Syllabus, office hours after class
(Monday & Wednesday 11-12, & by appointment)
NASA Astrobio. Inst.,
Int. J. Astrobio.
Orig. Life. Evol. Biosph..
Web of Science,
Monday, Aug 28: Introduction to astrobiology
[pdf] (The four cornerstones of Astrobiology)
Wednesday, Aug 30: Definitions of life
[pdf] (why carbon & water),
Friday, Sep 1: Darwinian evolution
[pdf] (building blocks of life, RGS.3-8)
Wednesday, Sep 6: Studying the origin of life
[pdf] (nucleic acids, DNA, genetic material, RGS.8-12)
Friday, Sep 8: Studying the origin of life
[pdf] (effect of mutations, BS.181-183)
Model solution for Homework 1.
Monday, Sep 11: Delivery of building blocks
[pdf] (biomarkers, Earth from space, RGS.13-15)
Wednesday, Sep 13:
[pdf] (Carbon in the Universe, Miller/Urey, Murchison, RGS.16-21)
Friday, Sep 15:
[pdf] (Murchison, biomolecules, Delivery by comets, panspermia).
Model solution for Homework 2.
Monday, Sep 18: From chemistry to biology
[pdf] (Metabolism first vs replication first, chemotrophs).
Wednesday, Sep 20: Quiz #1
Friday, Sep 22:
[pdf] (RNA world, LUCA, top-down approach)
Model solution for Quiz1.
Monday, Sep 25: Origin of life on Earth
[pdf] (habitability, habitable zones, planetary temperatures).
Wednesday, Sep 27:
[pdf] (planetary temperatures, CO2 cycle)
Friday, Sep 29:
[pdf] (plate tectonics, BIFs),
Model solution for Homework 3.
Monday, Oct 2: Evidence for early life on Earth
[pdf] (GOE, Faint Sun Paradox, Snowball Earth)
Wednesday, Oct 4:
[pdf] (early fossils, Cambrian explosion)
Friday, Oct 6:
[pdf] (Carbon-13 record, Origin of life near hydrothermal vents)
Monday, Oct 9: Life under extreme conditions
[pdf] (Life on the edge; Extremophiles)
Model solution for Homework 4.
Wednesday, Oct 11: Visit to Fiske Planetarium (compulsory!)
[pdf] (Stars & planets, interplanetary travel, cryocoolcanism)
Friday, Oct 13: midterm exam
Monday, Oct 16: Mars
(Early exporation, canali, & why no liquid water on Mars)
Wednesday, Oct 18:
(Viking experiment's search for life on Mars),
Friday, Oct 20:
(Water on Mars, detection, eons)
Monday, Oct 23: Mars (cont'd)
(Martian atmosphere & escape)
Wednesday, Oct 25:
(The ALH84001 meteorites, methane, & planetary protection)
Friday, Oct 27: Venus and its astrobiological relevance
(Planetary protection, life on Venus, Lake Vostok as analog for Europa)
Monday, Oct 30: Satellites of Jupiter
(Jovian planets, Europa)
Model solution for Homework 5.
Model solution for Homework 6.
Wednesday, Nov 1:
(Liquid ocean of Europa & life in Lake Vostok)
Friday, Nov 3: Satellites of Saturn
(Titan and its methane cycle)
Monday, Nov 6: Satellites of Saturn
(Titan's haze and strange volcanoes),
Wednesday, Nov 8: Outer solar system's bodies
(More on Enceladus & Europa, Life in & from Comets, Pluto)
Friday, Nov 10: Detection of Exoplanets
(Exoplanets & their discovery)
Monday, Nov 13: Visit to Fiske Planetarium (compulsory!)
(Venus & Jupiter conjuction this morning, Kepler & the transit method)
Wednesday, Nov 15: Quiz #2
Friday, Nov 17:
Guest lecture by Carol Cleland (Professor of Philosophy):
Searching for extraterrestrial life without a definition of life
Monday, Nov 27:
Searching for Life on Exoplanets
(Properties of exoplanets),
Wednesday, Nov 29: How to find biospheres on exoplanets?
Friday, Dec 1:
Discovery of exoplanetary systems.
Monday, Dec 4:
Investigating Exoplanets from Earth and space
Wednesday, Dec 6: life around M dwarfs
(planet density, radiation, tidal locking, starshot),
Friday, Dec 8:
Extraterrestrial Intelligence as a Science, the Arecibo message.
Monday, Dec 11: Visiting extraterrestrials. Applications of astrobiology.
Model solution for Homework 7,
Fermi paradox: where is everybody? Artificial life.
Wednesday, Dec 13:
Sample Final (Model Solutions).
Saturday, Dec 16, 4:30-7:00 Final exam
Final (Model Solutions).
extra material (temporary)
$Date: 2017/12/22 11:17:53 $, $Author: brandenb $, $Revision: 1.70 $