Astrobiology and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life

开始时间: 01/12/2015 持续时间: 5 weeks

所在平台: Coursera

课程类别: 物理与地球科学

大学或机构: The University of Edinburgh(爱丁堡大学)

授课老师: Charles Cockell

   

课程主页: https://www.coursera.org/course/astrobio

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课程详情

Over two thousand years ago, the ancient Greeks wondered if other worlds were habitable. In the coming years this question will be experimentally tested. This course, offered by the UK Centre for Astrobiology at the University of Edinburgh, is an introduction to astrobiology. It explores the origin and evolution of life on the Earth and its potential to exist elsewhere. Astrobiology addresses compelling questions of wide interest such as: How did life originate on the Earth? Is this an inevitable process and is life common across the Universe? Astrobiology is an interdisciplinary science that bridges fields as diverse as astrophysics, biology, geosciences and chemistry.

In this course we will explore what we know about life’s ability to live in extreme environments on the Earth, we will look at different hypotheses for how it originated. We will look at some of the missions to search for life in our own Solar System and on planets orbiting distant stars. We will discuss some of the extreme environments on the Earth that help us understand the limits of life and how life has adapted to cope with extremes. We will explore the possibility of intelligent alien life and some of the implications of its detection. The course will provide a foundation in astrobiology and introduce students to concepts in a diversity of scientific fields.

课程大纲

Week 1: What is life and what are the definitions of life? What do we know about the origin of life and what are the current hypotheses for how it originated on the Earth? 
Week 2: What was the environment of early Earth like when life first emerged and what do we know about life on the earliest Earth? How did life evolve to cope with survival in extreme environments? What have been the major evolutionary transitions of life on the Earth?
Week 3: What are the prospects for life on other planetary bodies in our Solar System and how do we go about searching for it? What conditions are required for a planet to be habitable?
Week 4: How do we search for Earth-like planets orbiting distant stars and how would we detect life on them?
Week 5: What are the possibilities for intelligent life elsewhere? How would we deal with contact with an extraterrestrial intelligence and what would be the impact on society? Who would represent Earth?

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课程简介

Learn about the origin and evolution of life and the search for life beyond the Earth.

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爱丁堡大学 外星人

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