This course introduces students to Astrobiology, a new field where scientists trained in biology, chemistry, astronomy, and geology combine their skills to unravel life's origins and to search for extraterrestrial life. The course is taught jointly by faculty from the Astrophysics, Chemistry, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Geoscience Departments.
- the astrophysical requisites for life;
- the RNA world;
- the evolution of photosynthesis;
- microbes in extreme environments; and
- the search for life within our solar system and in nearby solar systems.
Two 90-minute lectures. Prerequisite: one geology, chemistry, biology, physics, or astronomy class and instructors’ permission.