Understanding Life in the Universe

Understanding Life in the Universe

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Date of Publication:
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Product details:

No. of pages:150 pages
Size:177x128x10 mm
Weight:220 g
Short description:

Explores the possible nature of extraterrestrial life, and how similar it may be to life on Earth.

Long description:
The two most fascinating questions about extraterrestrial life are where it is found and what it is like. In particular, from our Earth-based vantage point, we are keen to know where the closest life to us is, and how similar it might be to life on our home planet. This book deals with both of these key issues. It considers possible homes for life, with a focus on Earth-like exoplanets. And it examines the possibility that life elsewhere might be similar to life here, due to the existence of parallel environments, which may result in Darwinian selection producing parallel trees of life between one planet and another. Understanding Life in the Universe provides an engaging and myth-busting overview for any reader interested in the existence and nature of extraterrestrial life, and the realistic possibility of discovering credible evidence for it in the near future.

'A fascinating overview of life on Earth and the prospects of finding parallel forms of it on habitable exoplanets. Wallace Arthur provides an engaging, yet scientifically accurate, overview of the current knowledge and what to expect from the next Copernican revolution looming on the horizon of astronomy.' Avi Loeb, Professor of Science, Harvard University, USA
Table of Contents:
Foreword; Preface; Acknowledgements; 1. The search for extraterrestrial life; 2. Where in the universe to look?; 3. Evolution - here and elsewhere; 4. The key concept of habitability; 5. Life in the solar system; 6. Life in other planetary systems; 7. The nature of extraterrestrial life; 8. Intelligence - here and elsewhere; Concluding remarks; Summary of common misunderstandings; References and further reading; Figure credits; Index.