Astrobiology PTYS 214

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					Astrobiology: A Planetary Prospective
              PTYS 214

           Space Sciences 308
            11:00 - 12:15 a.m.
Teaching Team
Instructor: Dr. Elisabetta (Betty) Pierazzo
      Office: Space Sciences 423A
      Phone: 626-8596 before class (otherwise 547-3951)
      Office Hours: T 9:30-10:30a; Th 12:30-1:30p
                       or by appointment
TAs:         Lissa Ong      &     Devin Schrader
  Office:       Space Science 330 (Lab Room)
  Phone:               621-1479
  Off. hrs: Mon 3:30-4:30p         Wed 2:00-3:00p
                      or by appointment
                 Class Web Site
    Check for:
       – Announcements
       – Syllabus and Schedule
       – Teaching team contact information
       – Lecture notes
       – Homework assignments
       – Review sheets for exams
       – Other information
         PTYS 214-2 on D2L

 You will find PTYS 214-2 listed on D2L
 Mainly it provides the link to the main web
  page listed before
 I’ll load grades on the D2L page for your
No official textbook
    – useful websites will be provided
       for each class

All lecture slides will be posted on the web

You are expected to take notes

 Midterm exams                          20%
 Final exam:                            30%
 Quizzes: about 10                      20%
 Homeworks: 9 to 10                     30%
 Extra credit: Student presentations   up to 10%
           Grade Scale
 Final grades will be determined based on the
        overall performance of the class
Reference grade scale:
          A: 87.5%
          B: 75 – 87.5%
          C: 62.5 - 75%
          D: 50 – 62.5%
          E: < 50%
 Midterm: in-class, 1-hour exam
            Tuesday, Mar. 8

 Final: 2-hour exam
            Tuesday, May 10, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm

 Exams are multiple choice and short essays
                 (some essays will have math)
 Makeup exams – Instructor must be notified in
            Makeup exams will be all short essays
            Make-up Midterms
Make-up exams are available if you are absent for:
   1) A University approved activity
   2) Official religious holidays
   3) A medical emergency for which you can provide a
      doctor’s note (email/call instructor as soon as
   4) Jury duty
   Other situations will be evaluated on a case-by-case

                  No makeup Final!
 Homework is due in class on the date listed
 Homework is graded on a 10 point scale
 50% off if turned in by the next class (exceptions same
  as makeup exams)
 The lowest score will be dropped from the final grade
 Homework can not be e-mailed – hard copies only
 Each student is required to write up his or her answers
  independently - No cut-and-paste!
   Generally given towards the end of class
   Cover current and previous 1-2 lectures
   Graded on a 4 point scale
   The lowest score will be dropped from the final grade
   You can ask for a make-up quiz if you are absent for:
      a) A University approved activity
      b) Official religious holiday
      c) Medical emergency
      d) Juror duty
   Extra Credit: Student Presentation
            (Increase your grade by up to 10%)

 Review and present in front of the class one article about
  an Astrobiology topic
 Acceptable Articles are from scientific journals
  Nature, Science, Astrobiology Journal, International Journal of
  Astrobiology, and Scientific American Journal
 All articles MUST be approved by the instructor
 Teams of two-three students are allowed
 Presentations length: no more than 10 minutes
  Deadline for requesting Extra Credit: Thursday, Mar 3
            (must have a date and an article)
Examples of student presentations
    from previous semesters
    The KEPLER mission
    Relevance of the iron-sulfur world
    The habitability of Titan
    Biosignatures in ancient rocks
    Biological terraforming of Mars
    Distribution of stars most-likely to harbor life
    Discovery of methane on an extrasolar planet
    Ancient hot springs on Mars

You will be given “0 pt” for cheating on
 assignments (quiz or homework)
Cheating on exams will result in immediate
 failure in the class
In all cases a letter will be sent to the Dean of
 Students describing the incident
        Classroom Behavior

Check out the University of Arizona Code
 of Academic Integrity and podcast:
   (click on “Academic Integrity” on the left)
          Classroom Behavior

 No Food or Drink permitted in the classroom. Bottled
  water is fine
 Pagers/cell phones should be off
 Late arrival/Early departure are exceptions, not the
 Disruptive behavior will be reported – loud talking,
  leaving in the middle of a lecture without prior notice
  to instructor

    Please help keeping Room 308 in good shape!
          Class Participation
You are strongly encouraged to:
       Ask questions during lectures
       Participate to class discussions
       Be active in class activities

            What Is Your Reward?
 Well-posed, insightful, discussion-promoting
  questions will be worth extra-credit points
      added to the overall homework grade
   Let Us Know About You…
Information Sheet back to us at your earliest
     Your Name
     Your Email address (UofA preferred)
     Your Major
     Your Science background (i.e., high school,
      college algebra, etc.)
     Which Astrobiology topics are of interest to you
      and what would you like to learn in this class
What do you expect to
 learn in this class?
         What is Astrobiology?
Science that studies the origin, evolution, distribution and
  future of life in the universe
- It is a mix of other sciences: Biology, Chemistry, Planetary
    Science, Climate, Astronomy, Geology
Basic Scientific Questions:
   – How does life begin and evolve?
   – Does life exist elsewhere in the Universe?
   – What is the future of life on Earth and beyond?
             What is Science?
            Tool to understand how the
              natural world works

 Search of repeatable patterns that can tell us
  something about the workings of various phenomena
  in the Universe

 The best way to describe patterns is with equations
  that provide specific, quantifiable predictions
Science is:
The Scientific Method
 Observations
 Identifying Patterns &
  formulate Hypothesis
 Prediction
 Testing Hypothesis
  (more observations
   and/or experiments)
 Formulate Theory

 Basic assumption: Physical events are
                  predictable and quantifiable
Science is NOT:
 Capable of finding absolute truths (but you may prove
  that something is false!)
 Required to be unbiased (but it requires the ability to
  move beyond belief and carry out tests)
 Capable of addressing every question
 Required to start at a particular point in the scientific

Examples of non-sciences?
       Astrology, Creationism, Belief in UFO’s,
       Psychic Phenomena, The X Files
   1) How does life begin and evolve?
   2) Does life exist elsewhere in the Universe?
   3) What is the future of life on Earth and beyond?

    Science                                Religion


Testability required                Testability not required
        Why Astrobiology now?
• Although multicellular life is unlikely elsewhere in our
  Solar System, we are learning that microbial life is
  very tenacious
• Although we always new the universe was full of stars,
  we have only very recently discovered it is full of
• We are finally gaining the technological capability to
  scientifically study the extremes of life, and Solar System
  and extrasolar planets

    After thousands of years of speculation, YOURS is the
    generation with the capability to detect extraterrestrial
   Challenges of Astrobiology
 Humans cannot make life out of the abiotic materials
  (so far)
 Only one example of biosphere (so far) – Earth
          But we have not ruled out Mars yet!
 Humankind is not good at space travel
Course Outline
Introduction: What is Life?
Follow the Carbon
Follow the Energy
Follow the (liquid) Water
Life on Earth
Life on Mars
Life on outer Solar System Moons
Life beyond the Solar System
                 Math in PTYS-214
1.   PTYS-214 is not a Math class, but…
       … Math is the language of Science, we cannot
            avoid using it
3.   Math is useful!
         You can survive without it…
                      …but if you know it you will use it!
5.   It is ok to feel lost, it is not ok to give up.
     We are here to help you!
4.   Math used in this course: Mainly Algebra
                               Conversion of Units
                               Applications of equations
            Units of Science: SI*
       The International System of Units
            (also Metric System, or MKS System)

Distance: Meter                 (m)
  1m = 3.28 ft    1 km = 1000 m = 0.62 mi         1 AU = 1.5×108 km
Mass: Kilogram                  (kg)
  1 kg = 2.21 pounds                    1 ounce = 28.35 grams
                       Mass of Earth = 6×1024 kg
Time: Second                    (s)
  1 min = 60 s                           1 yr = 3.1536×107 s
  1 hr = 3600 s
Temperature: Kelvin             (K)
  1 K = 1°C = 1.8°F                      32°F = 273 K = 0°C
                                         212°F = 373 K = 100°C

            *from the French Le Système International d'Unités
            Conversion of Units:
                Use Fractions

Treat units of measurements like a fraction:
     - Write fractions that are equal to 1 and multiply
       by them
              1 km = 1000 m      

     - If you see the same unit in the numerator and
        denominator, you can cancel it
 Hint: keep the unit you are moving to in the numerator
        How many meters are in a mile?

1 mi = 1.61 km           1 km = 1000 m 


               1 mi = 1610 m
               Scientific Notation
   Shorter way to write very large/small numbers
              Based on powers of 10
- Example: Light travels at a speed of 300,000,000 m/s
                          Too Long!!!!
   Starting from the left, put the decimal point after the first non-
     zero digit (i.e., to its right), and count the digits to the end
               300,000,000 m/s = 3.0  108 m/s

- Same concept for small numbers: Move the decimal point
  after the first non-zero digit, count the steps you moved and add
  a minus sign to the exponent
                    0.0012 m = 1.2  10-3 m
  Example: multiply two numbers
  expressed in scientific notation

                   2104  4105

1. Multiply the coefficients: 2  4 = 8
2. Add the exponents: (104)  (105) = 104+5 = 109

     2104  4105 = (24)10(4+5)=8109
          It is all about practice!
- Multiplication: (2104)  (4105) = (24)10(4+5)
   1. Multiply the coefficients: 2  4 = 8
   2. Add the exponents: (104)  (105) = 104+5 = 109

- Division: (7108) : (2103) = (7:2)10(8-3)
    1. Divide the coefficients: 7 : 2 = 3.5
    2. Subtract the exponents: (108) : (103) = 108-3 = 105

- Addition/Subtraction: extract maximum common
             (2104) + (4105) = (2)104 + (410)104
                              = (2+40)104 = 42104 = 4.2105
             Homework #1
     Due in class Tuesday, Jan. 18

Simple practice exercises about scientific
 notation and unit conversion
Provides a useful unit conversion sheet that
 you should keep as a reference for the rest of
 the semester