Stanford University
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Upcoming Courses

New courses coming this year!

The following exciting planetary science courses will be added soon onto the Stanford Bulletin's Explore Courses site.

Earth & Planetary Processes (GEOLSCI 3)

An introduction course to the physics of Earth and planetary processes for geoscience majors. More information coming soon.

Science-Fiction Worlds (GEOPHYS 30N, GEOLSCI 30N)

Science fiction writers, with limited knowledge of what technologies or discoveries about space might exist in the future, must build entire worlds in their minds and craft underlying physical laws about how these fantastical places might operate and the types of environments that they could sustain.  In this course, we will use popular works of science fiction from film, television, and literature as conversation starters to discuss real discoveries that have been made about how planets form and evolve over time.  The class will focus on the following overarching questions: (1) What conditions are required for habitable planets to form?  (2) What types of planets may actually exist, including desert worlds, lava planets, ice planets, and ocean worlds? (3) What kinds of life could inhabit such diverse worlds?  (3) What types of catastrophic events such as supernovas, asteroid impacts, climate changes can nurture or destroy planetary habitability?

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