Overview: Hunt for life on other worlds

of "Tales of … The hunt for life on other worlds"
Tales of … The hunt for life on other worlds explains how scientists used spectroscopy to detect methane on a Jupiter-sized planet that orbits close to its parent star. The planet is unlikely to harbor life as we know it because the temperature is hot enough to melt silver. The discovery is significant because scientists may be able to use this method to study planets that are more likely to harbor life.
Format(s) available: Printer-friendly web page
Grades: 9-12, but the material can be adapted for use in other grades at the teacher's discretion
How to use it in the classroom

Teachers can use Tales of … The hunt for life on other worlds as:

A content reading selection. Teachers should discuss the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary prior to having students read this selection.

An engagement activity. Have students read the selection. Ask them to describe how scientists discovered methane on the planet.

An inquiry tool. Propose a question, such as "Do you think life exists on other planets?" Have students read the selection and write down as many questions as they can about the information in the text.

A source of information. Students can describe how scientists are looking for life on other planets.

Related materials

Press release: "Hubble Finds First Organic Molecule on an Exoplanet"

Overview: Hunt for life on other worlds