Strange New Worlds: The Search for Alien Planets and Life beyond Our Solar System by Ray Jayawardhana | Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Strange New Worlds: The Search for Alien Planets and Life beyond Our Solar System

Strange New Worlds: The Search for Alien Planets and Life beyond Our Solar System

3.6 5
by Ray Jayawardhana
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691142548

ISBN-13: 9780691142548

Pub. Date: 02/03/2011

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Soon astronomers expect to find alien Earths by the dozens in orbit around distant suns. Before the decade is out, telltale signs that they harbor life may be found. If they are, the ramifications for all areas of human thought and endeavor--from religion and philosophy to art and biology--will be breathtaking. In Strange New Worlds, renowned astronomer Ray

Overview

Soon astronomers expect to find alien Earths by the dozens in orbit around distant suns. Before the decade is out, telltale signs that they harbor life may be found. If they are, the ramifications for all areas of human thought and endeavor--from religion and philosophy to art and biology--will be breathtaking. In Strange New Worlds, renowned astronomer Ray Jayawardhana brings news from the front lines of the epic quest to find planets--and alien life--beyond our solar system.

Only in the past fifteen years, after millennia of speculation, have astronomers begun to discover planets around other stars--hundreds in fact. But the hunt to find a true Earth-like world goes on. In this book, Jayawardhana vividly recounts the stories of the scientists and the remarkable breakthroughs that have ushered in this extraordinary age of exploration. He describes the latest findings--including his own--that are challenging our view of the cosmos and casting new light on the origins and evolution of planets and planetary systems. He reveals how technology is rapidly advancing to support direct observations of Jupiter-like gas giants and super-Earths--rocky planets with several times the mass of our own planet--and how astronomers use biomarkers to seek possible life on other worlds.

Strange New Worlds provides an insider's look at the cutting-edge science of today's planet hunters, our prospects for discovering alien life, and the debates and controversies at the forefront of extrasolar-planet research.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691142548
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
02/03/2011
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.20(d)

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Quest for Other Worlds
The Exciting Times We Live In 1
Chapter 2: Planets from Dust
Unraveling the Birth of Solar Systems 16
Chapter 3: A Wobbly Start
False Starts and Death Star Planets 46
Chapter 4: Planet Bounty
Hot Jupiters and Other Surprises 67
Chapter 5: F lickers and Shadows
More Ways to Find Planets 94
Chapter 6: Blurring Boundaries
Neither Stars nor Planets 123
Chapter 7: A Picture's Worth
Images of Distant Worlds 149
Chapter 8: Alien Earths
In Search of Wet, Rocky Habitats 172
Chapter 9: Signs of Life
How Will We Find E.T.? 203
Glossary 229
Selected Bibliography 239
Index 245
Acknowledgments 257
About the Author 259

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