Astronomy 101 **online**
Course Project:  Astrobiology and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life


The course project in Astronomy 101 will require you to familiarize yourself with several endeavors in the field of Astrobiology and conduct an analysis of why they are important and what type and quality of evidence they are likely to produce.

You will conduct this project with your cohort members.  Each member should choose one of the following topics:

Once each group member has selected a topic, he or she should refer to their textbook and the following websites to develop a thorough understanding of astrobiology and some introductory insights on their specific topic.   Other web resources should also be investigated in order to garner an expertise for their specific topic.

As will be indicated through the ASSIGNMENTS section of Blackboard, the final project is actually several assignments leading up to the final product.  They are as follows:  (these steps will appear as specific assignments in Blackboard)

            1.  Read this page and follow the directions.  This assignment is what instructed you to come here.

            2.  Go to the Course Project Forum (not a group forum) and prepare an entry which summarizes what you learned.  Also, and very importantly,  describe the basic concepts surrounding your topic AND your preliminary analysis of how this science is useful in the field of Astrobiology as well as its potential effectiveness.  Specifically identify strengths and weaknesses.  This entry should demonstrate your deep understanding and should be of significant content.  TITLE THE ENTRY WITH THE TOPIC.  This is important because others need to locate your entry according to the topic.

            3.  Read the entries from other cohorts that have the same topic as you do (there should be five or six).  Compare and contrast with what you wrote.  Respond to each one, commenting on similarities and differences.

            4.  Revise your submission with what you learned from the others entries, and submit the revision to your COHORT discussion forum.

            5.  Read the submissions from your cohort members and their respective topics (which will be different from yours).  Begin to formulate a sense of the scope of astrobiology, and how the various areas of study are related in the grand scheme of searching for life elsewhere.  Begin a discussion with your cohorts on this topic.

            6.  Individually, write a one-page analysis of the state of research in Astrobiology, including your own research topic as well as the topics of your other cohort members.  Publish this analysis to the main discussion board under the last course project link.


Additional Links:

  1. Extremophiles:

  1. Our Solar system:

  1. Life on other planets:

  1. SETI: