There are two parts to the homework. For the second part part you will need another person. For the first part you need the Internet. Answer Part 1 FIRST so you have that knowledge before you do Part 2. You do not need to write anything down, just remember both parts for the discussion in class.


Part 1

Start by reading enough about the Milky Way galaxy to get a good idea of its contents.  Here is the wiki article, but after the introduction it gets too detailed.  You might try this, or surf on your own.

Then read the following about Extraterrestrial Life


A candidate in the Solar System

Kepler Summary

Kepler candidates - as of  2017

NASA short takes  1    2

Cornell SETI you might try some of the linked answers to questions like here and here


The famous Drake equation


Thorough discussion of biochemistry


And the trusty wiki



AFTER reading the above do Part 2



Part 2. Ask another person the following two questions and listen carefully to their answers. AFTER they have answered as much as they want, you may present your own ideas and engage them in a polite discussion. (No fights.). The person you ask must be 9th grade or older.  They must NOT:

1.     be a science or math teacher

  1. be in this class
  2. have taken a college astronomy class in the last 5 years



Is there intelligent life outside the solar system in the Milky Way galaxy?


[Listen. Wait until they finish.]


How do you know you are correct? 


[Listen. Wait until they finish.]


You do not have to tell the person you interview the difference between the Milky Way and the Universe but I want you to be aware the questions can have very different answers if one includes the entire Universe rather than the finite (but large) Milky Way.


I am very interested in the results of your “survey” and your reactions to it so I will be recording the class discussion.  I will not make any of the information public except in summary form and anonymously.  If you object to being recorded let me know.