NASA Discovers New Batch of Earthlike Planets

SCIENCE NASA’s Kepler spacecraft has shaken its one-thousandth planet from the sky. Eight new worlds beyond our solar system boost the number of Kepler’s confirmed planets to 1,004 (if you’re keeping count). (National Geographic News) What is a planet? Use our resources to find out! Teachers, scroll down for a short list of key resources in our Teachers’ Toolkit. Discussion Ideas Kepler, NASA’s amazing mission … Continue reading NASA Discovers New Batch of Earthlike Planets

Extraterrestrial Ocean

SCIENCE A substantial ocean most likely exists beneath the icy surface of Saturn’s moon Enceladus, raising the possibility that extraterrestrial life exists in its briny depths. (National Geographic News) Use our resources to understand how astrobiologists are looking for life on Enceladus and elsewhere. Discussion Ideas The analysis of Enceladus’ icy surface and churning interior was done with the amazing Cassini spacecraft. Read through our … Continue reading Extraterrestrial Ocean

Saturn’s Strange Storm

SCIENCE NASA has released this week the best views yet of a bizarre hexagon-shaped cloud that blankets Saturn’s north polar region. (National Geographic Newswatch) Use our resources to better understand Saturn’s storms and other wild weather in the solar system. Discussion Ideas Read through our terrific activity “Extreme Weather in Our Solar System,” and apply its critical thinking to the Nat Geo blog post about … Continue reading Saturn’s Strange Storm

Cloudy with a Chance of Acid

SCIENCE After cataloging nearly a thousand worlds beyond our solar system, astronomers can now for the first time forecast cloudy skies on a distant exoplanet. (National Geographic News) Use our resources to better understand planets—from out-of-this-world to the one you’re on. Discussion Ideas Read our short encyclopedic entry on “planet.” The entry says “Most of the exoplanets discovered so far are gas giants.” Is Kepler-7b a … Continue reading Cloudy with a Chance of Acid

Now, Voyager: Spacecraft at Gateway to Galaxy

SCIENCE Voyager 1, a NASA spacecraft launched 36 years ago, is approaching the very edge of our solar system—a mysterious boundary called the heliosphere. (Nat Geo News) Read our short article and watch this three-minute video to learn a little about the Voyager missions and why this is such a tremendous moment in exploration. Discussion Ideas Watch our video on “Space Probes,” which describes the … Continue reading Now, Voyager: Spacecraft at Gateway to Galaxy