Habitable Worlds: Are We Alone?

Now, I’m not going to write a post answer­ing that ques­tion. Instead, I invite you to explore that on your own and I’m talk­ing about Hab­it­able Worlds online course. It’s going to be launched soon.

Hab­Worlds is a pow­er­ful adap­tive learn­ing plat­form with sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly accu­rate sim­u­la­tions and infor­ma­tive lec­tures, and will allow you to expe­ri­ence sci­ence beyond dry obser­va­tions and facts.

What I like about the idea here is that the course is orga­nized around the Drake Equa­tion and puts togeth­er stars, plan­ets, hab­it­abil­i­ty, life, intel­li­gence, tech­nol­o­gy, and sus­tain­abil­i­ty. (Not to men­tion that I real­ly enjoyed the music from this video.)

Jeno Marz
JENO MARZ is a science fiction writer from Latvia, Northern Europe, with background in electronics engineering and computer science. She is the author of two serial novels, Falaha’s Journey: A Spacegirl’s Account in Three Movements and Falaha’s Journey into Pleasure. Marz is current at work on a new SF trilogy. All her fiction is aimed at an adult audience.


  1. Ooh thanks Jeno! This looks a great find — I also like the music. Plus their web­site is pret­ty and well designed. I’ll have to share it with The World Build­ing School and Guild. Do you know if this is a free course or if you have to pay for it?

  2. Inter­est­ing, I write a bit of Sci-Fi and didn’t know there was a course on mod­el­ling stel­lar sys­tems.

  3. Oy, the mod­el­ling appears to be above my skill lev­el, I’m a bit tech­no­log­i­cal­ly impaired.

    The fun part with stel­lar sys­tems is the biol­o­gy is very much a part of it from the begin­ning, whether it’s right-hand­ed or left-hand­ed nucle­ic acids present in the ini­tial disk or the devel­op­ment of self-repli­cat­ing life forms.

    I’ll stop back by, both the astro­bi­ol­o­gy and sys­tem mod­el­ling look inter­est­ing even if the math los­es me.

    1. Well, the math here is not that hor­ri­ble if you know what you are building—you use basic cal­cu­lus, for­mu­las, and spread­sheets (or spe­cif­ic soft­ware with some input). Mod­el­ing is not that scary as some might think. Except, maybe, 3D atmospheric/ocean dynam­ics mod­els. I haven’t got­ten past set­ting up the envi­ron­ment stage myself yet.

      Cheers, J

  4. Ah, cal­cu­lus, the bane of my for­ma­tive years and an arch-neme­sis. “Cry hav­oc and loose the hounds of cal­cu­lus!”

    The first time I posit­ed a stel­lar sys­tem (sev­er­al years ago, using a large quan­ti­ty of paper and sev­er­al pen­cils) I final­ly resort­ed to use of the ‘Stel­lar Dart­board’ — once I was able to find a cal­cu­la­tor I found my ini­tial assump­tions weren’t that far off.

    Once I get through the cur­rent project I’ll be able to get a bet­ter idea of how the tools in ques­tion work.

    Regard­ing the atmos­pher­ic / ocean­ic mod­els ver­sus envi­ron­ments, the three are inex­tri­ca­bly inter­re­lat­ed, as one part alters the oth­ers alter as well. In order to prop­er­ly visu­al­ize the con­nec­tions, you’d prob­a­bly need one of the IBM arrays that can graph­i­cal­ly mod­el cat­a­stroph­ic fis­sion or fusion events.

    1. Well, no need for an array. MIT­gcm works fine on a laptop/desktop. You’d need Lin­ux (Ubun­tu 10.10 would do fine) and some aver­age pro­cess­ing pow­er. Any mod­el­ing takes time.

  5. Apolo­gies, I remem­ber com­put­ers with punch cards and I guess some of the soft­ware has got­ten bet­ter.

    I sup­pose if I under­stood the math bet­ter, what I ‘run through’ with my visu­al cor­tex would bet­ter match what the com­put­ers come up with.

    Oh well, back to the salt mine, have a great after­noon.

  6. Ah, came up for air so to speak and saw the reply email.

    You’ve an inter­est­ing sub­ject board, why would peo­ple rarely stop by?

    1. Because I post rarely (I’m not that an avid blog­ger); gain­ing read­er­ship is hard task. So any­one join­ing the small crowd is a good thing.

  7. I under­stand, if forced to choose between blog­ging and the worlds and char­ac­ters ‘wait­ing to have their sto­ries’ told writ­ing wins out.

  8. I prob­a­bly should start a blog, but I doubt a morn­ing spent going through Barycen­ter cal­cu­la­tions would elic­it much inter­est.

    The after­noon of writ­ing though, a very dif­fer­ent sto­ry…

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