Cosmic Collisions





23 minutes

Grade Level

Elementary / High School

Age Range

10+ years


galaxy, origin of the moon, stars



From subatomic particles to the largest galaxies, cosmic collisions are a universal force of nature. Creative and destructive, dynamic and dazzling, collisions have resulted in many things we take for granted — the glowing moon, the sun's warmth and light, our changing seasons and waves washing up on a sandy shore. They've ended the age of the dinosaurs and changed the very map of the cosmos, reforming galaxies and giving birth to new stars and new worlds. "Cosmic Collisions" provides an unprecedented and extraordinary view of these catastrophic and constructive events that have shaped our world and our universe.

Teaching Guides

Suggested Reading List

Beyond the Solar System: Exploring Galaxies, Black Holes, Alien Planets and More – Mary Kay Carson

In "Beyond the Solar System," author Mary Kay Carson traces the evolution of humankind's astronomical knowledge from the realization we are not at the center of the universe to recent telescopic proof of planets orbiting stars outside our solar system.


Collision Course!: Cosmic Impacts and Life On Earth – Fred Bortz

Take a look at asteroids, comets, meters and more.


Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (DVD)

Hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, this 13-part television production presents the gambit of scientific concepts, introduces important scientific figures and discusses the physical history of our world as we know it.


Galaxy: Mapping the Cosmos – James Geach

This book discusses the state-of-the-art science involved in mapping the universe. Geach chronicles when scientists first proved the existence of other galaxies and tracks our continued improvement in the ability to collect and interpret the light stars in faraway galaxies have emitted through space and time.


Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution – Neil deGrasse Tyson

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson takes readers on a journey to the beginning of the universe.


The Solar System – Mike Goldsmith

Learn fun facts about the sun and planets of the solar system, asteroids, meteoroids and comets.


The Solar System – Rosalind Mist

Rocket into space and discover everything you need to know about the solar system! Explore the planets and other space objects that orbit our star. Learn about the earliest discoveries and the latest missions into space. Meet some of the greatest astronomers and scientists in the world.


Stars and the Dust From Space – Raman Prinja

Up in the dark depths of space, the stars have a life of their own. Discover how stars are born, how they keep burning and what happens when they burn out.


Traveler’s Guide To the Planets (DVD)

Take off beyond Earth's boundaries for the ultimate tour of our solar system. From Mars' monstrous mountains to Saturn's glittering rings, the sights are out of this world. Each hour offers breathtaking tours of the planets using modern-day high-tech telescopes and stunning CGI.


The Universe (DVD)

This History Channel DVD takes you on a tour of space.