Are we alone in the universe? Or does the cosmos pulse with diverse life forms? This is one of the most profound issues facing mankind-and one of the unresolved questions that science may finally be able to answer in this century. Both scenarios are mind-boggling and, to quote futurist Isaac Asimov, equally frightening. No matter what the answer, the implications are vast.
If even the most rudimentary life forms could be found elsewhere in our universe, it would be a paradigm-shifting revelation on par with discovering the atom. Finding microbes in an extraterrestrial location would dramatically increase the chances of life being common everywhere, and encountering intelligent life would forever alter our place in the cosmos.
There has never been a better time to study our universe. NASA’s Kepler mission, the first dedicated extrasolar planet-finding spacecraft, is rapidly changing what we understand about planets around other stars. At present, it has detected hundreds of confirmed planets, and well over 2,000 likely new planets have been identified. And exponential growth in telescope power and other critical technologies is enabling scientists to make new discoveries every day.
Life in Our Universe reveals the cutting-edge research leading scientists to believe that life is not exclusively the domain of Earth. Taught by Dr. Laird Close, an award-winning Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at The University of Arizona, these 24 mind-expanding lectures offer an unparalleled look at the subject of life and the mysteries that remain. Supported by stunning visuals, this course shares some of the most intriguing discoveries that the fields of astronomy, biology, geology, chemistry, and physics have to offer.
You’ll examine the remarkable coincidences that created our planet and sustained its habitability for 3.5 billion years. And you’ll join the hunt for microbial life elsewhere in our solar system and Earth-like planets in alien solar systems-one of astronomy’s “holy grails.?
1. Is There Life Elsewhere in Our Universe?
2. Bang! A Universe Built for Life
3. A Star Is Born-Forming the Solar System
4. The Early Earth and Its Moon
5. Impacts-Bringers of Death … or Life?
6. Evidence of the First Life on Earth
7. Common Themes for All Life on Earth
8. Origin of Terrestrial Life
9. Astrobiology-Life beyond Earth
10. Has Mars Always Been Dead?
11. Evidence for Fossilized Life from Mars
12. Could Life Ever Have Existed on Venus?
13. Liquid Assets-The Moons of Jupiter
14. Liquid on Titan and Enceladus
15. Discovery of Extrasolar Planets
16. The Kepler Spacecraft’s Planets
17. A Tour of Exotic Alien Solar Systems
18.Extraterrestrial Intelligent Life
19. SETI-The Search for Intelligent Life
20. The Fermi Paradox-Where Is Everyone?
21. Space Travel-A Reality Check
22. Terraforming a Planet
23. The Future of Terrestrial Life
24. The Search for Another Earth