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midterm_review - AST 5 Life in the Universe Fall 2006 UCLA...

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AST 5: Life in the Universe, Fall 2006, UCLA Midterm review (Following topics are token out from your textbook. This review doesn’t cover everything in this first half of this class, but just some issues that might be important to go through again) Chapter 1: A Universe of Life 1.1 Life Elsewhere 1.2 World beyond imagination z Solar system: grapefruit model (Sun –> grapefruit), Pluto ~ 600 meter away. The nearest star ~ 2500 miles away z Milky Way Galaxy: 100 billion stars in it z Universe: 100 billion galaxies in it. z Communication in space: Takes time!!! Sun -> Earth: 8 minutes (meaning the distance in between is ~ 8 light-minute). Sun -> Nearest star (about 4 light-years away): ~ 4 years 1.3 The Stuff of Life z We are “star stuff”. Why? Evidences (There are at least three!)? z The brief planet formation scenario: Terrestrial planets and Jovian planets. 1.4 Could Biology Be Universal 1.5 The Science of Astrobiology Chapter 2: The Science of Life in the Universe 2.1 The Ancient Roots of Science 2.2 The Copernican Revolution 2.3 The Nature of Modern Science z Hallmarks of Science: (1. Driven by observations, world is understandable; 2. through creating and testing models designed to explain and predict observations; 3. Scientific model should be testable.) z Theory and Hypothesis. 2.4 The Tools and the Methods of the Search z Radiometric Dating ( 238 Ur or 14 C is better?) z Genetic analysis (4-base (ATCG) DNA sequence) z Telescopes (image/spectroscopy)
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2.5 The Golden Age of Astrobiology Chapter 3: The Nature of Life 3.1 What is Life z Properties of Life: Order, Reproduction, Growth and development, Energy utilization, Response, Evolutionary adaptation. z Darwin’s Inescapable Conclusion: fact: Overproduction and struggle for survival fact: Individual variation -> unequal reproductive success (that’s what Darwin called “natural selection”) 3.2
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