- Class Number 6049
- Term Code 3360
- Class Info
- Unit Value 6 units
- Mode of Delivery In Person
- Penny King
- Dr Olivier ALARD
- Penny King
- Catherine Wilsbacher
- Tao Ye
- Class Dates
- Class Start Date 24/07/2023
- Class End Date 27/10/2023
- Census Date 31/08/2023
- Last Date to Enrol 31/07/2023
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
This course will introduce you to real world problems and give you the opportunity to figure out strategies for solving them. Some laboratory sessions will allow you to create new knowledge that you can then assess. The research poster will provide you with the opportunity to learn about the cutting-edge research going on in planetary sciences. You will have the opportunity to review other students’ posters and to present your research poster in an oral presentation - both skills required in research.
There are two field trips in August:
- Mount Stromlo evening planet and night sky observations: Friday, 4th of August 7-10:30 pm. $15 contribution to be paid through Science Shop.
- Field trip in the Canberra region to learn about planetary analogue field sites: Saturday, 12th of August 8:30 am - 6 pm. $50 contribution to be paid through Science Shop.
The following information is a supplement to the CoS Field Trip page. Please confer with the convenor as early as possible with any questions or concerns.
Students in EMSC3022/EMSC6022 will participate in a number of evening and day trips to learn about different aspects of Planetary Science. Typically, we will visit Mt Stromlo (night sky viewing) and field sites in the Canberra region (Martian analog field sites). Some years we will also visit the UNSW-Canberra (Impact Dynamics Research Laboratory). During these visits, students will make observations that will be used in the assessments.
All field trips can be arranged so that any student with access restrictions related to mobility can attend; please contact the convenor so that arrangements can be made in advance of the trip. Students who cannot participate in the trips will be able to negotiate alternative participation and assessment requirements with the course convenor. If you may require this, please discuss with the course convenor during week 1.
During some of the indoor trips we will be visiting working laboratories containing hazardous materials. We strongly encourage students with a medical condition that may impact their safety to discuss this with the course convener.
Students must act in a professional, respectful and responsible way at all times during the activity. The owners of the field sites we visit have often generously made time to show us around and it is crucial that all students behave in a manner that reflects this. Students who do not meet these expectations will be asked to leave. If you are unsure about the expectations or think your behaviour might be misinterpreted, please talk to the course convenor. We can clarify the expectations and work with you to ensure the any stakeholders we encounter aren't inadvertently left with the wrong impression.
Additional Course Costs
Examination Material or equipment
Foreign language dictionary with permission of the convenor.
Tutorials: Notebook or paper, calculator, ruler, pen and bring a laptop if you prefer.
Text book: McSween, Jr, H., Moersch, J., Burr, D., Dunne, W., Emery, J., Kah, L., & McCanta, M. (2019). Planetary Geoscience. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316535769; https://www.cambridge.org/au/academic/subjects/earth-and-environmental-science/planetary-science-and-astrobiology/planetary-geoscience?format=AR
Additional Resources: Glossary of terms: www.psrd.hawaii.edu/PSRDglossary.html
Recommended student system requirements
ANU courses commonly use a number of online resources and activities including:
- video material, similar to YouTube, for lectures and other instruction
- two-way video conferencing for interactive learning
- email and other messaging tools for communication
- interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities
- print and photo/scan for handwritten work
- home-based assessment.
To fully participate in ANU learning, students need:
- A computer or laptop. Mobile devices may work well but in some situations a computer/laptop may be more appropriate.
- Speakers and a microphone (e.g. headset)
- Reliable, stable internet connection. Broadband recommended. If using a mobile network or wi-fi then check performance is adequate.
- Suitable location with minimal interruptions and adequate privacy for classes and assessments.
- Printing, and photo/scanning equipment
For more information please see https://www.anu.edu.au/students/systems/recommended-student-system-requirements
Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
- Written comments (on assessment items and via Wattle)
- Verbal comments (in the classroom, lab, and via Wattle)
- Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, and in some cases focus groups (in person and via Wattle)
Student FeedbackANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.
Further information on assessment due dates is provided in the assessment section of the class summary, and details are provided on the course wattle site.
|Summary of Activities
|Overview of Course, Research Poster Guidelines, and Solar System Exploration
|Seek approval for research poster topic
|Big Bang, Galaxies, & StarsElements & Isotopes
|Quiz 1Field trip to Mount Stromlo (Friday evening)
|Accretion & Formation of Planets & SatellitesPlanetary Motions & Migrations
|Quiz 2Field Trip 1 Questions (due Wk 3 Mon 17.00)Field trip in Canberra region (Saturday)
|Heat Flow & the Evolution of Planetary CrustsMeteorites, Minerals & Compositions
|Probing Planetary Interiors & TectonicsPlanetary Surfaces - VolcanismVisit from Dr David Blake, NASA Ames
|Quiz 4Field Trip 2 Questions (due Wk 5 Mon 17.00)
|Planetary Surfaces - Sediments & IceRegolith & Thermal Inertia
|Impact Cratering and Delivery of Water
|Quiz 6Authors submit posters to peer reviewers (due Wk 7 Mon 17.00)
|Searching for Life on MarsResearch Presentation Peer Review Session
|Quiz 7Peer reviews returned (due Wk 8 Tues 17.00)
|Planetary AtmospheresDesigning a Habitable Planet or Exo-planet
|The Record of LifeLife, the Atmosphere & Organic Matter
|Quiz 9Final research poster due (due Wk 10 Mon 17.00)
|Missions & Future Opportunities Research Presentation practice
|Quiz 10Research Presentations begin
|Review Session/Research PresentationsResearch pitch to space scientists & career session
ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.
|Quizzes and Test
|1, 2, 3, 4, 5
|Research Poster & Presentation
|1, 2, 3, 5
|Field Trip (Trip 1 and 2)
|2, 3, 5
* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details
PoliciesANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:
Assessment RequirementsThe ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.
Moderation of AssessmentMarks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.
Participation is expected in the laboratories, poster and peer-review items as well as field trips. Field trips are designed to be largely accessible to all people and alternate work will be available.
Assessment Task 1
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Quizzes and Test
WHAT: Lab quizzes throughout the semester
- Quizzes - 24% (Best 8 of 10 count)
- Exam - 21%
Quizzes: To help students to build on concepts throughout the course. Will include concepts from the previous week's lab content and a few questions about the current week's lab.
Exam: To help students consolidate their learning.
GRADING: Quizzes are online, multiple choice and short-answer questions based on the previous and coming week's labs. Quizzes are due on Wed 17.00.
Exam will contain multiple-choice and short answer questions on lecture and lab topics. Short-answer questions will be graded based on completeness and quality of the answer.
Assessment Task 2
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 5
Research Poster & Presentation
Poster: As part of a group project proposing a new mission concept, small groups of students will prepare an A0 size poster with text, figures & tables to illustrate points (including at least one figure prepared by the students), plus a reference list. Written response to peer-review.
Presentation: Oral presentation with questions from space experts.
Poster: Finding & synthesising recent, high-quality literature on a topic and applying it to a new mission concept. Writing a set piece with clarity for an educated reader. Evaluating & preparing original figures/tables to illustrate points. Responding to peer-review of your work.
Presentation: Verbally presenting a research topic using a poster. Each student is expected to help present (unless arrangements are made separately with the convenor).
Poster (25%): Marked based upon the content (as outlined in the guidelines), figures and/or tables – including clarity & organisation, grammar & spelling, response to peer-reviewers' suggestions, & references.
Presentation (10%): Assessed based upon structure & content, use and quality of visual aids, attributes of speaker, audience interaction, and response to questions.
Poster presentations take place in Week 11-12. Final presentation to space experts.
Assessment Task 3
Learning Outcomes: 1, 5
Written evaluation of other students' poster including constructive feedback.
Providing constructive feedback to peers and practicing higher-order questioning.
Assessed based on:
- Depth of understanding revealed in the comments; and
- Constructive nature of the comments; and
- Depth of questions.
Assessment Task 4
Learning Outcomes: 2, 3, 5
Field Trip (Trip 1 and 2)
Answer some short questions related to each field trip.
Applying knowledge to problems, undertaking data collection and consolidating knowledge on planetary science and applying it to new situations.
Marked based on the completeness and quality of the answer.
Academic IntegrityAcademic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.
All assessment items will need to be submitted via Wattle as a PDF file.
You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.
Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.
Referencing RequirementsAccepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.
Staff will make their best efforts to give students feedback on assessment items (online) within two weeks of submission.
Extensions and PenaltiesExtensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.
Resubmission of Assignments
Assignments can only be resubmitted in exceptional circumstances by emailing the course convenor within 5 working days of the return of the assignment.
Distribution of grades policyAcademic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.
Support for studentsThe University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
- ANU Health, safety & wellbeing for medical services, counselling, mental health and spiritual support
- ANU Diversity and inclusion for students with a disability or ongoing or chronic illness
- ANU Dean of Students for confidential, impartial advice and help to resolve problems between students and the academic or administrative areas of the University
- ANU Academic Skills and Learning Centre supports you make your own decisions about how you learn and manage your workload.
- ANU Counselling Centre promotes, supports and enhances mental health and wellbeing within the University student community.
- ANUSA supports and represents undergraduate and ANU College students
- PARSA supports and represents postgraduate and research students
Geochemistry, petrology, volcanology, spectroscopy, planetary science
Geochemistry, petrology, volcanology, spectroscopy, planetary science
Dr Olivier ALARD