The Crowded Universe: The Race to Find Life Beyond Earth

The Crowded Universe: The Race to Find Life Beyond Earth

by Alan Boss

Paperback(First Trade Paper Edition)

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We are nearing a turning point in our quest for life in the universe — we now have the capacity to detect Earth-like planets around other stars. But will we find any?

In The Crowded Universe, renowned astronomer Alan Boss argues that based on what we already know about planetary systems, in the coming years we will find abundant Earths, including many that are indisputably alive. Life is not only possible elsewhere in the universe, Boss argues — it is common.

Boss describes how our ideas about planetary formation have changed radically in the past decade and brings readers up to date on discoveries of bizarre inhabitants of various solar systems, including our own. America must stay in this new space race, Boss contends, or risk being left out of one of the most profoundly important discoveries of all time: the first confirmed finding of extraterrestrial life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465020393
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 12/28/2010
Edition description: First Trade Paper Edition
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 9.44(w) x 11.34(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

One of the world's leading authorities on the formation of stars and planets, Alan Boss is a research scientist at the Carnegie Institution of Washington Department of Terrestrial Magnetism. He has been elected a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Meteoritical Society, and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Table of Contents

Prologue: A New Space Race 1

Chapter 1 The Struggle to Find New Worlds 3

Chapter 2 Eccentric Planets 23

Chapter 3 Kiss My Lips, Tootsie 43

Chapter 4 The Mars Gold Rush 73

Chapter 5 Instability: If I Did It, Here's How it Happened 85

Chapter 6 The Battle of Prague 113

Chapter 7 The Comedy Central Approach 131

Chapter 8 Transits Gone Wild 151

Chapter 9 300 Solar Systems and Counting 171

Epilogue: Why Don't You Ever Call? 205

List of Acronyms and Abbreviations 211

Index 213

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