Astrobiology Learning Progressions

PurposeBackground and introduction to the Astrobiology Learning ProgressionsExplore Section
How to UseHow to use this resource to best communicate astrobiology conceptsExplore Section
Organization and StructureList of Core Learning Questions and Sub-QuestionsExplore Section
Hands-On Learning ResourcesUnder development

Organization and Structure

List of Core Learning Questions and Sub-Questions

  1. How did matter come together to make planets and life in the first place?
    • 1.1: Are we really made of star stuff?
    • 1.2: How did our Solar System form?
  2. How did Earth become a planet on which life could develop?
    • 2.1: What was the Earth like right after it formed?
    • 2.2: How was the Sun different when it formed compared to now?
    • 2.3: Where could life have gotten started on Earth?
  3. What is life?
    • 3.1: What are the characteristics of life?
    • 3.2: What does life need for survival?
    • 3.3: What determines if a planet can have life?
    • 3.4: Why is water so important for life as we know it?
    • 3.5: How can we tell if something is alive or not?
  4. How did life on Earth originate?
    • 4.1: Where do life’s building blocks come from?
    • 4.2: What are the sources of life’s building blocks within the Earth?
    • 4.3: What are the sources of life’s building blocks outside the Earth?
  5. How have life and Earth co-evolved?
    • 5.1: How did life first emerge on Earth?
    • 5.2: How did the first cells arise?
    • 5.3: How did life become something that competes for resources and evolves?
  6. How has life evolved to survive in diverse environments on Earth?
    • 6.1: How did life on Earth come to occupy so many different environments?
    • 6.2: What types of conditions can life survive in?
    • 6.3: Are there environments beyond Earth that could be habitable?
  7. How do we explore beyond Earth for signs of life?
    • 7.1: What is a biosignature?
    • 7.2: How do we explore within our own Solar System for signs of life?
    • 7.3: How do we discover worlds around other stars?
    • 7.4: How can we identify worlds around other stars that could have life?