Outing #14: Is There Life Out There?

VLT & ALMA Telescopes, Chile

EXPLORE

Today we decided to journey beyond our solar system with a special guest: astronomer and science journalist Kathy Kornei!

We also visited the Very Large Telescope (VLT) and Atacama Large Millimiter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescopes in Chile. These telescopes, and many more around the world and in space, allow us to explore the universe, even finding other planets that could hold life.

To start, get a sense of what is out there and the relative size of objects in the universe by visiting the Size of Space web app.

Then, find where VLT and ALMA are located in Chile.

Watch these short videos introducing the VLT and ALMA. You can also explore what discoveries astronomers made with ALMA.

Finally, learn more about exoplanets with SciShow Kids.

Bonus: If you can't get enough exoplanets, watch these more advanced, but fascinating, videos from Physics Girl and National Geographic.

DISCUSS

  • What object in the universe do you find most interesting and why?

  • Do you think that there is life on other planets? Why or why not?

  • How could we find out if there is life beyond Earth?

DO

Try your hand at imaging space using the NRAO’s Cosmic Coloring Compositor and Build a Radiotelescope interactives.

Make your own Exoplanet travel poster similar to this one from NASA. Add your own space creatures using the Imagining Life activity from the NISE Net.

SHARE

Post your vision of what other worlds might look like and the life that might make those planets home in the comments below, via Facebook, or by email!

Image credit: Created by Eli Kellett using PicsArt

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