ASTR 1050 Week 2 Activities


  • Discuss conditions necessary for life to form and persist

  • Design a world that could support life

  • Create a map of the Moon and stars in constellations in the vicinity of Orion








Discussion Question: What are the conditions necessary for life to form and persist? Prepare and participate by:

  1. Review the Designing a World and Life in the Universe concept diagrams

  2. Select concepts that interest you and read about them in the designated chapters of the textbook

  3. Pick a condition you feel is necessary and research facts about it via the concept diagram and chapters

  4. Develop your topic in a word processor and post your discussion on the forum for this topic

  5. Read and comment on other discussion posts

    1. Research the topic via the textbook or Internet

    2. Offer specific comments and information

    3. Provide references for your sources

BB: Unit 1-> Conditions For Life


EC: Unit 1-> Life in the Universe




Read the following chapters in the textbook:

  • Unit 37: The Earth as a Terrestrial Planet: 37.3 – 37.4

  • Unit 38: Earth’s Atmosphere and Hydrosphere: 38.1 – 38.3

  • Unit 41: Venus – Section 41.1

  • Unit 48: Ice Worlds, Pluto, and Beyond: 48.1 – 48.2

  • Unit 49: Comets: Section 49.2

  • Unit 50: Impacts on Earth: Section 50.5

  • Unit 85: Astrobiology: Sections 85.2 – 85.4

BB: Unit1-> Week2 Reading Assignment




Activity: Design a world that could support life

  1. From your research and the reading assignment and in the discussion topic, determine the conditions that would be necessary for a world to support life.

  2. Draw a diagram of the star and planet and depict those conditions. You could start with something like the following:

    1. The proper distance of the planet from the star

    2. The radiation and particles being emitted by the star

    3. The magnetic field of the planet that protects its ecosphere from harmful radiation and particles

  3. Draw a diagram of the planet and depict

    1. The atmosphere and its function to

      1. Filter out harmful radiation from the star

      2. Insulate the planet to make it warmer

      3. Move water vapor from oceans to land masses and create a hydrologic cycle

    2. Tectonic plates and their function to

      1. Move land masses, creating

        1. Mountains and uplifts

        2. Stream drainages and erosion

        3. Volcanoes and carbon dioxide

      2. Recycle minerals and gasses to

        1. Fertilize soils for plant growth

        2. Restore carbon dioxide levels for greenhouse effect

    3. Habitats that provide environmental niches for diverse organisms that form a food chain

  4. Include labels and notes explaining your diagrams and the conditions they depict.

  5. Scan your diagrams and submit them via Blackboard

BB: Unit1-> Design a World




Activity: Sketch the Moon and stars near Orion

  1. Go to your personal observing site.

  2. View the constellations in the vicinity of Orion with your naked eyes.

  3. Sketch the bright stars in Orion and surrounding areas.

  4. Observe the Moon with binoculars:

    1. Sketch what you see on a piece of paper

    2. Be as accurate as you can with the location of craters, mountain ranges, and the terminator (dark / light line where sunlight cuts off)

  5. Using the foldout map in the back of the textbook, try to determine the constellation lines that would connect the stars you have observed.

  6. Scan your map (with a flatbed scanner if possible) and submit it via Blackboard.

    1. Note: scanners are available at the college library.

    2. If you must photograph your map, make sure it

      1. is in focus

      2. has adequate light

      3. is scaled down in resolution

      4. does not exceed 2 megabytes in file size

BB: Unit 1-> Moon And Stars Near Orion