International Certificate Program in Astrobiology 2018

Note – This course is available for participants up to the age of 18 years

Read Prologue Register Now

Course Designed by:
Indian Astrobiology Research Centre

Main Instructors
Pushkar Ganesh Vaidya, Scientist & Head, IARC

Contributors via NASCA:
Dr. Henry Throop, NASA | Planetary Science Institute
Nitesh Pandey, IARC
Prof. Chandra Wickramasinghe, Cambridge, UK
Professor Emeritus. S.M. Chitre, TIFR | Centre (via NASSCA)

About the Course

Mode: Offline Course (book-based) – 6 Modules
Interaction Platform: Edmodo
Fee for National Participants: Rs. 2499
Fee for International Participants: Euro 99

Please note: Book Dispatches will begin from 15 Aug 2018.

For any queries, please write to or call us on +91 8454 0404 64

Course Syllabus & How it Works

How it Works

Step 1

Fee Payment
Option 1 – Fill the online form and pay the fee online through our payment gateway here.
Option 2 – (Overseas participants only) – Fill the online form and pay the fee via paypal

Note: Institute Fee Refund Policy – If a participant chooses to withdraw from the course within 7 calendar days of getting the study material

Step 2

The study material will be dispatched within 15 days of receiving the fee

Step 3


  1. Offline assignment work
  2. Online Assessment (MCQ)  to be taken within 6 months of registration

Grades A+, A and B will be awarded

Step 4


  1. On successful completion of assessment, certificate will be awarded.
  2. Rewards like medallions (if applicable) will be dispatched along with certificates

Course Syllabus

Module 1 – Life

Scientific Method & Basics

  1. Scientific Method & Scientific Evidence
  2. The Standard Model of Particle Physics
  3. Units of Distance
  4. Electromagnetic Spectrum & Spectroscopy

Evolution of Life

  1. Building Blocks of Life; Urey-Miller Experiment
  2. Overview of Genetics; the DNA and RNA molecule
  3. Theories about the Origin of Life
  4. Evolution & Natural Selection

Classification of Life

  1. Kingdoms and Domains of Life
  2. Life at Extremes; Types of Extremophiles
  3. Tree of Life
  4. Biological Classification


Module 2 – Astrobiology


  1. The Scope and Definition of Astrobiology
  2. Extraterrestrial life
  3. The Astrobiology Roadmap
  4. Astrobiology Resources

Habitable Zones

  1. Circumstellar Habitable Zone
  2. Habitable Zone of the Solar System
  3. Continuous Habitable Zone
  4. Galactic Habitable Zone

Extrasolar Planets

  1. Methods to Detect Extrasolar Planets
  2. Space Missions to Search for Extrasolar Planets
  3. Super Earths and Earth-like Planets
  4. Overview of Extrasolar Systems

Signatures of Life

  1. Biomarkers in Space
  2. Vegetation Red Edge (VRE)
  3. The Transpermia Hypothesis
  4. The Panspermia Hypothesis


Module 3 – Extraterrestrial Life In The Solar System

Rocky Planets

  1. Life on Mercury
  2. Life on Venus
  3. Life on Mars
  4. Life on Earth’s Moon

Gaseous Planets

  1. Life on Jupiter and Saturn
  2. Life on Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto
  3. Life on Galilean Moons
  4. Life on Titan and Enceladus


Module 4 – Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence


  1. Basics and History of SETI
  2. SETI Searches; Radio SETI, Optical SETI, Dysonian SETI
  3. Contact Protocol
  4. The Water-Hole Frequency

Are We Alone?

  1. The Rare Earth Hypothesis and Equation
  2. The UFO Phenomenon
  3. The Drake Equation
  4. The Fermi Paradox