Mars for Earthlings > Lesson Modules > Missions Outside our Solar System

Missions Outside our Solar System

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Summary

This learning module is meant for adaptation into any course wishing to introduce students to planets outside Earth's solar system. Students will learn about the 'habitable zone' and apply techniques used to find planets outside our solar system.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:
  1. Identify and explain the "habitability zone"
  2. Explain and apply the planet transit technique of detecting planets outside our solar system in the Kepler Mission.
  3. Utilize software programs such as Planet Hunters and the Kepler Exoplanet Transit Hunt sponsored/created by NASA missions.

Context for Use

This learning module can be used in any course of instruction where instructors would like to introduce students to planets outside our solar system and the concept of the habitability zone.

Description and Teaching Materials

Compiled In-Class Activities and Homework

In-Class Activity

Homework/Lab

Teaching Notes and Tips

Assessment

Methods of assessment are within each individual In-Class Activity and Homework.

References and Resources

  1. Kepler Exoplanet Transit Hunt computer interaction: http://kepler.nasa.gov/multimedia/Interactives/keplerFlashAdvDiscovery/#
  2. Orrery suggestions for building: http://kepler.nasa.gov/education/ModelsandSimulations/LegoOrrery/
  3. Planet Hunters: http://www.planethunters.org/?lang=en