Student Internet investigation that explores the dwarf planet Pluto, asteroids and comets. The activity is divided into three parts. Part one gives students a good overview of Pluto's known physical characteristics including moons and the current New Horizon's spacecraft mission. Part one also discusses why Pluto was reclassified as a dwarf planet in 2006. Part two and three explores the origins and characteristics of asteroids and comets. The latest links containing images and data are presented as well for these topics. I use this computer lab activity for my astronomy class as part of the Unit V "The Outer Planets" review but it can also be used at an 8th grade level Earth/Space web quest. (Some students will finish the activity within one class period but generally it will take about an hour to complete.)
Topics/terms in this activity include:
Pluto, Charon, Nix, Hydra, Kerberos, Styx, dwarf planet, surface features, rings, icy/rocky composition, Clyde Tombaugh, 9th planet, elliptical orbit, orbital period, Trans-Neptunian Objects (TBO's), Kuiper Belt Objects (KBO's), asteroids, asteroid belt, Ceres, asteroid impacts, dinosaur extinction, comets, comet composition, comet structure, nucleus, coma, tail, Oort Cloud, long and short period comets, Comet Swift-Tuttle, Perseid Meteor Shower, Comet ISON, JUNO, New Horizons
Astronomy Internet Activity "Pluto, Asteroids & Comets"
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License