The new discipline of astrobiology that is, the science of searching for extraterrestrial life, is not only rapdly growing, but has also captured the public imagination. This free course, Icy bodies: Europa and elsewhere, examines the emergence of icy satellites of distant planets as potential sites of extraterrestrial life, looks at the potential for life on Jupiter's moon Europa, and speculates on the ethics of searching for life elsewhere in the solar system.
Course learning outcomes
After studying this course, you should be able to:
discuss processes upon and within, and internal structure of, differentiated icy bodies (primarily large satellites) in comparison with the terrestrial planets
describe the conditions that may be required to originate and foster life in an icy body and discuss the likelihood of their having occurred
recognise the moral and ethical issues of landing spacecraft on potential life-bearing worlds and appreciate the need for appropriate professional codes of conduct in this respect.