The Oort Cloud

What lies beyond our solar system? Share an interesting video describing the Oort Cloud with astronomy scholars to find out! The narrator explains that this far-flung region, along with the scattered disk and Kuiper belt, is the birthplace of the comets we see from Earth. The resource includes a discussion of Pluto, whose status as a planet was changed to Kuiper Belt object through the collaboration of many astronomers.

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Instructional Ideas

  • Have the class create a diagram that illustrates the inner planets, outer planets, Kuiper belt, scattered disk, and Oort Cloud to prevent confusion of these regions
  • Use the video to introduce learners to what lies just beyond our solar system
Classroom Considerations

  • Some prior knowledge of the outer planets and the characteristics of comets is helpful for viewing the resource
Pros

  • The content works for both middle and high school learners
  • Careful scripting supplies plenty of information to combat common misconceptions about what lies beyond our solar system
Cons

  • None