Surfing the Net with Kids: Asteroids

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Surfing the Net with Kids: Asteroids

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Surfing the Net with Kids


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April 22, 2001

Dear Reader,

Welcome back. In celebration of Earth Day, Surfnetkids
offers the following site reviews and online games:
Earth Day,
Ecology Games,
Endangered Animals, and
Acid Rain.

And, just in time for Astronomy Week, today’s Asteroids topic is accompanied by the following games:

Asteroid Word Search
Asteroids Arcade Game
Stroids Arcade Game
Space Crossword

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When I began research for this week’s topic, my first quest was learning the difference between an asteroid and a comet. Here’s what I discovered. Comets (dirty snowballs) are primarily composed of ice and dust. As they near the sun, the heat melts the comet’s ices and releases the dust particles we view as the comet’s tail. Asteroids (minor planets) are large rocks ranging in size from a few feet to several hundred miles across. Ready to learn more?

Asteroid Introduction


Asteroids that are on a collision course with Earth are called meteoroids. When a meteoroid strikes our atmosphere at high velocity, friction causes this chunk of space matter to incinerate in a streak of light known as a meteor. If the meteoroid does not burn up completely, what’s left strikes Earth’s surface and is called a meteorite.”

Asteroid Science


“Quick quiz: How many planets orbit our Sun? If you said nine, you’re shy by several thousand. Scientists consider asteroids to be minor planets – some are hundreds of miles wide (and seldom round).” In addition to a great introduction, best clicks here are the explanation of the Torino scale (“Used to categorize the threat of asteroids, the Torino Scale is similar to the familiar ‘Richter Scale’ of earthquake measurement.”) and the Asteroid News Zone.



In the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars, there are twenty-six asteroids larger than 124 miles in diameter, traveling along with hundreds of thousands of smaller asteroids. This page, created by amateur astronomer Bill Arnett, nicely catalogs what is known (and unknown) about these minor planets. Links to great NASA photographs are at the bottom of the page.

Asteroids: Deadly Impact


WITH LEVEL 4 SECURITY CLEARANCE.” Are you ready for your assignment as an investigator with the Department of Extraterrestrial Phenomena? In order to solve the four real-life impact incidents in this National Geographic simulation, you’ll need to know a bit of asteroid science and history.

Great Balls of Fire


Tom Gehrels works the graveyard shift at an observatory in southern Arizona, searching for what he estimates are “1,700 potential Earth-killers in outer space. At this point only a small percentage of these rogue asteroids have been found by skywatchers such as himself (together with teammates he has identified 160 so far).” Learn about the possibility of a catastrophic asteroid impact at this site, and don’t miss the interactive quiz titled “Launch a Fireball.”

Surfing the Calendar

Endangered Species for Earth Day
Apr 22, 2001
Astronomy Week
Apr 23, 2001
Shakespeare’s Birthday
Apr 23, 1564
World Penguin Day
Apr 25, 2001

More Calendar

Related Book
(in association with

Comets, Meteors and Asteroids

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Copyright © 2001 Barbara J. Feldman

Surfing the Net with Kids

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