[For homeschool, we started both science and history with a series of videos called Origins, which dealt with the origins of the universe, of our planet, and of life on Earth. The series was produced by Nova, and was narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson. I highly recommend it. There are four videos in the series, and we watched three of them for homeschool: videos number four, one and two, in that order. The third video dealt with the search for extraterrestrial life, and we didn’t watch that one until later, and then only because I wanted to, not for any curricular purpose. I put together the following list of ideas that I wanted my daughters to remember about the Big Bang, and added a few astronomical definitions for good measure.]
The Big Bang was a giant explosion that most scientists believe occurred at the beginning of the universe.
Scientists believe that the Big Bang happened about 13.7 billion years ago.
Two of the reasons that scientists believe that the Big Bang occurred are:
- The presence of background microwave radiation that is thought to be left over from the Big Bang.
- Galaxies appear to be moving farther apart, indicating that they were once closer together.
A star is a giant ball of light-emitting plasma held together by gravity.
A galaxy is a group of millions or billions of stars held together by gravity.
A nebula is a large cloud of dust and gas in outer space.