Life Beyond the Solar System
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Astrobiology presents young thinkers with intriguing questions about the universe, like, is there life beyond Earth? To date, there is no definitive proof that life does—or has ever—existed beyond Earth, but astrobiologists continue to investigate. Recent discoveries about life forms in extreme environments and about our solar system have renewed scientists' interest in looking for life elsewhere.
In this NOVA video, students learn how life develops in space, and how the Hubble Space Telescope is being used to find dense disks of dust and gas particles forming around new stars like the Sun. These gas and dust particles may one day collide and clump together to form new planets and moons in a process similar to how the planets in our solar system could have formed. The activities in the accompanying Education Collection help students explore topics related to the search for extraterrestrial life using some of the same strategies that astrobiologists use.