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Astrobiology and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life

University of Edinburgh via Coursera

students interested
  • Provider Coursera
  • Subject Astronomy
  • $ Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
  • Session Upcoming
  • Language English
  • Certificate Paid Certificate Available
  • Effort 3-4 hours a week
  • Start Date
  • Duration 5 weeks long

Taken this course? Share your experience with other students. Write review

Overview

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

Syllabus

Life and Its Origins
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?

Life on Earth
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?

Habitable Environments Elsewhere in our Solar System?
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?

The Search for Habitable Exoplanets
How do we search for Earth-like planets orbiting distant stars and how would we detect life on them?

Extraterrestrial Intelligence
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?

Taught by

Charles Cockell

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Reviews for Coursera's Astrobiology and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life
4.7 Based on 29 reviews

  • 5 stars 79%
  • 4 stars 10%
  • 3 stars 10%
  • 2 star 0%
  • 1 star 0%

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  • 1
Anonymous
5.0 6 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Wonderful course from University of Edinburgh. Professor Cockell's lectures are simply brilliant - educational, entertaining, and easy to follow. In the short 5 weeks you will learn a lot - what life is, life on Earth, space missions, and just humanity. Highly recommend for all levels!
6 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
5.0 6 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
This course is aimed at the beginner and/or general public who have an interest in exoplanetary life and it's possibilities. The depth of the course is quite elementary but the breadth is large and open ended. I really enjoyed the discussions and forum topics , however they weren't always pertinent to the class. The professor is great at explaining all topics and I personally believe he is a "natural" educator and his passion for this course shines through. Reccomended for the curious and people who'd like a "first contact" with astrobiology - there is no better place to start.
4 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
5.0 6 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
If you're just curious about MOOCs -- take this course.

Interesting short lectures with summaries in the end.

Quizzes are multiple choice questions , not too difficult but require a little bit of work and dedication.

Discussion forums are very interesting and go beyond the scope of the course.

Perfect course for general public.
4 people found
this review helpful
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
5.0 6 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Great course! People who expect to hear some nonsense about Nibiru planet and other myths may be disappointed since there are no such things mentioned by professor. Instead, the course explains scientific approach to "aliens'" subject and whets an appetite for research and further exploration.
3 people found
this review helpful
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
5.0 6 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Thank you very much, Prof. Cockell, for creating this course! Being able to explain a complex subject in the common language is a true talent. I really enjoyed the material and would gladly take follow-up course.
2 people found
this review helpful
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Mark R
4.0 3 years ago
Mark completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
Very interesting topic and great instructor.

However, the course is rather short (one week can easily be done in two hours) and the multiple choice quizzes were a bit dull sometimes.
1 person found
this review helpful
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Peri O
5.0 3 years ago
Peri completed this course, spending 8 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
This was a really well structured course on an interesting subject. Special mention goes to the discussion forums for bringing up an even broader range of topics.
1 person found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
5.0 6 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Well organized and structured course with fantastic lectures suitable and clear to all academic levels. Many thanks to Professor Cockell and coursera.
1 person found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
5.0 6 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
I wish this course was taught at schools. Teachers, please!!!
2 people found
this review helpful
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Erick C
5.0 3 months ago
by Erick completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
It's an entertaining and easy to follow course. From what life is, how it started, to how we search for life on other planets, it's a must take for fans of astrobiology and anything space related!
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Sheri H
3.0 4 years ago
Sheri is taking this course right now, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
1 person found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
3.0 4 years ago
Anonymous is taking this course right now.
0 person found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
5.0 4 years ago
Anonymous is taking this course right now.
1 person found
this review helpful
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Met B
3.0 3 years ago
by Met completed this course.
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Thomas H
4.0 3 years ago
Thomas completed this course.
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Pedro P
5.0 3 years ago
Pedro completed this course.
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Anastasia B
5.0 3 years ago
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Jacob A
5.0 2 years ago
Jacob completed this course.
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Isabel O
5.0 3 years ago
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Melissa R
5.0 2 years ago
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  • 1

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