ASTR 207 Fall 2012 Extraterrestrial Life in the Galaxy: A Sure Thing, or a Snowball's Chance? (W)

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
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Prerequisites: Astronomy 111 or Biology 101-102, Chemistry 101-102, or Geosciences 101 or equivalent science preparation.; instructor's permission required
Enrollment Preference: if overenrolled, preference given to students who have had Astronomy 111
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Divisional Attributes: Division III,Writing Intensive
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Enrollment Limit: 10
Expected Enrollment: 10
Class Number: 1055
ASTR207-T1(F) TUT Extraterrestrial Life/Galaxy (W) Division 3: Science and MathematicsWriting Intensive Karen B. Kwitter
TBA 1055
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