The Solar System

Posted: February 20, 2013 in Uncategorized

Let’s answer some questions before reading this article.

1. What is a solar system?

2. What comprises a solar system?

3. In which planet do we live?

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                                The Solar System consists of the Sun and its planetary system of eight planets, their satellites, and other non-stellar objects(some smaller objects such as asteroids, comets and meteoroids). It was created 4.6 billion years ago from the gravitational collapse of a giant molecular cloud. The solar system is composed of eight planets namely: Mercury, Mars, Earth, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. The four smaller inner planets, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars, also called the terrestrial planets, are primarily composed of rock and metal. The four outer planets, called the gas giants, are substantially more massive than the terrestrials. The solar system is also composed of meteors, asteroids, and comets.



                                       Sun is a big star at the center of the solar system. It is almost perfectly spherical in shape and has a magnetic field around it.  It has a diameter of about 1,392,684 km, about 109 times that of Earth, and its mass (about 2×1030 kilograms, 330,000 times that of Earth) accounts for about 99.86% of the total mass of the Solar System.  Chemically, about three quarters of the Sun’s mass consists of hydrogen, while the rest is mostly helium. The remainder (1.69%, which nonetheless equals 5,628 times the mass of Earth) consists of heavier elements, including oxygen, carbon,neon  and iron, among others.

                                        The Sun formed about 4.6 billion years ago from the gravitational collapse of a region within a large molecular cloud. Most of the matter gathered in the center, while the rest flattened into an orbiting disk that would become solar sysytem.


The Eight Planets

1. Mercury


                           Mercury is the innermost planet in the Solar system. It is also the smallest of the eight planets.It orbits the Sun once in about 88 Earth days, completing three rotations about its axis for every two orbits. The planet is named after the Roman God Mercury , the messenger to the gods. Mercury’s surface is heavily cratered and similar in appearance to Earth’s moon, indicating that it has been geologically inactive for billions of years. Due to its near lack of an atmosphere to retain heat, Mercury’s surface experiences the steepest temperature gradient of all the planets, ranging from a very cold 100 K at night to a very hot 700 K during the day.

2. Venus


                     Venus is the second planet from the Sun, orbiting it every 224.7  days. The planet is named after the Roman Goddess  of love and beauty. After the Moon, it is the brightest natural object in the night sky, reaching an apparent magnitude of −4.6, bright enough to cast shadows.Because Venus is an inferior planet from Earth, it never appears to venture far from the Sun. It is also referred to as the evening or morning star.Venus is classified as a terrestrial planet and is sometimes called Earth’s “sister planet” owing to their similar size, gravity, and bulk composition (Venus is both the closest planet to Earth and the planet closest in size to Earth).

3. Earth


                              Earth is the third planet from the sun. It is also the planet we live on. It is also the fifth largest planet in the solar system.Earth formed approximately 4.54 billion years ago, and life appeared on its surface within one billion years.

                                 Earth’s biosphere then significantly altered the atmosphere  and other basic physical  conditions, which enabled the proliferation of organisms as well as the formation of the ozone layer, which together with Earth’s magnetic field blocked harmful solar radiation, and permitted formerly ocean-confined life to move safely to land.The physical properties of the Earth, as well as its geological history and orbit, have allowed life to persist.

4. Mars

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                                     Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second smallest planet in the Solar System.  Named after the Roman god of war, it is often described as the “Red Planet”, as the iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish appearance.Mars is a terrestrial planet with a thin atmosphere, having surface features reminiscent both of the impact craters of the Moon and the volcanoes, valleys, deserts, and polar ice caps of Earth. The rotational period and seasonal cycles of Mars are likewise similar to those of Earth, as is the tilt that produces the seasons. Mars is the site of Olympus Mons, the second highest known mountain within the Solar System (the tallest on a planet), and of Valles Marineris, one of the largest canyons. The smooth Borealis basin in the northern hemisphere covers 40% of the planet and may be a giant impact feature. Mars has two known moons, Phobos and Deimos, which are small and irregularly shaped. These may be captured asteroids , similar to 5261 Eureka, a Martian trojan asteroid.

5. Jupiter



                               Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest planet in the Solar System. It is a gas giant with mass one-thousandth that of the Sun but is two and a half times the mass of all the other planets in the Solar System combined. Jupiter is classified as a gas giant along with Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Together, these four planets are sometimes referred to as the Jovian or outer planets. The planet was known by astronomers of ancient times, and was associated with the mythology and religious beliefs of many cultures. The Romans named the planet after the Roman god Jupiter. When viewed from Earth, Jupiter can reach anapparent magnitude of −2.94, making it on average the third-brightest object in the night sky after the Moon and Venus. (Mars can briefly match Jupiter’s brightness at certain points in its orbit.)

6. Saturn

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                     Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second largest planet in the Solar System, after Jupiter. Named after the Roman god Saturn, its astronomical symbol (♄) represents the god’s sickle. Saturn is a gas giant with an average radius about nine times that of Earth. While only one-eighth the average density of Earth, with its larger volume Saturn is just over 95 times more massive than Earth.


Saturn’s interior is probably composed of a core of iron, nickel and rock (silicon and oxygen compounds), surrounded by a deep layer of metallic hydrogen, an intermediate layer of liquid hydrogen and liquid helium and an outer gaseous layer.The planet exhibits a pale yellow hue due to ammonia crystals in its upper atmosphere. Electrical current within the metallic hydrogen layer is thought to give rise to Saturn’s planetary magnetic field, which is slightly weaker than Earth’s and around one-twentieth the strength of Jupiter’s. The outer atmosphere is generally bland and lacking in contrast, although long-lived features can appear. Wind speeds on Saturn can reach 1,800 km/h (1,100 mph), faster than on Jupiter, but not as fast as those on Neptune.



7. Neptune



                            Neptune is the eighth and farthest planet from the Sun in the Solar System. It is the fourth-largest planet by diameter and the third-largest by mass. Neptune is 17 times the mass of Earth and is somewhat more massive than its near-twin Uranus, which is 15 times the mass of Earth but not as dense. On average, Neptune orbits the Sun at a distance of 30.1 AU, approximately 30 times the Earth–Sun distance. Named for the Roman god of the sea, its astronomical symbol is ♆, a stylised version of the god Neptune’s trident.


8. Uranus



                         Uranus is the seventh planet from the Sun. It has the third-largest planetary radius and fourth-largest planetary mass in the Solar System. Uranus is similar in composition to Neptune, and both are of different chemical composition than the larger gas giants Jupiter and Saturn. For this reason, astronomers sometimes place them in a separate category called “ice giants”. Uranus’s atmosphere, while similar to Jupiter’s and Saturn’s in its primary composition of hydrogen and helium, contains more “ices” such as water, ammonia, and methane, along with traces of hydrocarbons. It is the coldest planetary atmosphere in the Solar System, with a minimum temperature of 49 K (−224 °C). It has a complex, layered cloud structure, with water thought to make up the lowest clouds, and methane thought to make up the uppermost layer of clouds. In contrast, the interior of Uranus is mainly composed of ices and rock.


1. Asteroid

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                          Asteroids are small Solar System bodies or dwarf planets that are not comets. The term asteroids historically referred to objects inside the orbit of Jupiter. They have also been called planetoids, especially the larger ones. These terms have historically been applied to any astronomical object orbiting the Sun that did not show the disk of a planet and was not observed to have the characteristics of an active comet, but as small objects in the outer Solar System were discovered, their volatile-based surfaces were found to more closely resemble comets, and so were often distinguished from traditional asteroids.Thus the term asteroid has come increasingly to refer specifically to the small bodies of the inner Solar System within the orbit of Jupiter, which are usually rocky or metallic. They are grouped with the outer bodies—centaurs, Neptune trojans, and trans-Neptunian objects—as minor planets, which is the term preferred in astronomical circles. In this article the term “asteroid” refers to the minor planets of the inner Solar System.

2. Comets

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comet is an icy small Solar System body (SSSB) that, when close enough to the Sun, displays a visible coma (a thin, fuzzy, temporary atmosphere) and sometimes also a tail. These phenomena are both due to the effects of solar radiation and the solar wind upon the nucleus of the comet. Comet nuclei range from a few hundred meters to tens of kilometers across and are composed of loose collections of ice, dust, and small rocky particles. Comets have been observed since ancient times.

Comets have a wide range of orbital periods, ranging from a few years to hundreds of thousands of years. Short-period comets originate in the Kuiper belt, or its associated scattered disc,which lie beyond the orbit of Neptune. Longer-period comets are thought to originate in the Oort cloud, a hypothesized spherical cloud of icy bodies in the outer Solar System. Long-period comets plunge towards the Sun from the Oort cloud because of gravitational perturbations caused by either the massive outer planets of the Solar System (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune), or passing stars. Rare hyperbolic comets pass once through the inner Solar System before being thrown out into interstellar space along hyperbolic trajectories. Exocomets, comets beyond our solar system, have also been detected and may be common in the Milky Way Galaxy.


3. Meteors

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meteoroid is a sand- to boulder-sized particle of debris in the Solar System. The visible streak of light from a meteoroid, heated as it enters a planet’s atmosphere, and the glowing particles that it sheds in its wake is called a meteor, or colloquially a “shooting star” or “falling star”. Many meteors appearing seconds or minutes apart, and appearing to originate from the same fixed point in the sky, are called a meteor shower. The root word meteor comes from the Greek meteōros, meaning “suspended in the air”. Objects larger than several meters can explode in the air and create damage. If a meteoroid reaches the ground and survives impact, then it is called  a meteorite.


QUIZ time!!!

1. What is a solar system?

2. What are the components of a solar system?

3. On what planet do we live on?

4. What are the eight planets?

5. What are the other components of a solar system aside from planets and the sun?

Parts of a Plant

Posted: February 19, 2013 in Uncategorized






APEX/TIP- the pointed part of a leaf

BLADE-   the side structure that give shape to the leaf

PETIOLE-  stem that holds a leaf

STIPULE- In botany , stipule (Latin stipula: straw, stalk)

AXIL- the angle between the leaf and the stem (that the flower or a leaf may sprout)

VEIN-The veins are the vascular tissue of the leaf and are located in the spongy layer of the mesophyll

Nature Study Parts of a Flower


STIGMA – The stigma receives pollen atpollination and it is on the stigma that the pollen grain germinates. The stigma is adapted to catch and trap pollen with various hairs, flaps, or sculpturings

RECEPTACLE – the receptacle is the thickened part of a stem from which the flower organs grow.

STYLE – The style connects the stigma to the ovary. Styles are always tube-like — either long

PETAL – Petals are modified leaves that surround the reproductive parts of flowers. They are often brightly colored or unusually shaped to attractpollinators. Together, all of the petals of a flower are called a corolla. Petals are usually accompanied by another set of special leaves called sepals lying just beneath the corolla. When the petals and sepals of a flower look similar they are called tepal

OVULE –  means “small egg“. In seed plants, the ovule is the structure that gives rise to and contains the female reproductive cells

STALK  –Flower stalk, also known as Peduncle. it holds the flower



PRIMARY ROOT –  the main root of a plant

SECONDARY ROOT – it is attached to the primary root that branched out.

ROOT HAIRS –  the outgrowth of the root.

ROOT CAP -is a section of tissue at the tip of a plant root.



Thank you for reading ! 🙂

Types of Plants

Posted: February 19, 2013 in Uncategorized




Cactus plants are well adapted to hot and dry weather by storing water in their succulent stems. They are also known for their spines, for which they are famous.



Flowers are the reproductive part of angiosperms, also known as flowering plants.


Herbs are used for culinary, medicinal and spiritual uses. In cuisine, the leaves of the herb are normally the only part used. All parts of herbs are used in various medical or spiritual practices.



Usually under 6 m tall, shrubs and bushes are categorized as woody plants. Shrubs have multiple stems and many are covered with flowers of all shapes and sizes.



Trees are everywhere in the world. Trees are tall, large and some are very old. Trees are important in fighting soil erosion and responsible for the clean oxygen we breathe.



The term ‘vegetable‘ is not actually a scientific classification of a plant, but rather strictly a culinary term. Vegetables are parts of plants (flower buds, seeds, stems, fruits, etc) that are edible and used in culinary dishes.


States of Matter

Posted: February 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

Questions before you read this article:

1. What is matter?

2. What are the different states of matter?

3. What is the new state of matter?

Let’s find out!


                 Matter is generally considered to be a substance (often a particle) that has mass and (usually) also volume. The volume is determined by the three-dimensional space it occupies, while the mass is defined by the usual ways that mass is measured. Matter is also a general term for the substance of which all observable physical objects consist.

In short, matter is any thing that has mass and occupies space.


1. Solid

Solid is one of the states of matter that people learn about when they are in their childhood days.

Solids are dense states of matter that group large amounts of matter close together. This is what happens when water is frozen. The atoms that make ice from the water are arranged and packed more closely together. Solids are everywhere in our universe and are made from the simple atoms that have been around ever since the universe started. Solids can become liquid through the addition of energy such as heat. Some solids can become gas through a process called sublimation. The following are all examples of solid matter:


* sand

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*ice cube

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* coins



2. Liquid

Most liquid matter that people come in contact with are very fluid in motion. Some liquids are thick while others are loosely compacted. This is called viscosity. Liquids can be really slow moving like mud or really fast moving like water. Depending on whether gravity is acting on the liquid, the liquid usually fills a flat surface container in the container’s shape.

The following are all examples of liquid matter:



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A gas is a compressible fluid. Not only will a gas conform to the shape of its container but it will also expand to fill the container.

Gases are loosely packed atoms that are grouped randomly. They have moderately high energy and bounce around with ease. The cooling or compression of the atoms within a gas causes the gas atoms to get closer together. This can lead to the creation of liquids with the appropriate amount of pressure or loss of energy. Rapidly releasing the pressure in highly compressed gases can actually create solids without going through the liquid state phase. The following are all examples of gaseous matter:


*water vapor

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4. Plasma

Plasma is extremely high energymatter that is actually free electrons and ions of elements that bounce around at high speeds. Seeing naturally occurring plasma is very rare on planet earth. Plasma occurs at temperature of about 1o 000 to 10 000 000 degrees celsius.

Plasma is unique and does not occur often unless artificially created. Plasma’s high energy can make simple eerie glows or create heat that can melt through any physical element like a hot knife through butter. Plasma occurs naturally, but it is hard to get close enough to it to observe unless the observer knows where to look. Artificially created plasma is easier to observe but is not as spectacular as naturally occurring plasma. The following are examples of plasma matter that are observable:


* Star energy (solar flares)

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* neon lights

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* lightning

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5. Bose-Einstein Condensate

In 1924, Albert Einstein and Satyendra Nath Bose predicted the “Bose–Einstein condensate” (BEC), sometimes referred to as the fifth state of matter. In a BEC, matter stops behaving as independent particles, and collapses into a single quantum state that can be described with a single, uniform wavefunction.

A Bose-Einstein condensate is usually colder than solid when it is in liquid phase . And another thing is that it FLOWS UPWARD.


Phase transition of matter:

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1. What is matter in general?

2. What are the different types of matter?

3. Can you differentiate each of it?

4. Can you give additional examples of each type of matter?

5. What is the new state of matter? Explain.


Classification of Animals

Posted: January 21, 2013 in Uncategorized



1. Mammals

Mammals are vertebrates (back boned animals) that feed their young on mother’s milk. There are approximately  4,260 species of mammals.

Examples are dog, cat, mouse, whale, platypus, and even humans.

retriever puppies

2. Birds

Birds are animals that have feathers and that are born out of hard-shelled eggs.

Some people think that what makes an animal a bird is its wings.  Bats have wings.  Flies have wings.  Bats and flies are not birds.  So what makes an animal a bird?

The answer is feathers!

All birds have feathers and birds are the only animals that do.

Examples are ostrich, love birds, dove, and parrot.

A bird perching on an old wooden stump. It has mostly variegated red and orange plumage on its underside from its chin to its rump with a small area of white on its throat. It has black behind its eyes and blue on its wings and on the top of the head.

3. Fish

Fishes are vertebrates that live in water and have gills, scales and fins on their body.

Fishes are a class of aquatic vertebrates.  The combination of gills, fins and the fact that they live only in the water make fish different from all other animals.

4. Reptiles

Reptiles are a class of animal with scaly skin.  They are cold blooded and are born on land.

Snakes, lizards, crocodiles, alligators and turtles are examples of reptiles.

5. Amphibians

Amphibians are animals that lives both on water and land.

Amphibians are born in the water.  When they are born, they breath with gills like a fish.  But when they grow up, they develop lungs and can live on land.

Examples of amphibians are salamander and frog.

6. Anthropods

Anthropods are animals that have more than four, jointed legs.  Insects, spiders and crustaceans all belong to this class of animals.

Arthropods is a huge phylum of animals — it includes eleven animal classes:  Merostomata,  Pycnogonida, Arachnida, Remipedia, Cephalocarida, Branchiopoda, Maxillopoda, Malacostraca, Chilopoda, Diplopoda, and Insecta.


Zebra Butterfly


Thank you for reading!!!