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Planetary Science, First Edition

Space—the seemingly boundless vessel holding billions upon billions of swirling galaxies—is today's final frontier. Astronomers continue to be the pioneers who venture into this vast environment, creating the charts that will guide those of us ready to join the adventure. Students study the Earth as a celestial object before progressing to lunar science and lunar exploration, and then on to the Solar System. Activities explore the origin of the Moon, celestial motions, Moon phases, lunar geology, cratering processes, imaging technologies, scaling, and space exploration.

Investigation 1: Where Am I? familiarizes students with maps and images presented in a variety of different scales, while developing a sense of planet Earth as a tiny base from which to launch an inquiry into the vast reaches of the Solar System.
Investigation 2: Round Earth/Flat Earth provides access to several kinds of evidence that were used historically to induce that Earth is round. In the process students will be asked to think not only about what they know (Earth is round), but how they know it.
Investigation 3: Day and Night familiarizes students with the celestial geometry of day and night.They explore the celestial motion that result in the day/night cycle on Earth.
Investigation 4: Discover the Moon introduces students to the Moon as a dynamic celestial neighbor that has inspired awe and curiosity over the ages, and is worthy of inquiry and study.
Investigation 5: Moon Craters teaches that impact is one of the major processes that shapes and changes the surface of planets and satellites.
Investigation 6: In Mapping the Moon students become familiar with the location of some major features on the Moon and determine and appreciate the size of these features and the distances between them.
Investigation 7: Landing on the Moon integrates students' understanding of the celestial motions of Earth and the Moon with their knowledge of lunar geology, enabling them to plan a mission to the Moon.
Investigation 8: Moon Rocks gives students experience with rocks and minerals found on the Moon, compares Moon rocks to Earth rocks, and explores the question of Moon origin.
Investigation 9: Phases of the Moon helps students gain a better understanding of the motions of Earth and the Moon in relation to the Sun, which result in the phases of the Moon we observe on Earth.
Investigation 10: In Explore the Planets students "discover" other planets in our Solar System and use the Moon-inquiry skills to plan exploratory missions to the planets.