Fall 2017

Alien Worlds

Listed in: Physics and Astronomy, as ASTR-112


Michaela H. Ednie (Section 01)
Kate Follette (Section 01)
Elijah R. Spiro (Section 01)
Alex Aiden Watson (Section 01)


How did our solar system form? Are planets like Earth typical or rare? When, where, and how might we find life elsewhere in the universe? This course will provide an introduction to the formation and evolution of solar systems, including an exploration of the geology, chemistry and biology of the planets in our own solar system. We will discuss the origins, successes and limitations of techniques being used to discover planets around other stars (exoplanets), and the nature of planetary habitability. Our investigations will focus on understanding proportionalities, relative sizes, and visual representations of data, as well as evaluating the reasonableness of quantitative answers rather than on lengthy calculations.

Limited to 60 students (25 spots reserved for first-year students). Preference to first-year students and seniors. Fall semester. Professor Follette.


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2015, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019