"Mungkin saja kehidupan lain di luar bumi sana sedang menunggu kita untuk dikunjungi"
3. From Astrochemistry to Astrobiology
Stanford University Course
In the Stanford Astrobiology Course, our lectures follow a more or less linear path from the Big Bang all the way to the development of complex life and, finally, space exploration. It is truly amazing how evolutionary principles have operated at the macro, and micro, level ever since the birth of the universe we reside in today.
Physics, research, experimentation, astronomy, extraterrestrial life, planets, asteroids, cosmology, measurements, data, innovation, development, history, science, telescopes, observations, theories, predictions, telescopes, instruments, light, expansion.
A syllabus for the Winter, 2010 Astrobiology Course can be downloaded here.
The Big Bang created the physical universe. Of course life is part of this physical universe, but the immediate building blocks of life are chemicals. Before the Big Bang, words such as “time” had no meaning, but even in the first few minutes there could be no chemistry since there were no atoms. The nuclei of some of the lighter elements formed within minutes, atoms some time later, and elements heavier than lithium were forged in the supernovae of stars. Thus, we are primarily star dust, although the hydrogen atom you drink tonight may be nearly as old as the Big Bang.
But living organisms are more than a collection of atoms. They are a cauldron of molecules in a solvent. For life on earth, that solvent is water. The building blocks of chemical compounds had to form other molecules as well, especially ones based on carbon. Where could these compounds have been formed? Were they formed on earth or transported from elsewhere?
Most stunning are the recent discoveries in astrochemistry showing that the organic compounds that make up life on earth may possibly be THE language of the universe. In September 2010, the NASA Ames IR Spectroscopic Database was released, along with tools to access it. See the press release.
“Chemical Evolution across Space and Time: From The Big Bang to Prebiotic Chemistry” Eds Lori Zaikowski and Jon Friedrich; Published by American Chemical Society, Wash. DC ISBN 978-0-8412-0
Amallondalla’s is chapter 5: ” Chemical Evolution in the Interstellar Medium: Feedstock of Solar Systems.
The next volume is entitled:
“Chemical Evolution across Space and Time: From Origins of Life to Modern Society” Eds Lori Zaikowski and Jon Friedrich; Published by American Chemical Society, Wash.
This Scientific American article is geared to the general scientifically literate audience: ”Life’s Far-Flung Raw Materials”,
Bernstein, Sandford, Allamandola, Scientific American, July 1999
"The space effort is very simply a continuation of the expansion of ecological range, which has been occurring at an accelerating rate throughout the evolutionary history of Man..."
~Ward J. Haas, "Biological Significance of the Space Effort," in Annals of the New York Academy of Science, 1966 ~
Below you will find a list of recommended resources. If you would like to learn more about the Big Bang, check out these books, videos, and articles.
1. Stanford University