Mirror Earth: The Search for Our Planet's Twin

Mirror Earth: The Search for Our Planet's Twin

by Michael D. Lemonick


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In the mid-1990s, astronomers made history when they began to find planets orbiting stars in the Milky Way. More than eight hundred planets have been found since then, yet none of them is anything like Earth and none could support life.

Now, armed with more powerful technology, planet hunters are racing to find a true twin of Earth. Science writer Michael Lemonick has unique access to these exoplaneteers, as they call themselves, and Mirror Earth unveils their passionate quest. Unlike competitors in other races, Geoff Marcy, Bill Borucki, David Charbonneau, Sara Seager, and others actually consult and cooperate with one another. But only one will be the first to find Earth's twin. Mirror Earth tells the story of their competition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781620403105
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 10/29/2013
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 823,966
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Michael D. Lemonick has written more than fifty Time magazine cover stories on science, and has been published in Discover, Wired, and Scientific American. He is the author of four books, most recently Echo of the Big Bang and The Georgian Star, and lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 The Man Who Looked for Blinking Stars 9

Chapter 2 The Man Who Looked for Wobbling Stars 29

Chapter 3 Hot Jupiters: Who Ordered Those? 43

Chapter 4 An Ancient Question 62

Chapter 5 The Dwarf-Star Strategy 81

Chapter 6 Imagining Alien Atmospheres 98

Chapter 7 Invasion of the Female Exoplaneteers 113

Chapter 8 Kepler Approved 132

Chapter 9 Waiting for Launch 145

Chapter 10 Kepler Scooped 162

Chapter 11 "A 100 Percent Chance of Life" 178

Chapter 12 The Kepler Era Begins 191

Chapter 13 Beyond Kepler 200

Chapter 14 How Many Earths? 215

Chapter 15 What Does "Habitable" Really Mean? 231

Chapter 16 A World Made of Rock, at Last 245

Chapter 17 Astronomers in Paradise 256

Chapter 18 Sara's Birthday Party 269

Acknowledgments 277

Notes 279

Bibliography 285

Index 287

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