ASTR 207 Extraterrestrial Life in the Galaxy: A Sure Thing, or a Snowball's Chance? (W)

Last offered Fall 2012

A focused investigation of the possibility of life arising elsewhere in our Galaxy, and the chances of our detecting it. In this course, pairs of students will explore the astronomical and biochemical requirements for the development of Earth-like life. We will consider the conditions on other planets within our solar system as well as on newly-discovered planets circling other stars. We will also analyze the famous "Drake Equation," which calculates the expected number of extraterrestrial civilizations, and attempt to evaluate its components. Finally, we will examine current efforts to detect signals from intelligent alien civilizations and contemplate humanity's reactions to a positive detection.
Class Format: tutorial
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on the student's papers, responses to the partner's papers, and evidence of growth in understanding over the semester
Additional Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis
Additional Info2:
Prerequisites: ASTR 111 or BIOL 101-102, CHEM 101-102, or GEOS 101 or equivalent science preparation.; instructor's permission required
Enrollment Preference: if overenrolled, preference given to students who have had ASTR 111
Department Notes:
Material and Lab Fees:
Distribution Notes:
Divisional Attributes: Division III,Writing Intensive
Other Attributes:
Enrollment Limit: 10
Expected Enrollment: 10
Class Number: 1055
ASTR 207 TUT Extraterrestrial Life/Galaxy (W) Division 3: Science and MathematicsWriting Intensive Karen B. Kwitter
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