Step1a.jpg All science begins with observations that lead to a question. This preliminary question evolves from your observations, ideas, or prior knowledge and curiosity you may have about a particular topic. This helps drive what you investigate.

The images below are of impact craters from different planetary worlds in our Solar System. Make observations of these images and list similarities and differences between the visible characteristics of these features.
Image Credit: NASA
As you will use images of impact craters as the main source of data you use for this investigation, use your observations of the above images to come up with at least one question you have about impact craters. To help you create a question, use the information provided below.

CREATING A PRELIMINARY RESEARCH QUESTION: As you create a preliminary question, try to think about 1) the feature you will focus on and 2) the VISIBLE aspect or characteristics of that feature you can observe in images. By listing this information, you can use it to help focus your research question. See the example below.
  • Feature: Impact craters
  • Visible Aspect/Characteristic of feature: Crater characteristics
  • Research Question: Come up with a research question that focuses on crater characteristics....

All questions are good questions. When planning an investigation it will be important to make sure you can collect the data you need to draw conclusions and answer your question with supporting evidence. For this investigation, you will be guided through an investigation so you can answer the following question:

RESEARCH QUESTION: What do the characteristics of craters reveal about the geologic history of planetary worlds?