Beyond UFOs: The Search for Extraterrestrial Life and Its Astonishing Implications for Our Future

Princeton University Press
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The quest for extraterrestrial life doesn't happen only in science fiction. This book describes the startling discoveries being made in the very real science of astrobiology, an intriguing new field that blends astronomy, biology, and geology to explore the possibility of life on other planets. Jeffrey Bennett takes readers beyond UFOs to discuss some of the tantalizing questions astrobiologists grapple with every day: What is life and how does it begin? What makes a planet or moon habitable? Is there life on Mars or elsewhere in the solar system? How can life be recognized on distant worlds? Is it likely to be microbial, more biologically complex--or even intelligent? What would such a discovery mean for life here on Earth?

Come along on this scientific adventure and learn the astonishing implications of discoveries made in this field for the future of the human race. Bennett, who believes that "science is a way of helping people come to agreement," explains how the search for extraterrestrial life can help bridge the divide that sometimes exists between science and religion, defuse public rancor over the teaching of evolution, and quiet the debate over global warming. He likens humanity today to a troubled adolescent teetering on the edge between self-destruction and a future of virtually limitless possibilities. Beyond UFOs shows why the very quest to find alien life can help us to grow up as a species and chart a course for the stars. In a new afterword, Bennett shares the most recent developments in extrasolar research, and discusses how they might further our quest to find alien life.

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About the author

Jeffrey Bennett is an astrophysicist, author, and educator. His books include leading college-level textbooks in astrobiology, astronomy, mathematics, and statistics, as well as the award-winning children's book Max Goes to the Moon.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
May 2, 2011
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Pages
248
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ISBN
9781400838486
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Language
English
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Genres
Nature / Sky Observation
Science / Astronomy
Science / General
Science / Life Sciences / Biology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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For intro-level, one-semester multidisciplinary science and astronomy courses.

Encourage students to explore answers to questions about life beyond Earth and our solar system.

Life in the Universe provides an ideal starting point for non-science majors intrigued by the latest discoveries about life in the solar system and beyond. Rigorously researched and accessible to students of all backgrounds, the text introduces concepts drawn from astronomy, biology, and geology to explain natural phenomena and to explore profound scientific questions about astrobiology. The Fourth Edition has been thoroughly revised and updated to include the latest scientific discoveries and advancements, including new information regarding extrasolar planets, artificial life, and early life on Earth.

Designed for courses in astrobiology, Life in the Universe arouses students’ natural curiosity by exploring fundamental questions such as: How did life begin on Earth? What are the most extreme forms of life currently known? What do we know about the possibility of life beyond Earth?

The text encourages non-science majors to develop an understanding of the process of science through its inherently compelling subject matter as well as its wealth of engaging features, including Learning Goals, Special Topics, and connections to popular culture. Sidebars provide optional mathematical material for courses that fulfill quantitative requirements.

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Note: You are purchasing a standalone product; MasteringAstronomy does not come packaged with this content. Students, if interested in purchasing this title with MasteringAstronomy, ask your instructor for the correct package ISBN and Course ID. Instructors, contact your Pearson representative for more information.

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