How special are the circumstances that have allowed complex life, like animals and plants, to develop on Earth? In this activity students systematically investigate the time frame for complex life to develop on Earth.
The learner will:
Activity Page One has students interpret a graph that represents stellar lifetime vs. stellar mass on one axis and luminosity vs. stellar mass on the other in order to gain an understandng of the relationship between these three variables. Students will also reason about the minimum amount of time necessary for the development of complex life on a planet.
In Activity Page Two, students think critically about the effects of luminosity on the development of complex life. Students will estimate the maximum and minimum luminosity a star must have to support life on an orbiting planet.
Activity Page Three guides students in an estimate of the total number of main sequence stars that can support complex life.