Super-Earths And Life

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9/10 stars
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Course Details

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FREE

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  • On demand

Course Provider

edX online courses
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Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be taught by David J. Malan, a senior lecturer on computer science at Harvard University for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. But there's not just one professor - you have access to the entire teaching staff, allowing you to receive feedback on assignments straight from the experts. Pursue a Verified Certificate to document your achievements and use your coursework for job and school applications, promotions, and more. EdX also works with top universities to conduct research, allowing them to learn more about learning. Using their findings, edX is able to provide students with the best and most effective courses, constantly enhancing the student experience.

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Sciences & Technology
Business & Management
22212 reviews

Course Description

Super-Earths And Life is a course about alien life, how we search for it, and what this teaches us about our place in the universe.

In the past decade astronomers have made incredible advances in the discovery of planets outside our solar system. Thirty years ago, we knew only of the planets in our own solar system. Now we know of thousands circling nearby stars.

Meanwhile, biologists have gained a strong understanding of how life evolved on our own planet, all the way back to the earliest cells. We can describe how simple molecules can assemble themselves into the building blocks of life, and how those building blocks might have become the cells that make up our bodies today.

Super-Earths And Life is all about how these two fields together - astronomy and biology - can answer one of our most powerful and primal questions: are we alone in the universe?


HarvardX requires individuals who enroll in its courses on edX to ab...

Super-Earths And Life is a course about alien life, how we search for it, and what this teaches us about our place in the universe.

In the past decade astronomers have made incredible advances in the discovery of planets outside our solar system. Thirty years ago, we knew only of the planets in our own solar system. Now we know of thousands circling nearby stars.

Meanwhile, biologists have gained a strong understanding of how life evolved on our own planet, all the way back to the earliest cells. We can describe how simple molecules can assemble themselves into the building blocks of life, and how those building blocks might have become the cells that make up our bodies today.

Super-Earths And Life is all about how these two fields together - astronomy and biology - can answer one of our most powerful and primal questions: are we alone in the universe?


HarvardX requires individuals who enroll in its courses on edX to abide by the terms of the edX honor code: https://www.edx.org/edx-terms-service. HarvardX will take appropriate corrective action in response to violations of the edX honor code, which may include dismissal from the HarvardX course; revocation of any certificates received for the HarvardX course; or other remedies as circumstances warrant. No refunds will be issued in the case of corrective action for such violations. Enrollees who are taking HarvardX courses as part of another program will also be governed by the academic policies of those programs.

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Reviews 9/10 stars
27 Reviews for Super-Earths And Life

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Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.

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Student

8/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 2 months ago
This is a good introduction to astrobiology. The course opens with sections on life on Earth and the search for extrasolar planets then moves into how these two subjects come together to determine how we might look for life on other planets. The content is clear and informative, and the instructors are knowledgeable and engaging (including the guest lecturers). The quiz questions could be somewhat confusing, at least partially due to the platform not being ideally suited to the types of questions/responses the course seemed to be going for. But overall, this course was a great experience.
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student

9/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 3 months ago
I learned a lot of new things and what I already knew, was finally put in order. Definitely a good course to take.
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Marlies Stienstra profile image
Marlies Stienstra profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 5 reviews
  • 5 completed
3 years, 4 months ago
It was so amazing and inspiring. I learned a lot in a few weeks about this subject. Something that's has to be your thing is reading a lot, there are not so much videos. So that's a thing you need to know before you start. I like to read, so it wasn't a problem. It is really up-to-date with the newest stuff. Love it!
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Sabnam Shrestha profile image
Sabnam Shrestha profile image

Sabnam Shrestha

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 6 months ago
Amazing course. It gives to a strong foundation on how life might have arouse in our planet, and how to look for other habitable planets in the universe. And the best part is that the course does not end here. The peers you will have in this course will be in touch with you through facebook group where one can discuss about future courses and have discussion.
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Christian Schmitt profile image
Christian Schmitt profile image

Christian Schmitt

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 6 months ago
Great course! I really enjoyed learning about exoplanets and the search for life. A great combination of chemistry, biology, physics and geology. The hard stuff is explained in a very easy to understand english and is supported by vidoes and animation which shows the love of the developers of this course to their field of science.
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Vijay Kumar profile image
Vijay Kumar profile image

Vijay Kumar

8/10 starsTaking Now
3 years, 6 months ago
The course as well as discourse is very well done. The more I can describe ones I am into it, hopefully soon.
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James Gordon profile image
James Gordon profile image

James Gordon

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 6 months ago
This course is exceptionally constructed. It provides a logical flow of topics showing how and why each component interacts with one another. The instructors are prompt to answer questions and assist students with questions and/or issues. Harvard has solicited the assistance of industry experts and members from other institutions in order to provide a cohesive and detailed course. Highly recommended.
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A Student

8/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 6 months ago
This course is an incredible course! I'm only in high school, and I understood this course extremely well! Highly recommend this course to anyone interested in the cosmos, and would like to learn more.
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student

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 6 months ago
El curso muestra y enseña sobre la conformación del universo y el origen de la vida en los planetas que pueden sostenerla, muy interactivo, agradable y nada tedioso. Muy recomendado.
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Claudio Felicioli profile image
Claudio Felicioli profile image
6/10 starsCompleted
  • 58 reviews
  • 58 completed
3 years, 7 months ago
An astrobiology course that, while focusing on the problems related to habitability of exoplanets, explore in depth astronomy techniques, introduce astrophysics problems, and gives at least some basics of biology, making it introductory level and suitable to students previously unexposed to the topic. Both content and instructors are good and would have deserved an higher review score, but the content (expecially the advanced topics) is too much based on text documents :(
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Ab. Ashfaq profile image
Ab. Ashfaq profile image

Ab. Ashfaq

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 7 months ago
Spectacular course. Very mind-opening and challenging mean time, quite sophisticated formulas, problem solving, graphics and interesting instructor videos. I enjoyed every bit of it, I recommend it to someone fascinated in space exploration, this is good gateway. There is space for improvement in graphic problem solving and making more clear than riddling question. I certainly benefit from this course. Well compiled anyway.
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Kristina Šekrst profile image
Kristina Šekrst profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 102 reviews
  • 102 completed
3 years, 7 months ago
I have been a community TA for this course, but I'll try not to be biased. This course is a nice introduction to astrobiology and life itself - so if you have no scientific background, you'll still be able to get by. The forums were bursting with discussions, so I believe everybody could have find the way to be successful in this course, no matter the background. This course was much more text-oriented rather than video oriented, so this is its major flaw. The texts were great and informative, with lots of interactive visualizations, but e-courses tend to focus on videos as lectures which engage you in a way you feel as if you're taking a real course. Otherwise, everyone could just read a textbook on astrobiology. So, I recommend the staff for the next iterations to try to record the texts into smaller lectures - it will be easier to follow for students, and for those that want to go in more detail, there would be texts. Although, th... I have been a community TA for this course, but I'll try not to be biased. This course is a nice introduction to astrobiology and life itself - so if you have no scientific background, you'll still be able to get by. The forums were bursting with discussions, so I believe everybody could have find the way to be successful in this course, no matter the background. This course was much more text-oriented rather than video oriented, so this is its major flaw. The texts were great and informative, with lots of interactive visualizations, but e-courses tend to focus on videos as lectures which engage you in a way you feel as if you're taking a real course. Otherwise, everyone could just read a textbook on astrobiology. So, I recommend the staff for the next iterations to try to record the texts into smaller lectures - it will be easier to follow for students, and for those that want to go in more detail, there would be texts. Although, there were amazing interview videos with important scientists, so this is a plus. The major plus is the involvement of the instructors in the forums, which is not that often, so kudos.
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student

9/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 8 months ago
As someone who has been out of the education scene and working for the past few years I found this course an amazing refresher. It has helped re-ignite the passion for learning I once had and I am definitely going to be taking the other courses offered. At a few points I found it a little difficult, but pushed through and found most of the course relatively easy and straightforward so long as I was actively taking notes. It was done within a few hours a day over about 4 days, so it wasn't too time consuming either. A great course for curious people!
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Student

8/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 8 months ago
The thing to remember with this course is that it is an 'introductory' course. If you have previous knowledge in basic physics and biology and can solve high school math, this will still be quite an informative course but not very challenging. I enjoyed the course but found it too short (I completed it in several hours over 2 days) but it was enough of a 'sampler' for me to decide whether to continue with the topic. I signed up for the edx xseries astrophysics after completing this course. The course itself is good and I learnt quite a lot in such a short time but it could be a lot better if it included more videos, lectures and interactive sections. Most of the learning is through reading.
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Student

6/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 8 months ago
This is an interesting topic which I was hoping to find more about. The course is an OK introduction. Unfortunately, like in many Harvard courses the content has been dumbed down to middle school level. I only studied astronomy and biology in high school 25 years ago, but "passed" the entire course in a couple of hours.
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Nastasescu Bogdan Andrei profile image
Nastasescu Bogdan Andrei profile image

Nastasescu Bogdan Andrei

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 8 months ago
This course is a bit difficult, very interesting, very detalied and you really can learn alot of things in just a few hours ( it took me around 5 hours to complete), it really makes you ask alot of questions and get really interested in these subjects.
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Student

8/10 starsTaking Now
3 years, 8 months ago
I have just started taking this class and am disappointed in the lack of live video instruction. So far, everything is in writing. I could buy a book and get the same format. However, I will continue to take the class because the subject is fascinating
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Nhan Pham Van profile image
Nhan Pham Van profile image

Nhan Pham Van

8/10 starsTaking Now
3 years, 8 months ago
All are good and I like the fourth best. I hope to know how to calculate the distances in outer space and the estimated volume of the elements and others to set up a route for a device (available for men after some practice) researching the nearby planets.
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Albaraa Farrag profile image
Albaraa Farrag profile image

Albaraa Farrag

8/10 starsTaking Now
3 years, 8 months ago
I'd like to study this subject to learn more about black holes and transfer around decades. Regards, Albaraa Gomaa Farrag
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amrani maha profile image
amrani maha profile image

amrani maha

10/10 starsTaking Now
3 years, 8 months ago
In my personal opinian, i believe that providing such courses for the public crowd is the noblest thing a human can do , in fact the subject is very intresting,fun and a bit hard to deal with . Generally i am really stunned by the efforts the harvard university makes.
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shaun andrews profile image
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shaun andrews

10/10 starsDropped
3 years, 8 months ago
I think that in any system there will come about independent 'bodies' that will 'want' to 'progress' in one way or other, a system is never 100% secure and change will come about in one form or other,
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Ayush Agarwal profile image
Ayush Agarwal profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 4 reviews
  • 4 completed
4 years, 3 months ago
The first offering of the Super Earths and Life course was pretty good. Although the course doesn't have many video lectures and relies primarily on text and animations for teaching, an interested student will find the content to be good and informative. Coin Fredricks, one of the instructors on this course, was really helpful and active on the forums. The quiz questions are good and even when they were easy, they forced me to think outside the box and informed me about stuff that I didn't know before. Overall, this is a good introductory course that teaches Astrobiology and Astronomy in a broad perspective.
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Student

8/10 starsTaking Now
4 years, 3 months ago
It really informative and introduces learners to many different fields, for example the evolution of life, the techniques used to detect Earth like planets and establishing criterion for evolution of life elsewhere in the universe.
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student

7/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 2 months ago
Very nice course. I think this course will give a learner in depth understanding of our surrounding galaxies, clusters, super clusters, as well as chain of empty voids.
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student

10/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 1 month ago
its really fascinating that astronomy and biology interrelates together. in what way? that i dont know. this makes this course very interesting enough. i just took my astronomy class recently and we talked about life as we know it in each planet in the solar system aside from the planet earth. how i wish i can enroll on this subject to suffice my cravings for greater knowledge about the universe.
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student

10/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 1 month ago
Nice course I like it s all about how these two fields together - astronomy and biology - can answer one of our most powerful and primal questions: are we alone in the universe?
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Marc Hansen profile image
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Marc Hansen

2/10 starsTaking Now
3 years, 8 months ago
Are there ever going to come a chance again? To try this or is it a one time thing? And what are the standards...
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Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.