The aim of this course is to expose students to the diversity of research areas that encompass astrobiology and planetary science, and to enhance the communication between astrobiologists, planetary scientists, engineers, and other space enthusiasts on campus. Each week an invited speaker (internal or external) will present on a topic related to astrobiology and/or planetary science for 40-45 minutes, with time for questions and discussion.
This course will study the forces and influences that determine the composition, structure and evolution of the planets in our solar system. The keys to understanding solar system formation and evolution reside in observable planetary characteristics and those inferred from theory and indirect observation. This understanding has evolved over the last several hundred years as telescope technology and space travel have enhanced our ability to make sophisticated measurements of much of the solar system.