The Solar System
This section provides information and links for a general and in-depth look at our solar system. It explains what actually defines a solar system and that ours is not the only one in the universe. The solar System consists of eight main planets that all orbit one star which is known as the sun. The majority of the mass or 99% of it is in our sun. our planet Earth is located in the solar system. Our Solar System is in the milky way galaxy that contains around 200 billion stars.

edited by: Ricardo Medina fall 2011

Solar System by: National Geographic
Date read: December 6, 2011

This site is intended for a general audience. It would also appeal to students for instant solar system information. This website gives the main points of the solar system with a through all knowledge of it. It gives an image with the eight planets, space junk, and asteroids that are part of our solar system. The image gives further information about the planets, asteroids, and space junk by clicking on them. The picture breaks the eight planets into two groups, the inner solar system and the outer solar system. Gives information about the moons in our solar system and traits most of out planets have in common.

The Solar System exploration by: NASA
Date read: December 6,2011

I have found this website fascinating and helpful. The site is made for any audience and has an option for kids where they have constructed puzzles, games, and trivia questions for them. Also has an option that gives background information about the people who contributed to exploring our solar system and their discoveries. Has information about news, events and projects that's occurring in our solar system. This site gives a profound explanation of the space probes that have been sent on missions to explore the solar system and future ones that will take place. Gives pictures of the space probes and their discoveries. It lets you explore our solar system and what it contains in 3D. This website is up to date and is administrated by NASA which is where all the test and information come from.

The Solar System by: The Star Child team
Date read: December 6, 2011

This website is designed for kids. Its very easy to explore and manage. Gives the basic explanation of our solar system. Tells the reader information about dwarf planets and introduces the information about Pluto being excluded from being a planet. Also gives details of what out Solar System main orbit is and how old our Solar System is. It gives games and activities for children to help them memorize the information. It also gives you the option to direct you to another site for an older crowed. Website is up to date and great for kids.

An Overview of the Solar System by: Nine Planets
Date read: December 6, 2011

This is a great link for general audience. Gives great information about the solar system by showing pictures of the inner solar system and what it contains and the outer solar system. This website also explains to us the shape of the planets orbit. It mentions the sizes of the planets with great analogies to help understand them better. Also describes comets and how they're small and dense and orbit the sun along with comets which are icy and with a high eccentric orbit. It describes the planets by size, composition, position and history.

The Solar System by: Fraser Cain
Date read: December 6, 2011

This website is made for an audience of students from high school. It does a good job about stating the basics of our solar system like the eight planets its main orbit and the orbits shape. has more links towards the bottom answering questions about the solar system and stating more facts. It informs that our solar system is located in the milky galaxy that has about 200 billion starts. gives interesting facts like the influence of our solar system reaches almost 2 light years which is half way to the nearest star. has great topis and facts and it's up to date.

A Tour of our Solar System by: no author
date read: December 6, 2011
A tour of our Solar System informs us about whats inside our solar system . its states that we have 140 moons and eight planets. it states famous scientist and astronomers that made big discoveries in our solar system and planet discoveries as well. gives a virtual tour of the solar system and a profound explanation of it during the tour. great site to actually see what our Solar System looks like. its great for general audience good for teenagers because it has a virtual tour that helps understand the information given. website is reliable and its up to date.

Windows to the Universe: Our Solar System by Randy Russell
December 6, 2007

This website seems more directed at young students in junior high, but it also seems good for teachers.
I think this is an okay website to use for younger students. It is a little juvenile in a sense that the information is presented in more of a game-like fashion. There is a solar system coloring book. It seems a little commercial as well. There is a lot of information and it is accurate, but they haven’t yet updated that Pluto is not a planet. On the top of the homepage, there are three options to put the site to beginner, intermediate, or advanced. I was not quite sure what that did because when I chose each one, all it did was change the font. I think that this site offers great information for younger students who need to practice learning the planets and familiarizing themselves with basic knowledge of our solar system.

Astronomy 161: The Solar System
Date read: December 7, 2007

This one is more directed toward grown, educated people with a basic understanding of the solar system.
The site is bare bones and a strict information website. The homepage is just a large table of contents, which are then directed to the specifics of the site. I think this site was created by a college professor or class because it’s title is Astronomy 161. All of the planets and body masses are described in extreme detail from the Earth’s plate tectonics to the moon’s intrinsic and orbital properties to each planet and their properties. The reader would need to know general mathematics to understand some of the concepts like Newton’s Laws, timekeeping, and learning the celestial coordinate system. This is actually a really good site for college students and those wanting to know more about astronomy in general.
This site very professional and does not have any glossed over topics about the solar system. It provides great, detailed descriptions of what the solar system consists of and discusses the deepness of the solar system and not just the eight planets. There is more information on the concepts of the solar system, and not just basic facts.

A Scale Model of the Solar System by Troy Brophy
December 7, 2007

This site is meant for any audience.
This has probably been the most interesting site that I have found. It is a fully scaled down version of the eight planets and Pluto. The page is 6 million pixels wide and each pixel represents 1000 km. The planets move across the screen starting from the sun until it reaches Pluto at the end. It really puts the solar system’s vastness in perspective. It takes almost ten minutes to scroll across the entire screen. There is not any real information about the solar system other than the visuals of where the planets are, but it is a mind-blowing site to see. I think that the only real math someone needs to understand is how far a kilometer is. Each planet is drawn to scale really well. When you locate earth, it is evident that it takes 330,000 earths to fit inside the sun. This site has good value for comprehending scales and models and really shows how big “space” is.

Page edited by: Denise Cox

Reviewed: 10/31/07
Author: Kidsastronomy.com
Astronomy for kids
URL: http://www.kidsastronomy.com/solar_system.htm
Audience: Children and teachers

Though Kids Astronomy.com is intended for kids, it is a wonderful site for people of all ages. This website is colorful, easy to understand, provides educational games and uses multimedia simulators effectively to engage all visitors whether young or old. I enjoyed looking at the pictures of planets and learned valuable information from the various “Did you know?” sections scattered throughout the site. On my next visit to Kids Astronomy.com, I plan to go to “Make-A-Solar System” to build my own solar system. Click on the link above to enjoy your own solar system experience or build a solar system you can call your own.

Reviewed: 10/31/07
Author: Calvin J. Hamilton
Views of the Solar System
URL: http://www.solarviews.com/eng/homepage.htm
Audience: General public

Solarviews offers its website visitors valuable information concerning the solar system. Solarviews is so jam packed with interesting information that it is easy to lose track of time while surfing through the various hyperlinks. The web pages are well organized and offers lesson plans and activities for educators to use and contains fun student resources as well as. It includes the Big Bang theory and is very careful to state that there aren’t answers to all the questions which astronomers would like to have answered. The site’s images on the “What’s New” page are very interesting and allow the visitor to view archival photos taken each year since 1999. From this website, I personally learned that Japan also has had space missions and learned about the Apollo 13 accident. I recommend this website to anyone interested in learning about our solor system, various space explorations missions and detailed information about each planet.

Reviewed: 11/3/07
Author: Bill Arnett
URL: http://www.nineplanets.org
Audience: General public

Nineplanets is perfect for the visitor who wants to gain a quick but thorough layman’s understanding of the solar system. The website is plain but very informative and contains numerous outside links for the reader to use if he/she wants further information on a topic. The website was last updated in late 2005 but notes there are eight planets plus Pluto which is in line with the International Astronomical Union’s decision that Pluto does not fit the definition of a planet. There is a section on several past space exploration missions, if that piques your interest. I was personally impressed that Nineplanets had a glossary of terms that also included the names a few people who had an impact on the development of astronomy. I encourage adults to explore the Nineplanets.

Reviewed: 11/11/07
Author: Mike Asbury
URL: http://janus.astro.umd.edu/AW/awtools.html
Audience: General public

I recommend this website for teenagers and adults. This site is wonderful for the individual who likes to use interactive media to learn about a subject. For instance, have you ever wondered what would happen if a rogue star entered our solar system? Then visit the “Explore the possibilities” section. Want to know what the orbits of other solar systems look like? Visit the “Solar System Viewers” section. This website is sprinkled with sections such as these that quickly engaged the visitor.

Reviewed: 11/30/07
Author: Randy Russell (last modification)
URL: www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/our_solar_system/planets.html
Audience: Children, teachers and general public

Astronomy has some basis in mythology which is how many of the planets of our solar system were named. The individual who is also interested in the mythological aspects of astronomy would greatly enjoy this website. The site is attractive and breaks down the information in straight forward but simple to understand sections. You will find a section just for kids and another for teachers. Furthermore, you can learn about the many people who have been instrumental in the development of modern day astronomy. This is the most current website I have evaluated since it had been updated just the day before my evaluation. The site is also linked to the educational institution University of Michigan.

Editor: Mollie Murillo
Date Edited: 11/29/09
Website: http://nasascience.nasa.gov/kids/kids-solar-system
Audience: Children

The Solar System Fun page on the NASA website is generally directed towards children of the elementary audience. It starts off with a brief introduction on ancient astronomy and transcends into paragraphs about statistical references that may intrigue young readers. I also like that the author includes clear definitions within the paragraphs. Another enjoyable aspect is that the site includes Games and activities at the bottom of the page like building a world on Mars and driving a rover. The site also holds educational activities like watching movies of the solar system and comparing the mass of planets.