Life in the Universe
Winter Quarter 2012
Prof. Richard Pogge
0020 Page Hall
Astronomy 141, Life in the Universe, is an
introduction to Astrobiology. The topics covered in this course lie at
the interfaces between astronomy, chemistry, biology, geology, and the
earth and planetary sciences. We will learn about scientists' ongoing
quest for answers to some of the most fundamental human questions: How
did life originate on Earth? Is there life on other worlds? Are we alone
in the universe? What is the long-term future of life in the universe?
- 2012 Mar 1
- Reminder: Quiz #4 will be
Friday, March 2 in class.
- 2012 Feb 28
- Homework #5
will be handed out in class today. It is due back on the last
day of class, Friday, March 9. Please note the special
instructions and the data file needed for this assignment. It
is available here and on Carmen.
- Homework #4 is due in class Tues, Feb 28.
- 2012 Feb 26
- Quiz 4 will be Friday, March 2, in Class. The
Quiz 4 Study Guide is now available.
- The second week of lecture notes for
Unit 5: Life in the Universe have been posted here
and on Carmen.
- My Favorite Astronomy Picture Sites:
- Astronomy Picture of the Day
- NASA Planetary Photojournal
A great collection of planetary images at JPL.
- Latest pictures from the Saturn system
returned by the Cassini spacecraft.
- Latest pictures from
the Mars Exploration Rovers
- Latest pictures from
the Hubble Space Telescope
- This Week's
Sky at a Glance
- Courtesy of Sky & Telescope Magazine
Lectures are daily at 12:30-3:18pm in Page Hall Room 0020 on the OSU
main campus in Columbus. All lecture notes are in PDF format, and
will have an accompanying audio recording of the lecture in MP3 format.
- Unit 1: Introduction: Imagining Other Worlds
- Unit 2: Five Revolutions
- Unit 3: Life on Earth
[Jan 13-Feb 2]
- Unit 4: Life in the Solar System
- Unit 5: Life in the Universe
[Feb 20-Mar 9]
Using the Notes
The lecture notes are copies of a subset of the slides shown in class,
printed three slides per page with room to take notes on the other half
of the page. They are not verbatim transcripts, and they often omit
some of the graphics shown in class because of copyright restrictions
(the principle of "Fair Use" permits me show most graphics in class,
but not to post them on the web). Notes will generally become available
the morning of the lecture at the latest.
In the past, students have found it very helpful to make copies of these
notes before class, and then follow along with them in lecture,
making their own notes in the margins. You will find this much easier
than trying to take detailed notes of everything I say (because I can
say a great deal, sometimes a little fast...).
The primary content of the class is what I say during the lectures, with
the lecture slides composed in the style of annotated illustrations.
The printed notes are meant to serve as aids for following along
in class, not as substitutes for regular attendance. Historically, students who
have gotten into the bad habit of skipping class and just reading the
online notes have performed one whole grade point below the class
All of the written materials provided in these web pages are copyrighted by the course instructor, except
as noted. In addition, some images and animations are also copyrighted
by the instructor, while others are copyrighted by the original sources.
These latter appear with the written permission of the copyright
holders. Please read the Copyright
Statement before you make copies of any of these web pages for any
purpose. Use of these notes implies that you have read and understood
the copyright statement.
Updated: 2012 March 1
Copyright © Richard W. Pogge. All Rights