ASTR 207
Extraterrestrial Life in the Galaxy: A Sure Thing, or a Snowball's Chance? Fall 2014
Division III Writing Skills
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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.
The Class: Format: tutorial
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 1032
Grading: OPG
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
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis
Prerequisites: ASTR 111 or BIOL 101-102, CHEM 101-102, or GEOS 101 or equivalent science preparation.; instructor's permission required
Enrollment Preferences: if overenrolled, preference given to students who have had ASTR 111
Distributions: Division III Writing Skills

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