Scale of the Universe

Powers of Ten

The following categories are organized around the Drake Equation.

R*  x  fp  x  ne  x  fl  x  fi  x  fc  x  L  =  N

Star Formation (R*)

Interstellar Molecules

Continually updated list of interstellar molecules

Star Formation

Has images and a "movie" simulating star formation

Star Formation

Star formation research at the University of Texas


The Fraction of Stars with Planetary Systems (fp)

 Planet searches

  Results so far

Extrasolar Planets Encyclopedia

Lots of links to other sites

  Transit Searches



European mission launched Dec. 2006



Chemical analysis of an exoplanet atmosphere using the transit technique

  Astrometric Searches


  Direct Detection


Mission being planned by NASA for direct detection of earth-like planets.


European mission comparable to TPF



UC Berkeley

Set of links to many sites containing information on exoplanet searches and astrobiology/SETI in general

JPL Intermerometer

Jet Propulsion Laboratory exoplanet site, specializing in Keck, SIM, and TPF interferometer missions



Transit search program (1 detection so far). Contains brief tutorial on other methods and links


Searches 1

Extended summary of many aspects of exoplanet searches

Signs of Life

NASA summary of search for atmospheric signs of life

Searches 2

Excellent summary of different search methods; part of Kepler transit mission web site


Our Solar System (ne)

Interactive Solar System

Applet that shows scaled version of solar system and planet location

  Life in Extreme Circumstances

Lake Vostok (Antarctica)

Discussion in connection to life on Europa

  Probes to Planets in our Solar System

Planetary Missions

Links to upcoming missions, resources


Magellan Mission to Venus

Has archive of Magellan results

Venus Express

ESA mission launched Nov. 2005


Viking Missions to Mars

Description of mission and basic results

Mars Missions

Has information on Mars Odyssey and Global Surveyor

Mars Odyssey

Orbiter began search for water Feb. 2002

Mars Exploration Rover Mission

Mars Rovers launched 2003

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

Launched 2005, arrive April 2006

Phoenix Mission to Mars

Scheduled to launch in 2007

Mars Science Laboratory

Scheduled for launch in late 2011

  Martian Meteorites

Martian Meteorites

Many links, includes other Martian Meteorites


Project Galileo


Cassini-Huygens Home

Plans and status of mission


Europa and Other Moons

Lots of Europa links

Cassini-Huygens ESA Home

Results from the Huygens lander on Titan


Origins of Life (fl)

Life in Extreme Environments

Many interesting links

NASA Astrobiology Institute

NASA Astrobiology home page

How to Search for Life

National Report on Life Detection Methods

The Genetic Code Evolution

Under construction in 2002, but could have useful tutorials

General Astrobiology Links

Links to many areas not covered at other sites


Excellent discussion of astrobiology, oriented toward panspermia arguments

Strother Origin of Life Course Notes

Origin and evolution of life on earth course + many web resources

Walters Evolution Course

Duke Univ. Course

Duke Univ. Introduction to Exobiology course

U. Wash. Graduate Program

Description of Ph.D. program and ongoing research

On-Line Biology Book

Excellent presentations with many illustrations

U. Conn. microbiology course

MIT Biology Hypertext

Kimball's Biology Pages

Comprehensive, covers many topics of inerest in this course

The Astrobiology Index

Probably more links than anyone could get through, with links to original articles (many of them at popular level)

Tree of Life website

Website of author, Dr. David Hillis, UT Austin Integrative Biology. The Tree of Life pdf can also be found here - pdf.


Evolution of Life (fi)

Institute of Human Origins

Many useful items under the "Resources" link

Human Evolution: UCSB Site

Has gallery of crania


Excellent site with latest genetic data

PBS web site re: evolution

Companion site to TV series on evolution

National Center for Science Education

NCSE defends teaching of evolution

National Academy on Evolution

Concise booklet from respected scientists

Human Origins Program

Smithsonian Institution site

Evolution and Intelligent Design Q & A

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) site

Human Genome Project


Cultural Evolution (fc)

Origin of Oral Language

Seems interesting, but not sure about credentials

Origin of Written Language

Strange source, but looks good

Origin of Agriculture

Notes from a plant biology class

More on Origin of Agriculture

Another class notes; has interesting list of consequences


Lifetime of a Technological Civilization (L )

UN Population Report 2001

Report on population and related issues

US Census Bureau Population Clock

You can watch the population grow

US Census Data base

Links to real data

US Geological Survey Estimates

Facts and graphics

Energy Information Administration

Govt. agency website: lots of info about US

BP Review of World Energy

Very thorough report from British Petroleum Corp.

Federation of American Scientists

Many useful analyses

Center for Defense Information

General defense information

Spacewatch Project

Describes project to search for Near Earth Asteroids


Mix of science and speculation

NASA Office of Space Flight

Links to Space Shuttle, Space Station, etc.

Evaluating Your Drake Equation

Interstellar Communication (SETI )

Index of Searches

Index of all searches; appendix to Tarter review 2001

Are We Alone (web radio)

Discussion with SETI Institute staff (Sunday nights)

SETI Institute

Home site for SETI Institute; many links

Project Phoenix

Description of project results

Allen Telescope Array

Description of dedicated SETI instrument under construction

Project BAMBI

Amateur SETI

Harvard SETI

Project BETA, META, and others


Project BETA

SETI at home

(how you can join the search)


The movie

Space Site

A number of links re: searches

Electromagnetic Wave Demo

Demo of electromagnetic wave that moves

Satellte Radio

Description of how satellite radio works

Interstellar Travel  

Status of Warp Drives

Sober description of prospects

Why is it so hard?

Good review of the difficulties

Based on Ordinary Physics

Descriptions of Orion, Daedalus, ...

Project Phoenix

Description of project results

Where are They?

Scientific American article

The Fermi Paradox

Summary of the Fermi argument


Fairly high level discussion of worm holes and difficulties; has movies of falling into black holes and wormholes

Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal

Home page of the main debunkers of claims

Perry Klass Files

Klass has debunked many UFO claims

Websites for Chapter 2 on Galaxy Formation

Galaxy Formation  

Galaxy formation

has movies and some explanation

Galaxy and Structure formation

Most extensive calculation as of 2007; lots of movies.