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The planets and the universe

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The planets and the universe There are nine planets in the solar system. Together with comets and other space debris, such as the asteroid belt, these bodies make up the solar system. All these bodies are held in orbit around the sun by gravity. The planets are mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, and Pluto. These are in order from their distance from the Sun. The biggest planet is the gas giant Jupiter as it is manly gas and has no solid surface. Jupiter has a diameter of 142 800 km and a mass of 1.9 x 10' the smallest is the ice planet Pluto. Moons are natural satellites. The Earth and some of the other planets have one or more moons. There are also artificial satellites these are man-made they are placed in orbit around earth to transmit radio signals around the planet or to study what is happening on the Earth. The sun was formed from a large blob at the center of a cloud. ...read more.


When all the nuclear reactions are over a small star, like our sun, may begin to contract under the pull of gravity. The star then becomes a white Dwarf, which fades and changes colour as it cools. A large star with a lot of mass will go on making nuclear reactions, getting hotter and expanding until it explodes as a supernova. An exploding supernova throws hot gas and dust into space, leaving a neutron star, which eventually shrinks, to a black hole. A black hole is a neutron star, which collapse under its own gravity. Nothing can resist the pull. Even light cannot escape. The expanding universe Light waves we receive from distant galaxies are 'stretched out'-their wavelengths are longer. This is called the Doppler effect. Scientists think that it occurs because the galaxies seem to be rushing apart at high speeds. We are living in an expanding universe. Scientists have used radio telescopes to pick up background microwave radiation from every direction in space. Scientists believe it may be an echo from the big bang. ...read more.


Scientists believe that the solar system was formed about 4500 million years ago in a huge cloud of gas and dust called Nebula. Slowly gravity pulled the material into blobs. One blob in the center grew very large and hot as more and more material crashed into. Around it, smaller blobs orbited, growing bigger as they swept up most of the remaining material in the cloud. Worlds with no atmosphere, like our moon, still show the large craters made in the later stages of this process. Comets are chunks of 'dirty ice' a few kilometres across. Comets go around the sun like planets but their orbits are much more elliptical. Comets spend much of their time too far away from the sun to be seen. They are thought to be made from frozen ice and rock. When they get close to the sun some of the solids turns into gas, forming a 'tail' which points away from the sun. Occasionally, they can crash into planets and moons and make craters. Meteorites are probably parts of asteroids that have broken up. The iron meteorites came from the center of these objects, and the stony meteorites came from their outer parts. Written by Rachel ...read more.

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In this the candidate explains the composition of the universe. The candidate responds to the topic to a very high level explaining many of the concepts of the universe in a concise level showing good scientific detail through their ...

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Response to the question

In this the candidate explains the composition of the universe. The candidate responds to the topic to a very high level explaining many of the concepts of the universe in a concise level showing good scientific detail through their writing. The candidate defines the different concepts of the universe well.

Level of analysis

The candidate explains nuclear fusion in very simplistic terms and not to a high degree of accuracy. To communicate with their reader better the candidate should use solid scientific facts reported concisely so that the reader can understand the terminology. The candidate explains how stars form very well with accurate diagrams to explain each stage with good examples that readers can relate to. Meteorites and comets are explained well, and the expanding universe is as well for a GCSE candidate showing good research and understanding of this topic.

Quality of writing

The candidate mentions jupiter twice in her size list, when the second one should be the planet Uranus. Minor spelling mistakes. Otherwise spelling, grammar and punctuation are fine. The text layout is good with relevant sub-headings and paragraphing.

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