Life in the Universe

ISBN-10: 0805385770
ISBN-13: 9780805385779
Edition: 2003
List price: $102.40
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Description: This pioneering textbook offers an exciting and rigorous introduction to a wide range of sciences, including astronomy, biology, chemistry, geology, and cosmology. It has been developed specifically for emerging courses in astrobiology, though it  More...

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Book details

List price: $102.40
Copyright year: 2003
Publisher: Benjamin-Cummings Publishing Company
Publication date: 7/29/2002
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 346
Size: 8.50" wide x 10.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.892
Language: English

This pioneering textbook offers an exciting and rigorous introduction to a wide range of sciences, including astronomy, biology, chemistry, geology, and cosmology. It has been developed specifically for emerging courses in astrobiology, though it can also be used for introductory astronomy courses with an emphasis on life. Life in the Universe captures the imagination of students by exploring fundamental pan-scientific questions, such as: how did life begin on Earth, what are the most extreme forms of life currently known, how likely is life in our solar system and beyond, and what are the challenges of trying to colonize another planet? The text motivates non-science majors to develop an understanding of the nature and process of science through skillful writing and a wealth of pedagogical features. An award-winning author and contributor team spanning the sciences ensures that coverage is complete, authoritative, and accessible.

Seth Shostak is the senior astronomer at the SETI Institute in California, a research organisation that runs the world's most sensitive search for extraterrestrial intelligence. He is a frequent commentator on rado and television, appearing on Nightline, The O'Reilly Factor, CNN, National Geographic television, and the Learning Channel among others.

A Universe of Life?
Life Elsewhere
Worlds Beyond Imagination
The Stuff of Life
Could Biology Be Universal?
The Science of Astrobiology
The Big Picture
Review Questions
Discussion Questions
Problems
Web Projects
Movie Madness: Cinema Aliens
Basic Astronomical Defunitions
How Far Is a Light-Year?
The Extent of the Universe
Basic Properties of Atoms
The Science of Life in the Universe
The Ancient Roots of Science
The Copernican Revolution
The Nature of Modern Science
The Tools and the Methods of the Search
The Golden Age of Astrobiology
The Big Picture
Review Questions
Discussion Questions
Problems
Web Projects
Greek Thought on Extraterrestrial Life
Geocentrism and the Church
Is There Absolute Truth in Science?
Movie Madness: Alien Autopsy
The Nature of Life
What is Life?
Cells: The Basic Units of Life
Metabolism: The Chemistry of Life
DNA and Heredity
Life at the Extreme
The Big Picture
Review Questions
Discussion Questions
Problems
Web Projects
Creationism and Evolution
Charles Darwin
Key Biological Definitions
Movie Madness: The Andromeda Strain
The Geological History of the Earth
Reading the Earth's History
The Formation of the Earth
The Hadean Earth
The Earth's Ongoing Active Geology
Climate Regulation and Change
Geology and Life
The Big Picture
Review Questions
Discussion Questions
Problems
Web Projects
Key Geological Definitions
Basic Characteristic of Light
Movie Madness: Flintstones and Dinosaurs
The Origin and Evolution of Life on Earth
Searching for Life's Origins
How Did Life Begin?
Early Evolution and the Rise of Oxygen
Eukaryotic Evolution: From a Slow Start to an Explosion of Diversity
Impacts and Extinctions
Human Evolution
The Big Picture
Review Questions
Discussion Questions
Problems
Web Projects
Common Misconceptions: Ozone--Good or Bad?
Movie Madness: Armageddon
Searching for Life in Our Solar System
Environmental Requirements for Life
Exploring the Solar System
A Biological Tour of the Solar System
The Big Picture
Review Questions
Discussion Questions
Problems
Web Projects
Movie Madness: 2001--A Space Odyssey
Mars
Fantasies of Martian Civilization
A Current Assessment of the Habitability of Mars
Searching for Life on Mars
Martian Meteorites
Future Exploration of Mars
The Big Picture
Review Questions
Discussion Questions
Problems
Web Projects
Movie Madness: Missions to Mars
The Face on Mars
Life on Jovian Moons
Icy Moons of the Outer Solar System
Europa: The Water World?
Ganymede and Callisto
Titan and Beyond
The Big Picture
Review Questions
Discussion Questions
Problems
Web Projects
Movie Madness: 2010: The Year We Make Contact
A Crazed and Cracked World
The Nature and Evolution of Habitability
The Concept of a Habitable Zone
Comparative Planetary Evolutions: The Case of Venus
Surface Habitability Factors
The Sun's Habitable Zone
The Future of Life on Earth
The Big Picture
Review Questions
Discussion Questions
Problems
Web Projects
Movie Madness: The Time Machine
Five Billion Years
The Search for Habitable Worlds
Are Habitable Planets Common?
Distant Suns
Extrasolar Planets: Discoveries and Implications
Signatures of Habitability and Life
Are Earth-like Planets Rare or Common?
The Big Picture
Review Questions
Discussion Questions
Problems
Web Projects
The Development of Solar System Formation Theory
Movie Madness: Star Wars
What Is a Planet?
The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
What is SETI Searching For?
The Question of Intelligence
The SETI Context
SETI Today
Considerations of SETI Success
The Big Picture
Review Questions
Discussion Questions
Problems
Web Projects
Frank Drake and His Equation
Movie Madness: Contact
How Will We Decode an Alien Message?
Interstellar Travel
The Challenge of Interstellar Travel
Leaving Earth
"Conventional" Interstellar Spacecraft
Relativistic Rocketry
Wormholes and Hyperspace
Are Aliens Already Here?
The Big Picture
Review Questions
Discussion Questions
Problems
Web Projects
Relativity and the Cosmic Speed Limit
Movie Madness: Star Trek
The Fermi Paradox
Where Is Everybody?
The Age of Civilization
Galactic Colonization
Possible Solutions to the Paradox
The Astonishing Implications of the Fermi Paradox
The Big Picture
Review Questions
Discussion Questions
Problems
Web Projects
Contact--Implications of the Search and Discovery
Is There Life Elsewhere?
Extraterrestrial Life and the Human Condition
The Big Picture
Essay or Discussion Questions
Extraterrestrial Life and Religion
Movie Madness: ET
Appendixes
Useful Numbers
A Few Mathematical Skills
The Periodic Table of the Elements
Chemical Energy for Life
Planetary Data
Selected Astrobiology Web Sites
Glossary
References and Bibliography
Credits
Index

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