- Code EMSC3022
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by Research School of Earth Sciences
- ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
- Course subject Earth and Marine Science
- Areas of interest Earth and Marine Sciences, Astronomy and Astrophysics
This course includes an on campus activity. Check timetable for details. Contact course convener if you are unable to travel to Canberra.
How did the Earth form? How do planets form? How can we search for life beyond Earth? This course is an introduction to planetary science that tries to answer these questions.
We will explore the solar system and exoplanets. We will step back in time to examine the earliest solar system, going back to the origin of the elements themselves and the processes that build new solar systems, planetary surfaces and planetary interiors. We will examine how planets are explored and modelled using theory, experiments and field studies. We will study the essential ingredients for life on planets and strategies to search for life beyond Earth.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Explain, in scientific terms, the astronomical context of planet formation in our solar system and exoplanetary systems, and the evolution of planetary bodies.
- Recognise key visual aspects of planets and exoplanets through observations.
- Apply data and approaches used on Earth (e.g., experimental data and field analog sites) to other planetary bodies.
- Demonstrate laboratory skills through a range of modules requiring, for example, models of orbital dynamics, descriptions of rocks from the solar system, and crater counting methodology for Mars and Moon.
- Critically evaluate a planetary science topic
A nominal trip fee of $50 will be levied via Science Shop .
- Short Pre-Lab Online Quizzes (20) [LO 1,2,3]
- Research Essay and Presentation (30) [LO 1,2,5]
- Peer-review of Other Students' Research Essays & Presentations (10) [LO 1,5]
- Lab Book (10) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Final Exam (30) [LO 1,2,3,4]
In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle.
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The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the semester including:
- Face-to face component which may consist of 1 x 2 hour tutorial plus 1 x 3 hour tutorial/lab per week
- A couple of excursions associated with the course. For example: 1) an evening field trip to the ANU Stromlo Observatory early in the semester; 2) a trip during a course time to the UNSW, Canberra Impact Dynamics Laboratory; 3) a weekend day-trip to the Deep Space Network facility at Tidbinbilla; and 4) a weekend day-trip to field sites in NSW that are analogs for environments on Mars.
- Approximately 45 hours of self-study which will include preparation for lectures, presentations and other assessment tasks.
To be determined
Requisite and Incompatibility
McSween et al. (2019) Planetary Geoscience. Cambridge University Press. 334 pp.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.
- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees. Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.
Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.