of Contents

Lesson 1
Lesson 2
What is astronomy?
Lesson 3
How big is the universe?
Lesson 4
The origin of the universe
Lesson 5
Watching the sky
Lesson 6
Why did God create the heavenly bodies?
Lesson 7
Space exploration
Lesson 8
A Tour of the Solar System
Lesson 9
A Tour of the Solar System—The Sun and the Moon
Lesson 10
Stars and galaxies
Lesson 11
Cosmic Catastrophes
Lesson 12
Catastrophes in the Solar System
Lesson 13
Are there other planets in the Solar System?
Author: Dr. Jonathan Henry

For thousands of years, people have gazed at the night sky and the bright

morning and wondered, ‘What’s out there?’. Our universe is so vast and

awe-inspiring that to learn about it is to learn about ourselves. The

Astronomy Book will show you: 

What long-ago astronomers thought about other worlds

Solar system facts

How constellations relate to astrology

The history of space exploration

Whether black holes exist

The origin and age of the moon

Why Mars doesn’t support life

The composition of stars

Supernova remnants

The myth of star birth

Asteroid legends and the extinction of the dinosaurs

Whether planets outside our solar system could be home to intelligent life

What UFOs are

The age of comets and meteor showers

Hardcover. (Junior High–Adult) 80 pages.

The Astronomy Book
by Dr Jonathan Henry

Lesson 3

How big is the universe?


The Astronomy Book


pp. 8-12


Jeremiah 31:37


  1. What does a ‘light year’ measure?
  2. What is the maximum distance for detecting parallax?
  3. How do astronomers estimate distances for stars farther than 300 light-years?
  4. How far away are quasars?
  5. Make up a sentence using the first letter of each planet in order of its distance from the sun (see p. 12 for the list). This would be an easy way to remember the order!
  6. Why is Mars called ‘The Red Planet’?


Students should learn the facts found on pages 12-13.

Parents/teachers could make a board game out of these facts, allowing a certain number of squares for each question.* For instance, a question such as ‘What planet is closest to the Sun?’ could have two points, and the player would move two squares on the board.

Put each question (or fact) on a separate card—use 3x5 cards cut in 1 ½ inch strips. Some cards could have a ‘free pass’ for two squares written on them. Use your imagination. First to go around the board, wins.

To make the board: Cut a 12x12 inch square out of a piece of poster board, or cardboard box. Around the edge, mark off one-inch squares. You can have the student(s) color the squares various colors. Use five or six colors, and vary them. Have students draw something in the center that has to do with our solar system. Have fun!

*Suggested questions from the ‘facts’ pages:

  • How many galaxies are estimated to be in the universe?

  • Which planet is closest to the Sun?

  • Which planet is farthest from the Sun?

  • What is the average number of stars per galaxy?

Get the idea? Now, make up your own!