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Study exasolar planets in particular terrestrial ones

  1. Jan 9, 2009 #1
    Hi,

    I have posted here a few times but lately I think I have been refining my interests somewhat so I want to compare my goals up against the reality.

    I think I would like to work in a field of study exasolar planets in particular terrestrial ones that may harbor earth like life. Now some you engineer types might find this sort of pursuit naive, but I would like some feedback on a few things.

    I figure this would be a pretty good time scale to study such things since when roughly when I am getting out of grad school or toward the end the Terrestrial Planet Finder or a similar mission will probably be close to being launched.

    1. The current school I am in has only a pure physics program with no real astronomy or astrophysics courses. I know I wanted a degree in physics and not astronomy but Does this hurt my chances of getting into a program to do this sort of work? Furthermore, which schools are on the forefront of such research anyways?

    2. Getting an internship in this sort of field, be it something like SETI or something else, what is out there for undergrad research opportunities in this field.

    3. I hear the term astrobiology used a lot, and while I find biology interesting I don't really want to have to take a bunch of courses in it and I don't really see how general biology applies very well to this sort of field, the type of stuff a premed or something takes. What sort of biology background if any is needed for someone who would like to work in this field.
     
  2. jcsd
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