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Origins: Earth is Born

Related NOVA Resources

The following resources from the companion Web site accompany this program:

Life's Little Essential
Learn why scientists consider water necessary for life. (Grades 9-12)

A Conversation With Neil deGrasse Tyson
Read about some of the most exciting recent discoveries in origins science, the search for life elsewhere in the universe, the challenges facing minority scientists, and more in this interview with program host Neil deGrasse Tyson. (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

How Did Life Begin?
Paleontologist Andrew Knoll explores what makes something alive, what the first form of life may have looked like, and what the recipe for life includes. (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

Does Mars Have Life?
Planetary scientist Christopher McKay explains why he believes Mars might have had life, what the scientific data reveal regarding any past life, and how the planet may have died. (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

Who Needs Galaxies?
Astronomer Sandra Faber explains how galaxies brew the ingredients for life and how to probe galaxies for signs of ingredients for life. (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

Are We Alone?
Neil deGrasse Tyson plays devil's advocate in a conversation with paleontologist Peter Ward about the likelihood of extraterrestrial intelligence. (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

Do Aliens Exist in the Milky Way?
Read through a series of arguments for and against intelligent life in the galaxy before casting a vote in this online poll. (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

The Drake Equation
Try your hand at calculating how many intelligent, communicating civilizations might be in the Milky Way galaxy. (Flash plug-in required.) (Grades 9-12)

Decoding Cosmic Spectra
Learn the basics of spectroscopy and use the technique to reveal the composition of a planet, star, galaxy, and nebula. (Flash plug-in required.) (Grades 9-12)

The Pillars of Creation
Walk through the various steps used to assemble the famous image of the Eagle Nebula from raw data beamed down from the Hubble Space Telescope. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) (Grades 9-12)

The Origins Game
Match 14 origins research discoveries to where in the world they were made. (Flash plug-in required.) (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

History of the Universe
Learn about the universe's past, present, and possible future in this illustrated time line. (Flash plug-in required.) (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

A Brief History of Life
Explore the history of life on Earth -- from the earliest bacteria to the first modern humans -- in this geological time scale that divides Earth's history into eras, periods, and epochs. Glossary included. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

ET Gallery
See how humans have imagined aliens over time in 13 images from television and the movies. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) (Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)

Watch a Preview
View a preview of this week's program. (Running time: 1 minute 30 seconds) (QuickTime, RealVideo, or Windows Media plug-in required.)


Links and Books

Program Transcript
Complete narration for the TV program.

Teacher's Guide
Origins: Earth is Born