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Study Guides

Planets Test Study Guide

Multiple Choice (5 points each)

  1. The solar system is defined as:

    The family of the sun, planets, and their moons.

  2. It is called a __________ when a planet moves around the sun.


  3. It is called a __________ when a planet makes a complete turn on its axis.


  4. What is a “terrestrial planet”?

    a rocky, earth-like planet

  5. Which one of the following is a terrestrial planet?


  6. Which of these is a star?


  7. All the planets revolve around the sun __________.

    in the same direction.

  8. The orbits of the planets are __________.


  9. Rings around the planets are formed by __________.

    dust, ice crystals, and rock

  10. Outer planets are known as __________ planets, while inner planets are known as __________ planets.

    gaseous, rocky

  11. Unlike the other planets, the axis of Uranus is __________.


  12. What separates the inner and outer planets?

    asteroid belt

True/False (2 points each)

  1. The sun revolves around the planets.


  2. All planets have moons.


  3. Planet Earth is about 4.6 billion years old.


Short Answer (2 points each)

  1. There are _____8_____ planets in our solar system.

  2. How many planets have rings? 4


Group the Planets- Write the planets under their descriptions. Each planet can be used more than once. (14 points possible)

Earth, Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Neptune, Saturn, Uranus, Venus

  1. Name the 4 gas giants- Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune

  2. Name the 4 inner planets- Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars

  3. Name the 4 outer planets- Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune

  4. Name the 2 ice giants- Uranus, Neptune

Discussion (5 points each)

  1. Describe how the sun and planets in our solar system are related.  The sun is the center of our solar system.  The planets revolve around it. 

  2. Explain how the inner planets and outer planets are different.  The inner planets are small, solid, and near to the sun.  The outer planets are large, gaseous, and far from the sun. 

  3. What would happen if the Earth were closer to the sun?  The temperature would be much hotter.  The oceans would dry up.  We would not be able to survive. 

Bonus- List as many facts as you can about each of these. (1 point per fact) These are just some facts I provided for the students.  Your child DOES NOT have to know all of these.

Earth- is flattened at the poles and bulged at the equator, a rocky planet, only planet whose surface is mostly water, only planet known to have life, 24 hours to rotate on its axis, 365 days to revolve around the sun, only planet to have a breathable atmosphere, has one moon, has no rings, atmosphere protects it from incoming meteoroids, 3rd planet from the sun

Jupiter- largest planet in our solar system, 10 hours to rotate on its axis, it takes about 12 Earth years (4,333 days) to orbit the sun, gas giant and does not have a solid surface, 50 moons, a faint ring system, Great Red Spot is a storm bigger than the Earth, the storm in the Great Red Spot has been going on for hundreds of years, 5th planet from the sun, could not support life as we know it, some of its moons could possibly support life

Mars- is known as the Red Planet because iron minerals in the soil oxidize (rust) and make its surface appear red, a rocky planet, smaller than the Earth, has many craters, possibly has underground water, shows signs of floods in the past, atmosphere consists primarily of carbon dioxide, length of day is a little over 24 hours, takes 687 Earth days to orbit the sun, has 2 moons, has no rings, 4th planet from the sun

Mercury- is a rocky planet, takes the least amount of time to orbit the sun, is smaller than the Earth, takes 88 days to orbit the sun, has the largest difference between night and day temperatures, smallest inner planet, closest planet to the sun, just a little larger than Earth’s moon, takes 59 Earth days to rotate on its axis, has no moons or rings

Neptune- ice giant, dark and cold, whipped by supersonic winds, 16 hours to rotate on its axis, orbits the sun in about 165 Earth years (60,190 days), 13 known moons, 6 rings, 8th planet from the sun

Saturn- about 10.7 hours to rotate on its axis, 53 moons, gas giant, does not have a solid surface, orbits the sun in 29 Earth years, has thousands of beautiful ringlets, has 7 rings with several gaps and divisions between them, most spectacular ring system of all the planets in our solar system, 6th planet from the sun, cannot support life as we know it, some of its moons could possibly support life   

Sun- is a star, is a ball of gas held together by its own gravity, has no solid surface, center of our solar system, has no rings, orbited by 8 planets, without its energy there would be no life on Earth

Uranus- methane gas gives it a blue tint, 17 hours to rotate on its axis, orbits the sun in about 84 Earth years, 27 moons, ice giant, faint rings, inner rings are narrow and dark, outer rings are brightly colored, only planet to rotate on its side, rotates clockwise, 7th planet from the sun

Venus- is a rocky planet,  known as the ball of fire, smaller than the Earth, atmosphere consists primarily of carbon dioxide, days are longer than years, clouds are made of poisonous sulfuric acid, has no moons or rings, rotates (spins) clockwise, no seasons, people couldn’t live there, atmospheric pressure is much greater than on Earth, has many active volcanos, once had lots of water, closest planet to the Earth, hottest planet, 2nd planet from the sun, sometimes looks like a star in our sky in the morning or evening