Astrobiology Schedule
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DATEDISCUSSION LEADERPAPER
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1/20/2014JamesMiller (1953)
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1/27/2014AaronChyba & Sagan (1992, Nature) – “Endogenous production, exogenous delivery and impact-shock synthesis of organic molecules: an inventory for the origins of life”
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2/3/2014LujuGrant (2004; Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond.) – “Life at low water activity”
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2/7/2014 (Fri)Mary BethMcKay (1996)
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2/17/2014LujuNavarro-Gonzalez et al. (2003, Science) – “Mars-like soils in the Atacama Desert, Chile, and the dry limit of microbial life”
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2/24/2014Mary BethPrimary focus: Brasier (2002) Secodary focus: Brocks (1999) (If no one else want to cover this one. These papers have some common themes i.e. good and bad ways to look at biomarkers, so it might make sense to combine them, or do them back to back.)
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3/3/2014AaronSagan et al. (1993, Nature) – “A search for life on Earth from the Galileo spacecraft” ...I wonder if they found any!?
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3/10/2014Cory Padilla Woese (1987, Microbiol. Rev.) – “Bacterial evolution”
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[spring break]
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3/24/2014Cory PadillaCanfield (1998, Nature) – “A new model for Proterozoic ocean chemistry”
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3/31/2014Aaron Petigura et al. (2013) - number of Earth-like planets in the Galaxy; this paper is very recent, but obviously quite important (e.g., http://manoa.hawaii.edu/news/article.php?aId=6364) and sets a more astrobiological framework for discussing exoplanets than my original suggestion of Mayor & Queloz (1995). Let's talk about the habitable zone, the various ways that exoplanets have been detected, and future plans to characterize them further.
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4/7/2014Cory PadillaPollack et al. (1987) - modeling Mars's early climate; we talk about a warmer/wetter early Mars facilitated by a thicker atmosphere, but it is difficult to make this actually happen in climate models. This paper focuses on CO2 but let's also include more recent thoughts about other greenhouse gases (e.g. SO2, CH4, NH3), the effects of cloud formation, etc.
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4/14/2014LujuPorco et al. (2006) - Enceladus as an example icy world with a subsurface ocean, and instrumentation used to characterize it; we can discuss other moons too (e.g., Europa, but we actually have less data there). We should discuss the source(s) of heat for subsurface melting, possible energy sources for life in these oceans, the importance of a silicate-rich seafloor and evidence for/against this.
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4/21/2014Mary BethCocconi & Morrison (1959) - introduces the idea of SETI; let's also discuss what searches have since been done, both radio and optical; have we actively broadcast signals (or should we be)?
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