STUDENT INSTRUCTION AND ANSWER SHEET
Activity 4: Concept Application- Who Can Live Here?
Obtain a handout from your teacher that describes an extreme environment found in our Solar System. Read the description and answer the following questions.
A. Clearly we do not have all the information that we need to fully understand the environment described in the handout. What question would you want to answer about this environment if you could send a single lander or orbiter to the planet or moon and perform just one test? Explain your reasoning.
C. What changes in the atmosphere or surface would most strongly increase the chance for life to exist on the planet or moon that your read about?
E. Recently many Jupiter-sized planets have been discovered orbiting other stars within the galaxy. Some of these planets are close enough to their companion stars that the planet's average temperature could be high enough for the presence of liquid water. However, since these planets are gas giants it is unlikely that life would have developed on these planets. Why, then, are these discoveries so important to our search for life beyond Earth?