Exoplanets in Fact and Fiction

This course will look at the amazing discovery of planets around stars other than the sun.  This wondrous adventure is happening right now and showing us much more about our place in the universe.  We will look at how these discoveries are made, what the planets being discovered are like, what these discoveries tell us about stars, planets, planetary systems, and the overall universe around us.  We will also discuss some of what the future may hold with these new worlds; are they accessible to humans, could they be new homes for humans and other members of the biosphere, what do they tell us about the possibility of life and even intelligence not from Earth? We will primarily read popular science articles about exoplanets along with some books about astrobiology and maybe a science fiction story or two.