Beyond the Stars: Our Origins and the Search for Life in the Universe

Beyond the Stars: Our Origins and the Search for Life in the Universe


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Beyond the Stars: Our Origins and the Search for Life in the Universe by Paolo Saraceno

What is the origin of the universe? Are we alone in the Universe? Using clear and plain language, the author explores these two interesting scientific-philosophical themes with a broad range of studies, including astronomy, cosmology, chemistry, biology, geology and planet science.The first part discusses the origins of everything, from the Big Bang to humankind. It follows the long course of evolution — from original matter to the formation of more complex structures, from the furthest galaxies to the nearest stars, from planets to organic molecules, from the first and most elementary forms of life through to the reptiles, the dinosaurs and the advent of man.The second part traces the history of the Earth and evaluates the risks of extinction in the future as predicted by scientists. Is the Earth the only habitable planet in the Universe? This question initiates the discussion on the importance of the Earth's position in the solar system and the significance of our geologically alive planet.The final part is dedicated to the search for extraterrestrial beings with identifiable life forms. It also describes attempts for searching, from the past to the near future.This remarkable book provides the best answers we have to the epic questions about us and our place in the universe.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9789814295543
Publisher: World Scientific Publishing Company, Incorporated
Publication date: 08/07/2012
Pages: 388
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements v

Preface vii

Part I Origins 1

Chapter 1 Our Origins 3

Chapter 2 The Beginning of Everything 13

Chapter 3 Origins of Stars and Planets 45

Chapter 4 The Origin of the Elements 79

Chapter 5 The Origins of Life 107

Part II The Case of the Earth 153

Chapter 6 History of the Earth 155

Chapter 7 Extinctions 193

Chapter 8 An Inhabitable Planet 229

Chapter 9 The Importance of Continental Drift 255

Chapter 10 The Earth: A Rare Planet? 289

Part III In Search of Another Gaia 313

Chapter 11 In Search of ETI 315

Chapter 12 The Measurement 331

Appendix A Astronomical Observations 349

Appendix B A Few Numbers 365

Conclusion 371

Index 375

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