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Seeking Other Worlds

Science Scope—January 2009

Is Earth unique in the universe? What is a habitable planet? How abundant are habitable planets? NASA’s Kepler Mission team seeks answers to these questions. Launching in 2009, Kepler is NASA’s first mission capable of finding Earth-sized and smaller planets in the habitable zone of other stars in our galaxy. This space mission offers an intriguing context for teaching and learning science concepts that support the National Science Education Standards in “Earth and Space Sciences” and “Science as Inquiry.” These activities include building models, positing explanations, understanding our solar system and extending that knowledge to other planetary systems, interpreting graphical data, and applying mathematics to analyze science data.
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