Life in the Solar System and Beyond

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Springer Science & Business Media, Nov 27, 2013 - Science - 317 pages

From the reviews:

"Bulging with concise explanations and 142 clarifying diagrams and photos, the book probably represents some of the best pedagogy in the solar system on these topics. ... just the right level for most undergraduates. ... Open-minded scientists looking for an authoritative tour of astrobiology will enjoy the book ... . The author’s summary of exoplanet detection techniques is excellent ... . Jones keeps us interested with simple explanations ... . His approach is quite an achievement ... . " (Charley Lineweaver, Physics Today, February, 2005).

"This is a textbook suitable for university use. ... this is one of the best. ... includes excellent recent images of Mars, Europa and elsewhere, and is richly illustrated with explanatory diagrams. ... There is a useful index, a glossary and a list of ‘resources’ (websites and books)." (Malcolm Walter, Australian Physics, Vol. 42 (3) July/August 2005)

"What is required for life, and where might it have evolved? ... These are the questions that are addressed in this wide ranging, well written and thought provoking book. ... But for anyone wishing to follow ... Jones’ book is an excellent start." (Dr. C.M.Linton, Contemporary Physics, Vol. 46 (3), 2005)

"This book centres on the search for life in the Solar System and beyond. It includes an overview of many of the disciplines involved in this field of research, which include astronomy, biology and geology. ... It was good to see that the astronomy has been kept fairly descriptive and not too mathematical. This keeps the flow of the book. ... As an overview of the key subjects involved in astrobiology for a university course, I think this book is successful." (James Silvester, Astronomy Now, March, 2005)

Although, at present there is no firm evidence for extraterrestrial life, enormous progress has been made in recent years, both in our understanding of life on Earth and of the potential for life existing elsewhere in the universe. Life in the Solar System and Beyond embaces aspects form all the osre related fields (astronomy, planetary science, chemistry, biology, and Physics). This excellent and thought-provoking introduction:

  • Addresses the important question of what is life, and discusses the origins and evolution of life on Earth, as well as its probable fate
  • Looks at places within our Solar System, beyond Earth, especially where life might exist, such as Mars and Europa
  • Includes the very latest data on searches for planets around other stars, the results of these searches, and discusses what conditions might be like
  • Speculates on possible life elsewhere in the Universe beyond our Solar system, and assesses our chances of making contact, if there is intelligent life out there
  • Includes end of chapter summaries to help the reader grasp the main concepts to carry forward
  • Provides a list of resources, including useful websites at the end of the book which will enable the reader to keep up to date in this rapidly moving field
 

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Contents

Life on Earth
25
The evolution and origin of life on Earth
53
Where to look for life elsewhere in the Solar System
77
Life on Mars?
99
Life on Europa
127
The fate of life in the Solar System
137
Potential habitats beyond the Solar System 149
148
direct methods 165
164
indirect methods
185
Exoplanetary systems
211
How to find life on exoplanets
237
Extraterrestrial intelligence 257
256
Glossary
281
Resources
303
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