In order to encourage interest in the search of habitable planets in our galaxy and beyond, the students will be split up into different groups that will make their own planets in solar systems that have different types of stars. In making their planets, they will have to consider the effect of the star type (thinking about the color of the light and heat), the tilt of the axis, the number of moons, and the geography of the planet. When completed, they will then compare planets in the solar system and choose which planet is most likely to support human life. If there is enough time, then the most habitable planets of each solar system will be compared and the most likely to support life will be chosen by instructors and students. Students will be able to take their planets with them after the activity.
- Introduction to stellar astronomy
- Introduction to extrasolar planets and planetary science
- Environmental effects on evolution
- Habitable Zones