LEARNING GOAL: I will be able to develop and sketch a 6 - 8 panel cartoon that shows how our Solar System was formed

OPENING QUESTION: Hopefully you are reading this with a friend online:

Ask your friend to type as many of the different types of objects that exist ONLY within the confines of our Solar System

If you are reading this solo, write that list down yourself on a piece of notebook paper


  • Sol (The Sun's proper name)
  • Solar System (Everything that orbits Sol, our sun)
  • Mars (The 4th planet from the sun)


It may surprise you to know that our Solar System ("The Sol System") is "inhabited" by a variety of different objects.

See if you can find the objects that exist INSIDE our Solar System (they are part of the Sun's family) and those that are OUTSIDE our Solar System (they do not orbit around the sun and they are NOT part of the sun's family:

Black Holes
Sol (our Sun)


Comets, asteroids, planets, moons and of course our sun are all member of our Sun's (Sol's) family. They are all much, MUCH smaller than our sun. Each and every one of those orbit's around the sun... our Solar System as it were!

Make a quick chart and do just a wee bit of research to show the *defining* characteristic of each of those members of our sun's family:

Sol (our Sun)


The Sun is a star -- it gives of tremendous amount of heat, radiation and charged particles generated through nuclear reactions at its core

Comets are flying "dirty snowballs" of frozen gases, ice and rock. When their orbit takes them close to the sun, their "tails" can be hundreds of millions of kilometers long!

Asteroids are chunks of rock... from marble sized to dozens or even hundreds of meters across

Moons orbit planets

Planets orbit the sun: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and (20 years after the fact!) some folks STILL consider Pluto a planet


BEFORE we can study and plan a Mission to Mars, it's rather critical that we understand our the Sun's Family (our SOLar System) was born.

Take a gander at the following Video be on the look out for 6 or 8 key stages to include in your comic strip that you'll create later . You may also find it helpful to refer to my astronomy class lesson plan from years ago that relates to the formation of our Solar System. That link is HERE

Terms to Know as you watch:

  • Super Nova: The process where a large, bright star explodes
  • Fusion: The process inside the sun that generates massive amounts of heat, light and charged particles
  • Protostar: Clumps of gas that heat up--- but not quite hot enough to be a star-- yet
  • Protoplanet: Little planet-like bodies that collide to form bigger Planets
  • Gas Giants: The largest planets in our solar system: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune


Please now work to create a 6 - 8 panel cartoon that shows the key steps in the creation of our Solar System

Consider showing that to a friend or family member and use it to explain to them how our Solar System was formed.

Please upload a photo of your work to your Google Drive and then copy and paste the URL of that file to our Phase III class submission form HERE for Physics and HERE for Aerospace