From Dust to Life: The Origin and Evolution of Our Solar System

From Dust to Life: The Origin and Evolution of Our Solar System

by John Chambers, Jacqueline Mitton
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From Dust to Life: The Origin and Evolution of Our Solar System by John Chambers, Jacqueline Mitton

The birth and evolution of our solar system is a tantalizing mystery that may one day provide answers to the question of human origins. This book tells the remarkable story of how the celestial objects that make up the solar system arose from common beginnings billions of years ago, and how scientists and philosophers have sought to unravel this mystery down through the centuries, piecing together the clues that enabled them to deduce the solar system's layout, its age, and the most likely way it formed.

Drawing on the history of astronomy and the latest findings in astrophysics and the planetary sciences, John Chambers and Jacqueline Mitton offer the most up-to-date and authoritative treatment of the subject available. They examine how the evolving universe set the stage for the appearance of our Sun, and how the nebulous cloud of gas and dust that accompanied the young Sun eventually became the planets, comets, moons, and asteroids that exist today. They explore how each of the planets acquired its unique characteristics, why some are rocky and others gaseous, and why one planet in particular—our Earth—provided an almost perfect haven for the emergence of life.

From Dust to Life is a must-read for anyone who desires to know more about how the solar system came to be. This enticing book takes readers to the very frontiers of modern research, engaging with the latest controversies and debates. It reveals how ongoing discoveries of far-distant extrasolar planets and planetary systems are transforming our understanding of our own solar system's astonishing history and its possible fate.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691145228
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 11/24/2013
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 1,044,567
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

John Chambers is a planetary scientist in the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism at the Carnegie Institution for Science. Jacqueline Mitton is a writer, editor, and media consultant in astronomy. Her books include Titan Unveiled: Saturn's Mysterious Moon Explored (Princeton).

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From Dust to Life: The Origin and Evolution of Our Solar System 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
DifferentOne More than 1 year ago
A very readable book, a blend of history and astronomy (more strictly, planetology), with a bit of a refresher in physics and chemistry, no math required. Chambers and Mitton present most of what we know, and don’t know, about the Solar System. It is very much up-to-date and a good catch-up for those who have fallen behind in their knowledge of our local neighborhood in the Universe. For an alternative view, supplementing “From Dust to Life”, I suggest looking at “The Fourth Source – Effects of Natural Nuclear Reactors”.