New Earth

In this activity children consider scientific evidence about the Earth and other planets and consider what factors make a planet suitable for life.


A newly discovered planet is the most stunning evidence that life might be out there. It has the same climate as Earth, plus water and gravity and is the first truly Earth-like planet to have ever been found outside our Solar System. The Earth-like planet, named Gliese 581c, is 20.5 light years away and may be covered in oceans and may support life.  It has the right temperature to allow liquid water on its surface. 

They will consider scientific evidence about Gliese 581c and determine whether it would support life like Earth. They will then discuss how it differs from Earth and what it might be like to live there.

Learning Objective:

-    that other planets in our Solar System cannot support life because they are too hot, too cold, are not solid or have an unsuitable atmosphere 

Children will learn:

-    that it is sometimes difficult to collect evidence to test scientific ideas

-    to use knowledge and understanding  to make a prediction 

-    that the Earth takes a year to make one complete orbit of the Sun, spinning as it goes


Primary upd8

These resources were initially developed in partnership with the Centre for Science Education, Sheffield Hallam University.