Use your best judgment to match the
following words with their definitions.
Rocky objects orbiting the sun
that are too small to be planets. Their size can range from 10 meters in
diameter to 933 kilometers in diameter. Many are not spherical. Most are
found in the Asteroid Belt, located between Mars and Jupiter.
Chunks of frozen gases, ice,
dust, and rocky debris usually with a nucleus between 1-10 kilometers in
diameter surrounded by a gas cloud. They revolve around the sun in highly
elliptical orbits. A comet's tail is made of gas and dust that has been
driven off its surface by the sun's energy.
A sand- to boulder-sized
fragment of solid matter that drifts through the solar system rather than
traveling in a regular orbit around the sun.
When a meteoroid enters Earth's
(or any celestial body's) atmosphere, it heats up and partially or
completely vaporizes. The vapor trail of the disintegrating meteoroid
glows. This trail of glowing vapor is called a meteor, also commonly known
as a shooting star.
The solid portion of a meteor
that survives the journey through the atmosphere and reaches the
A natural satellite orbiting a
planet. Moons are smaller than the planets they orbit. Our moon is thought
to have formed from the rocky debris ejected when an object the size of
Mars collided with Earth. Gravity eventually aggregated the debris into our
moon. Some moons are thought to be asteroids captured by planets.
The International Astronomical
Union recently set out three criteria for a celestial body to be called a
planet: (1) it must orbit the sun; (2) it must have pulled itself into a
spherical shape by its own gravity; and (3) it must have cleared other
things out of the way in its orbital neighborhood. By this definition,
Pluto, Xena, and Ceres are not planets. Pluto and Xena orbit among the icy
bodies in the Kuiper Belt. Ceres orbits among asteroids in the asteroid
On the back of this page create a concept map that links all of these
concepts together. Place each term in a box or circle and draw arrows between
related terms. Label each arrow with the verb that links the two terms.