Life in Space: Astrobiology for Everyone

Life in Space: Astrobiology for Everyone

by Lucas John Mix
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674033213

ISBN-13: 9780674033214

Pub. Date: 03/31/2009

Publisher: Harvard University Press

Life is a property of the universe. We may not know how it began or where else it exists, but we have come to know a great deal about how it relates to stars, planets, and the larger cosmos. In clear and compelling terms, this book shows how the emerging field of astrobiology investigates the nature of life in space. How did life begin? How common is it? Where do

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Overview

Life is a property of the universe. We may not know how it began or where else it exists, but we have come to know a great deal about how it relates to stars, planets, and the larger cosmos. In clear and compelling terms, this book shows how the emerging field of astrobiology investigates the nature of life in space. How did life begin? How common is it? Where do we fit in? These are the important questions that astrobiology seeks to answer.

A truly interdisciplinary endeavor, astrobiology looks at the evidence of astronomy, biology, physics, chemistry, and a host of other fields. A grand narrative emerges, beginning from the smallest, most common particles yet producing amazing complexity and order. Lucas Mix is a congenial guide through the depths of astrobiology, exploring how the presence of planets around other stars affects our knowledge of our own; how water, carbon, and electrons interact to form life as we know it; and how the processes of evolution and entropy act upon every living thing.

This book also reveals that our understanding and our context are deeply intertwined. It shows how much astrobiology can tell us about who we are—as a planet, as a species, and as individuals.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674033214
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
03/31/2009
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
344
Sales rank:
738,727
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 8.60(h) x 3.60(d)

Table of Contents

  1. Caught Up in Life
  2. Living Science
  3. Defining Life
  4. A Well-Behaved Universe
  5. Well-Behaved Observers?
  6. Life in the Cosmos
  7. Life among the Stars
  8. The Planetary Phenomenon
  9. The Inner Solar System
  10. The Outer Solar System
  11. Extrasolar Planets
  12. Life and Time
  13. Making Cells from Scratch
  14. Building Biospheres
  15. Molecules
  16. Metabolism
  17. The Tree of Life
  18. Exceptions
  19. Intelligence
  20. The Story of Life


  • Abbreviations
  • Notes
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index

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