Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe. This multidisciplinary field encompasses the search for habitable environments in our Solar System and habitable planets outside our Solar System, the search for evidence of prebiotic chemistry and life on Mars and other bodies in our Solar System, laboratory and field research into the origins and early evolution of life on Earth, and studies of the potential for life to adapt to challenges on Earth and in space. Learn more about astrobiology

Astrobiology Courses at UH

ASTR281: Astrobiology

Course Description: Are we alone in the universe? Modern astronomical, geological, chemical and biological perspectives on this fundamental question. This course, designed for non-majors, will use the combined expertise of the UH NASA Astrobiology research group to introduce the interdisciplinary science of astrobiology. In a series of lectures, discussions and invited speakers, we will explore components of the Drake Equation to help you draw scientifically valid opinions about the origin(s), evolution, distribution and future of life in the universe. Read more…

CHEM657/ASTR657: Astrochemistry – Molecular Approach

Course Description: The ultimate goal of this class is to understand and to predict the fundamental chemical and physical processes leading to the formation of molecules ranging from diatomics (H2) to complex, astro-biologically important species (amino acids, sugars) in the interstellar medium and in our Solar System – both in the gas phase (e.g. molecular clouds, star forming regions, atmospheres of planets and their moons) and in the solid state (interstellar grains, icy planets and moons, comets). A detailed understanding of these processes is imperative to correctly interpret data from astronomical observations and from actual space missions and to develop realistic models how distinct interstellar and Solar System environments are processed chemically. Read more…

ASTR740: Astrobiology Seminar

Course Description: Interdisciplinary research topics in astrobiology as they relate to the theme of water: formation in space, role in creating pre-biotic molecules, delivery to earth, and terrestrial planet habitability. Repeatable three times. Pre: graduate level sciences and ideas, or consent.