What are the characteristics of life? (Ch. 1.3, Miller and Levine)
It turns out that these are NOT the easiest question to answer! How, for example, would scientists be able to tell if something they found on another planet was alive, or not? To explore this question, students have been given an assignment called "A Martian Safari".
Using their textbook, and what they've learned in class about forming hypotheses and answering questions (the RA Guide), students will apply the "characteristics of life" from their textbook to an imaginary situation: that they are explorers on the planet Mars, who've discovered something mysterious....
Far out! Or is it? After all, the mission in the video below became a reality on August 6th, just a few weeks ago. One of the main goals of the Curiosity mission is to pursue evidence for past or present life on the "Red Planet." Something to think about!