
  • Sometimes, larger meteors cause a bright flash called a fireball.
  • Meteorites are smaller pieces that survive the journey to hit the ground
  • Most weigh only a few pounds & cause little damage. Occasionally, large ones reach Earth and cause damage
  • NASA Meteor & Meteorites


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  • Cosmic snowballs of frozen gases, ice, rock and dust
  • Roughly the size of a small town… or downtown LA…
  • When a comet’s orbit brings it close to the sun, it heats up and spews dust and gases into a giant glowing head larger than most planets.
  • The dust and gases form a tail that stretches away from the sun for millions of kilometers.
  • NASA Comets
  • Brainpop: Comets


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