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Getting another degree never hurts, so why NOT get one in aliens?

In today’s tough job market, it always helps to have a solid education to rely upon, some people even spend quite a bit of time in school to have an extra few degrees to help them land that perfect job. The Edinburgh University of Scotland is looking to help you out with finding that great way to spend your day that you’ve always wanted by offering a few free classes online… in aliens!

The Huffington Post writes

Now you can be a professional alien hunter too. Edinburgh University is about to make it possible for the average Joe to search for extraterrestrials. The university, one of the most prestigious in the world and located in Scotland’s capital city of Edinburgh, is offering a series of free online courses, including “Astrobiology and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life,” The course will explore the possible ways to discover life on Earth-like planets and the implications if and when ultimate contact with another civilization occurs. The whole concept of Earth-like planets in orbit around other suns — planets that may have all the important conditions to harbor life as we know it — has skyrocketed with the amazing success of NASA’s Kepler space observatory, launched in 2009 to search for them. According to the Kepler website, 1,790 host stars with a total of 2,321 planet candidates have been detected by the telescope, with 74 planets confirmed. Starting in the fall, Edinburgh University’s five-week course that will include: Week 1: The definitions of life and how it originated on Earth.Week 2: Early Earth environments when life first emerged and the various evolutionary transitions of life on Earth.Week 3: The prospects for life elsewhere in our solar system and the required conditions for a planet to be habitable.Week 4: How to search for Earth-like planets orbiting distant suns and how to detect possible life there.Week 5: How earthlings would be impacted by the discovery of an extraterrestrial intelligence. This very special ET course will be led by Edinburgh astrobiology professor Charles Cockell and director of the UK Centre for Astrobiology. “This course is an introduction to astrobiology,” Cockell explains on the university’s information page. “It explores the origin and evolution of life on the Earth and its potential to exist elsewhere. “Astrobiology addresses compelling questions of wide interest, such as: How did life originate on Earth? Is this an inevitable process and is life common across the universe?”


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