ASTR-2040: Search for Life in the Universe

  • Syllabus, office hours after class (Tuesdays & Thursdays 4:45-6 in BESC 240D) and Mondays 10-1 in JILA 604A)
  • Links: NASA Astrobio. Inst., Astrobio. Mag., Astrobio., Int. J. Astrobio. Orig. Life. Evol. Biosph..
  • Finding papers: Web of Science, Google Scholar, ADS.

    Week 1

  • Tuesday, Jan 17: Introduction to astrobiology Lecture 1 [pdf] (Def of life, why carbon & water), Homework 1.
  • Thursday, Jan 19: Lecture 2 [pdf] (building blocks of life).

    Week 2

  • Tuesday, Jan 24: Studying the origin of life Lecture 3 [pdf] (mutations in DNA, biomarkers).
  • Thursday, Jan 26: Lecture 4 [pdf] (carbon in the Universe, Miller/Urey, Murchison), Homework 2.

    Week 3

  • Tuesday, Jan 31: Delivery of building blocks Lecture 5 [pdf] (Murchison, biomolecules, A-Life), Homework 1 (model solutions).
  • Thursday, Feb 2: Lecture 6 [pdf] (Delivery by comets, panspermia).

    Week 4

  • Tuesday, Feb 7: From chemistry to biology Lecture 7 [pdf] (RNA world, LUCA). Homework 2 (model solutions).
  • Thursday, Feb 9: Quiz #1 Lecture 8 [pdf] (Q+A instead). Homework 3, Quiz 1.

    Week 5

  • Tuesday, Feb 14: Origin of life on Earth Lecture 9 [pdf] (rock dating, planetary temperatures).
  • Thursday, Feb 16: Lecture 10 [pdf] (CO2 cycle, plate tectonics, BIFs & GOE), Homework 3 (model solutions), Homework 4.

    Week 6

  • Tuesday, Feb 21: Evidence for early life on Earth Lecture 11 [pdf] (Geological record, Moon formation), Quiz 1 (model solution).
  • Thursday, Feb 23: Lecture 12 [pdf] (origin of life, evidence in geological record),

    Week 7

  • Tuesday, Feb 28: Review (weeks 1--6), life under extreme conditions Lecture 13 [pdf] (...), Homework 4 (model solution) [appendix to part 4 of model solutions].
  • Thursday, Mar 2: midterm exam midterm exam.

    Week 8

  • Tuesday, Mar 7: Mars Lecture 14 [pdf] (Mars, early exporation and search for life),
  • Thursday, Mar 9: guest lecture [pdf] (Water on Mars), Lecture 15 [pdf] (Mars atmosphere & climate), midterm (model solutions). Homework 5.

    Week 9

  • Tuesday, Mar 14: Mars (cont'd) Lecture 16 [pdf] (more on Martian atmosphere & climate),
  • Thursday, Mar 16: Lecture 17 [pdf] (Martian meterites & planetary protection),

    Week 10

  • Tuesday, Mar 21: Satellites of Jupiter Lecture 18 [pdf] (Jovian planets, Europa)
  • Thursday, Mar 23: Lecture 19 [pdf] (Lake Vostok & more on Europa), Homework 5 (model solutions)

    Week 11

  • Tuesday, Apr 4: Satellites of Saturn Lecture 20 [pdf] (Titan and its methane cycle),
  • Thursday, Apr 6: HW6 Lecture 21 [pdf] (Titan and its strange volcanoes), Homework 6.

    Week 12

  • Tuesday, Apr 11: Outer solar system's bodies Lecture 22 [pdf] (Life in & from Comets, Pluto),
  • Thursday, Apr 13: Detection of Exoplanets Lecture 23 [pdf] (Exoplanets & their discovery), Homework 6 (model solutions).

    Week 13

  • Tuesday, Apr 18: Searching for Life on Exoplanets Lecture 24 [pdf] (Properties of exoplanets),
  • Thursday, Apr 20: Quiz #2 Quiz 2.

    Week 14

  • Tuesday, Apr 25: Guest lecture by Web Cash on star shades
  • Thursday, Apr 27: Lecture 26 [pdf] (Detecting life on exoplanets),

    Week 15

  • Tuesday, May 2: Extraterrestrial Intelligence as a Science Lecture 27 [pdf] (Starshot, SETI), Quiz 2 (model solution).
  • Thursday, May 4: Lecture 28 [pdf] (review material)
  • Final exam: Thursday, May 11, 1:30-4:00 (BESC 180) final exam. final exam solutions.

  • links

    Axel Brandenburg
    $Date: 2017/05/09 21:39:59 $, $Author: brandenb $, $Revision: 1.32 $