Scientists are more optimistic about finding life beyond Earth than ever before. Astronomers have found over 130 giant planets orbiting other stars and suspect that smaller worlds exist as well. Biologists have found microscopic life on Earth in places they never expected, from hot springs to Arctic ice. With more advanced research than before, scientists have dramatically expanded the criteria for a life-bearing world and increased the confidence of finding other planets suitable for life. Animators have created realistic fantasy worlds based on this new definition of life-sustaining planets.
space, earth science, astrobiology
general audiences, grades 3-8