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Hold your hands at various distances from an unshaded light
bulb. (DUH Don't touch the bulb. DUH) You will find that
your hands feel warmer when close to the light bulb and
cooler when further away. Make an analogy between the bulb
and the sun and the hand and planets.

Now research the temperatures of the planets and list them in order of their average temperatures. You will find that the listing coincides with the order of the planets in terms of distance from the sun; thus you can begin to realize that the temperature pattern is analogous to the relationship of your hands to the bulb.

Research the distances from the planets to the sun and add
this information to your listing. If the average temper-
atures of planets are transferred to a bar graph, you can
easily note some interesting relationships. For example,
the temperature of Mercury (the planet closest to the sun) is significantly higher than that of other planets, and there is a great jump in temperature between Mars and Jupiter (with a corresponding increase in the distance from the sun at this point).

Because of the great distance between Mars and Jupiter, the
first four planets are called the inner planets, while the
others are called the outer planets.

You might be interested in reading about the asteroids found between Mars and Jupiter. And then again, you might not. I think it's pretty interesting. An asteroid, says the CCE, is "a small, usually irregularly shaped body orbiting the sun, most often at least partially between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Ceres * is the largest asteroid (diameter is 470 miles) and was the first discovered....Asteroids may be fragments of a planet shattered in the remote past; material that failed to condense into a single planet; or material from the nuclei of old comets....The Apollo asteroids cross the earth's orbit; they may be the cause of the earth's several meteorite craters and are a possible location for future mining." There are more than 2,000 known asteroids, most of them having been discovered by photograph.

* Ceres is the Roman goddess of grain.


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