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Sioux Falls Scientists endorse Life in Our Universe for a completely
rational and logical discussion of the possiblity of life on planets other
than our own, and on planets around other suns other than our own.

Life in Our Universe
Lectures by Professor Laird Close

Life in Our Universe (2013) - 24 lectures, 12 hours
Life in Our Universe at TheGreatCourses.com

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."

Professor Laird Close is Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at The University of Arizona, from which he received his Ph.D. Professor Close has invented and helped develop several advanced-technology cameras for very sharp imaging of outer space using adaptive optics. His particular areas of interest include low-mass stars, brown dwarfs, and extrasolar planets. In 2004, Professor Close was honored with a prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER award, given to top young science professors in America. He also is a member of the NASA Astrobiology Institute and has received numerous NASA Origins of Solar Systems grants.

24 Lectures - 30 minutes each

1: Is There Life Elsewhere in Our Universe? 13: Liquid Assets - The Moons of Jupiter
2: Bang! A Universe Built for Life 14: Liquid on Titan and Enceladus
3: A Star Is Born - Forming the Solar System 15: Discovery of Extrasolar Planets
4: The Early Earth and Its Moon 16: The Kepler Spacecraft's Planets
5: Impacts - Bringers of Death ... or Life? 17: A Tour of Exotic Alien Solar Systems
6: Evidence of the First Life on Earth 18: Extraterrestrial Intelligent Life
7: Common Themes for All Life on Earth 19: SETI - The Search for Intelligent Life
8: Origin of Terrestrial Life 20: The Fermi Paradox - Where Is Everyone?
9: Astrobiology - Life beyond Earth 21: Space Travel - A Reality Check
10: Has Mars Always Been Dead? 22: Terraforming a Planet
11: Evidence for Fossilized Life from Mars 23: The Future of Terrestrial Life
12: Could Life Ever Have Existed on Venus? 24: The Search for Another Earth


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Life in Our Universe
Lectures by Professor Laird Close

Sioux Falls Scientists endorse Life in Our Universe for a completely
rational and logical discussion of the possiblity of life on planets other
than our own, and on planets around other suns other than our own.