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Astrobiology Learning Progressions

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