Mezzanine - Meteorites and the Solar System

Self-Guided Resources for
Manchester Museum
Meteorites and the Solar System – KS4
(Booking Essential)
This activity enables your students to find out more about meteorite and uses their
numeracy skills to explore the solar system distances involved.
The mezzanine level above the Fossils and the Rocks and Minerals gallery contains an
impressive selection of meteorites and a scale model of the solar system. In this space,
students can use their numeracy skills, along with the specimens and the information
provided to explore the solar system.
Print out the attached resource and bring it with you to the Museum to complete this 30
minute activity. This activity can be used in combination with the resources for the Rock
and Minerals gallery.
Below is a suggested plan to use this activity in the gallery:
1. Once on the mezzanine level with your students, line them up and allow them to
observe the scale model of the solar system. Ask them some questions relating to
the names of the planets and how we know about them? Allow 5 minutes for this.
2. Split them into two groups and hand out the worksheet attached. One half of the
group starts on part 1, the other on part 2. Allow 8 minutes per section.
3. Once they have finished their respective questions, swap over with them completing
the other half of the worksheet.
4. If time allows, encourage students to share their answers and workings.
The answers to part 2 Q1-5 are below:
1. 300,000 km/s
2. 149,600,000 km
3. 149,600,000/300,000 = 498.67 seconds /60 =8.31 minutes
4. 778,330,000 – 149,600,000 = 628,730,000 km
5. 5,913,520,000-149,600,000 = 5,763,920,000 km
6. 5,913,520,000 / 300,000 = 19,711.733 seconds = 328.5 minutes = 5.4 hours
Equipment required:
 Worksheet attached
 Pencil
 Calculators
 Clipboards
Have you remembered to book your Self Programmed activities with our Bookings Officer on 0161 275 2630? You can
also request to use our lunch room for your group. Risk Assessments are available on the website. Also, please check
for any suggested materials that you may need to bring with you on the day.
Meteorites and the Solar
Part 1
Look at the display case containing meteorites, and answer the
following questions:
1. Where do meteorites come from?
2. What happens when meteorites hit Earth?
3. When were meteorites formed? i.e. how old are they?
4. Name some chemical elements that are found in meteorites.
Part 2
Observe the model of the solar system hanging from the ceiling, the
distances from the sun on the wall of each of the planets and the
information on the panel next to you. You will probably need a
calculator to help you with these questions!
1. What is the speed of light?
2. How far is the sun from the Earth?
3. How long does it take for light to travel from the sun to Earth
(in seconds and minutes)?
4. What is the distance (in Km’s) from the Earth to Jupiter?
5. What is the distance (in Km’s) from Pluto to Earth?
6. How long does it take for light to travel from the sun to Pluto?