First, to get a little back story on the rather sensitive nature of this week’s astronomy lesson, click here for a link to our Hawaiian homeschool 6 years ago.
Abraham Lincoln once said that just because you call a sheep’s tail a leg that doesn’t mean the sheep has 5 legs. Even though many astronomers say Pluto doesn’t fit their newly revised definition of a planet doesn’t mean it isn’t one. I think Pluto should still be considered the 9th planet because it does fit the requirements of a planet. It orbits the sun, has 5 moons, and is round. Actually it is sometimes the 8th planet, not the 9th, because its orbit brings it closer to the sun than Neptune at some points. Even members of Nasa’s New Horizons team which flew by Pluto in 2015 think it should reclassified. They discovered mountains on Pluto as high as 11,00 feet and other features indicating geological change and complexity. Our classification systems have proven to be faulty in the past and maybe Pluto is an example of that (by Titus, age 15).
Neptune is the furthest planet from the sun, besides Pluto. It takes 164 earth years for it to orbit the sun. It is spinning the same direction as the earth except for it’s all wobbly as it goes. It is bright blue because it is made of methane. Neptune also has 2 rings made of dust particles. They are 33,000 and 39,000 miles away from Neptune. Neptune used to have a Great Dark Spot on it which was a storm as big as the whole earth but now its gone (by Nathan, age 11).
Neptune has 13 known moons, the largest of these is Triton. It is the coldest object that any spacecraft has ever visited. The average temperature on Triton is 400 degrees F below zero. It is also moving closer and closer to Neptune every day. These two facts make most astronomers think that Triton was not originally Neptune’s moon, but was probably pulled in by Neptune’s gravity. Another interesting thing about Triton is that it is full of geysers, which probably spew a mixture of chemicals instead of hot water (by Joel, age 13).
I’m adding this link to a flashback from our Hawaiian homeschool 6 years ago. In it, Titus (age 9 at the time) mentions that it rains diamonds on Neptune. When I reread this I was incredulous myself, wondering if I had let some misinformation slip into the blog. It turns out that after that particular post, more studies emerged to support this theory. You can read about it yourself in this Washington Post article .
First, another star-studded moonlit photo by Titus, this time of our place.
The boys have been watching with fascination the various countries this blog is visited by during the week. At last count, WordPress had tracked hits to Godmadeknown from 90 different countries! (If we added in the hits on our older sites wingedwisdom and fullmanger there would be well over 100 countries!) If you’ve never clicked on our page “Under the Same Sky,” check it out so you can read the list yourself, and even more importantly, so you can join us in praying for the gospel to go forth to each and every place. On that page I mention the book “Operation World” which lists every nation on earth alphabetically and gives a missions report for them all. This is the book we use to pray for the countries that have visited our blog and it has been hugely eye-opening for us. Even more than that it’s been heart-opening. Would you join us in prayer for these nations? Just check tomorrow’s post of our weekly scripture readings and at the bottom will be a list of the 3 or 4 countries that we’ll be praying for this next week.