An ICAN EduToSpace Learning Initiative
The discovery of a super-Earth-sized planet orbiting a sun-like star brings us closer than ever to finding a twin of our own watery world. But NASA’s Kepler space telescope has captured evidence of other potentially habitable planets amid the sea of stars in the Milky Way galaxy.
To take a brief tour of the more prominent contenders, it helps to zero in on the “habitable zone” around their stars. This is the band of congenial temperatures for planetary orbits -- not too close and not too far. Too close and the planet is fried (we’re looking at you, Venus). Too far and it’s in deep freeze. But settle comfortably into the habitable zone, and your planet could have liquid water on its surface -- just right. Goldilocks has never been more relevant. Scientists have, in fact, taken to calling this water-friendly region the “Goldilocks zone.”
The Goldilocks Zone refers to the habitable zone around a star where the temperature is just right - not too hot and not too cold - for liquid water to exist on a planet.
What is the GOLDILOCKS ZONE?
The zone can be a wide band or a narrow one, and nearer the star or farther, depending on the star’s size and energy output. For small, red-dwarf stars, habitable zone planets might gather close, like marshmallow-roasting campers around the fire. For gigantic, hot stars, the band must retreat to a safer distance.
About a dozen habitable zone planets in the Earth-size ballpark have been discovered so far -- that is, 10 to 15 planets between one-half and twice the diameter of Earth, depending on how the habitable zone is defined and allowing for uncertainties about some of the planetary sizes.
Twenty years ago, the first exoplanet discovered around a sun-like star, 51 Pegasi b, made us question what we knew about our universe and launched the search for new worlds. This is the story of the pioneers in planet-hunting and how those who have followed are closer to answering one of humanity’s most ancient questions: Is there life elsewhere in the universe?
Here at ICAN, we strive to allow students to become scientists of their own by knowing how to find habitable planets like Earth. We are preparing them with the foundation they needed to become researchers and astronomers in their own right!
How to Find a Habitable Planet
The amazing science behind the search for Earth-like planets.
James Kasting has worked closely with NASA in its mission to detect habitable worlds outside our solar system, and in this book he introduces readers to the advanced methodologies being used in this extraordinary quest. He addresses the compelling questions that planetary scientists grapple with today: What exactly makes a planet habitable?
This book is a must-read for anyone who has ever dreamed of finding other planets like ours—and perhaps even life like ours—in the cosmos. In a new afterword, Kasting presents some recent breakthroughs in the search for exoplanets and discusses the challenges facing space programs in the near future.
ICAN Programs that contribute to this agenda are the following:
- Speech power
A well-spoken student can deliver his or her research to the teachers and mentors well. A good speech power can go a long way in doing this!
- Science Trilogy
- Math to Mars
- 3D Printer and Design
These programs can accentuate the students knowledge in science and technology. Having learned these can give the student an edge in mastering his or her scientific skills.
ICAN Learning Tech
- Memory Palace
Students who can master the tech skills mentioned above can retain knowledge effectively. They will be able to absorb as much information on the materials we can provide in finding a new Earth.
Like many science arguments, students who are to discover new planets like Earth should be able to articulate themselves well. They should be able to defend their discovery and speak with confidence.