Learning about Astrobiology and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life

An account shared by Anjali Manoj, CMRNPUC ITPL

For a long time now, I have had a deep passion towards Earth Sciences and Geology and I hope to pursue this field as a career in the future. My love for Earth Sciences sprung from a deep fascination with the living organisms around me and a curiosity to know more about how life originated on the Earth. When I found out that Coursera, an online learning platform founded by Stanford professors Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller, was offering a course on Astrobiology and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life by the University of Edinburgh in association with the UK Institute of Astrobiology, I was delighted.

Astrobiology, as I soon learned, is not just the study of the study of life in space the way its name suggests. It is so much more. A large part of it involves studying the origins of life on Earth and how life evolved as time progressed. It also involves studying the extremes of life so that we may be able to determine the conditions in which life can subsist and proliferate in an extraterrestrial environment. As part of the course, I learned about the various developments in the Search for Extraterrestrial Life (SETI) and also, about the different methods and technology used in SETI programs. I learned about the various moons within our Solar System and of planets in systems far away from our own that may hold the secrets to the origin of life on our home planet.

I had a great time doing this course and enjoyed every lecture and quiz. I am glad that I undertook this as a mission and successfully completed it. The best part, however, is the fact that I was able to learn a great deal about a field that absolutely intrigues and excites me and had fun while doing it!

Posted by CMRNPUC

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