Life in the Universe

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-01-01
  • Publisher: Benjamin Cummings
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Key Message:Life in the Universe takes readers on a journey through the solar system and beyond, using a rigorous yet accessible introduction to astronomy, biology, chemistry, and geology to explain natural phenomena and explore unanswered scientific questions. The Second Edition has been thoroughly revised to include updated scientific discoveries, optional quantitative coverage, an enhanced illustration program, and expanded coverage of the solar system and stellar material.Key Topics: Introducing Life in the Universe: A Universe of Life?, The Science of Life in the Universe, The Universal Context of Life. Life on Earth: The Habitability of Earth, The Nature of Life on Earth, The Origin and Evolution of Life on Earth. Life in the Solar System: Searching for Life in Our Solar System, Mars, Life on Jovian Moons, The Nature and Evolution of Habitability. Life Among the Stars: Habitability Outside the Solar System, The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Interstellar Travel and the Fermi Paradox. Epilogue: Contact Implications of the Search and DiscoveryMarket:For all readers interested in a rigorous yet accessible introduction to astronomy, biology, chemistry, and geology, while exploring fundamental pan-scientific questions such as: How did life begin on Earth? What are the most extreme forms of life currently known? What are the challenges of trying to colonize another planet?

Table of Contents

Introducing Life in the Universep. 1
A Universe of Life?p. 1
Learning Goalsp. 1
The Possibility of Life Beyond Earthp. 2
The Scientific Context of the Searchp. 4
Places to Searchp. 8
The New Science of Astrobiologyp. 11
The Big Picturep. 12
Summary of Key Conceptsp. 13
Review Questionsp. 14
Quick Quizp. 14
Discussion Questionsp. 15
Web Projectsp. 15
The Science of Life in the Universep. 16
Learning Goalsp. 16
The Ancient Debate About Life Beyond Earthp. 17
The Copernican Revolutionp. 25
The Nature of Modern Sciencep. 33
The Process of Science in Action: Understanding Gravityp. 39
The Big Picturep. 42
Summary of Key Conceptsp. 43
Review Questionsp. 44
Test Your Understandingp. 45
Quick Quizp. 45
Short-Answer/Essay Questionsp. 45
Quantitative Problemsp. 46
Discussion Questionsp. 47
Web Projectsp. 47
The Universal Context of Lifep. 48
Learning Goalsp. 48
The Universe and Lifep. 49
The Structure, Scale, and History of the Universep. 51
The Nature of Worldsp. 70
A Universe of Matter and Energyp. 80
The Process of Science in Action: Changing Ideas About the Formation of the Solar Systemp. 88
The Big Picturep. 93
Summary of Key Conceptsp. 94
Review Questionsp. 95
Test Your Understandingp. 96
Quick Quizp. 96
Short-Answer/Essay Questionsp. 97
Quantitative Problemsp. 97
Discussion Questionsp. 98
Web Projectsp. 98
Life on Earth
The Habitability of Earthp. 99
Learning Goalsp. 99
Geology and Lifep. 100
Reconstructing the History of Earth and Lifep. 102
The Hadean Earth and the Dawn of Lifep. 116
Geology and Habitabilityp. 120
Climate Regulation and Changep. 132
The Process of Science in Action: Formation of the Moonp. 139
The Big Picturep. 143
Summary of Key Conceptsp. 144
Review Questionsp. 145
Test Your Understandingp. 146
Quick Quizp. 146
Short-Answer/Essay Questionsp. 146
Quantitative Problemsp. 147
Discussion Questionsp. 147
Web Projectsp. 147
The Nature of Life on Earthp. 148
Learning Goalsp. 148
Defining Lifep. 149
Cells: The Basic Units of Lifep. 160
Metabolism: The Chemistry of Lifep. 167
DNA and Heredityp. 171
Life at the Extremep. 178
The Process of Science in Action: Evolution as Sciencep. 181
The Big Picturep. 185
Summary of Key Conceptsp. 186
Review Questionsp. 187
Test Your Understandingp. 188
Quick Quizp. 188
Short-Answer/Essay Questionsp. 188
Quantitative Problemsp. 189
Discussion Questionsp. 189
Web Projectsp. 189
The Origin and Evolution of Life on Earthp. 190
Learning Goalsp. 190
Searching for Life's Originsp. 191
The Origin of Lifep. 197
The Evolution of Lifep. 206
Impacts and Extinctionsp. 215
Human Evolutionp. 221
The Process of Science in Action: Artificial Lifep. 226
The Big Picturep. 229
Summary of Key Conceptsp. 230
Review Questionsp. 231
Test Your Understandingp. 232
Quick Quizp. 232
Short-Answer/Essay Questionsp. 233
Quantitative Problemsp. 233
Discussion Questionsp. 233
Web Projectsp. 234
Life in the Solar System
Searching for Life in Our Solar Systemp. 235
Learning Goalsp. 235
Environmental Requirements for Lifep. 236
A Biological Tour of the Solar System: The Inner Solar Systemp. 242
A Biological Tour of the Solar System: The Outer Solar Systemp. 246
The Process of Science in Action: Spacecraft Exploration of the Solar Systemp. 251
The Big Picturep. 256
Summary of Key Conceptsp. 256
Review Questionsp. 257
Test Your Understandingp. 258
Quick Quizp. 258
Short-Answer/Essay Questionsp. 258
Quantitative Problemsp. 259
Discussion Questionsp. 259
Web Projectsp. 259
Marsp. 260
Learning Goalsp. 260
Fantasies of Martian Civilizationp. 261
A Modern Portrait of Marsp. 264
The Climate History of Marsp. 276
Searching for Life on Marsp. 280
The Process of Science in Action: Martian Meteoritesp. 287
The Big Picturep. 290
Summary of Key Conceptsp. 291
Review Questionsp. 292
Test Your Understandingp. 292
Quick Quizp. 292
Short-Answer/Essay Questionsp. 293
Quantitative Problemsp. 293
Discussion Questionsp. 293
Web Projectsp. 294
Life on Jovian Moonsp. 295
Learning Goalsp. 295
The Moons of the Outer Solar Systemp. 296
Life on Jupiter's Galilean Moonsp. 304
Life Around Saturn, and Beyondp. 312
The Process of Science in Action: Chemical Energy for Lifep. 319
The Big Picturep. 323
Summary of Key Conceptsp. 323
Review Questionsp. 325
Test Your Understandingp. 325
Quick Quizp. 325
Short-Answer/Essay Questionsp. 326
Quantitative Problemsp. 326
Discussion Questionsp. 327
Web Projectsp. 327
The Nature and Evolution of Habitabilityp. 328
Learning Goalsp. 328
The Concept of a Habitable Zonep. 329
Venus: An Example in Potential Habitabilityp. 332
Surface Habitability Factors and the Habitable Zonep. 338
The Future of Life on Earthp. 343
The Process of Science in Action: Global Warmingp. 348
The Big Picturep. 354
Summary of Key Conceptsp. 355
Review Questionsp. 356
Test Your Understandingp. 356
Quick Quizp. 356
Short-Answer/Essay Questionsp. 357
Quantitative Problemsp. 357
Discussion Questionsp. 358
Web Projectsp. 358
Life Among the Stars
Habitability Outside the Solar Systemp. 359
Learning Goalsp. 359
Distant Sunsp. 360
Extrasolar Planets: Discoveries and Implicationsp. 369
The Possibility That Earth Is Rarep. 384
The Process of Science in Action: Classifying Starsp. 388
The Big Picturep. 393
Summary of Key Conceptsp. 393
Review Questionsp. 395
Test Your Understandingp. 395
Quick Quizp. 395
Short-Answer/Essay Questionsp. 396
Quantitative Problemsp. 396
Discussion Questionsp. 397
Web Projectsp. 397
The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligencep. 398
Learning Goalsp. 398
The Drake Equationp. 399
The Question of Intelligencep. 405
Searching for Intelligencep. 410
The Process of Science in Action: UFOs and Aliens on Earthp. 425
The Big Picturep. 432
Summary of Key Conceptsp. 433
Review Questionsp. 434
Test Your Understandingp. 434
Quick Quizp. 434
Short-Answer/Essay Questionsp. 435
Quantitative Problemsp. 435
Discussion Questionsp. 433
Web Projectsp. 436
Interstellar Travel and the Fermi Paradoxp. 437
Learning Goalsp. 437
The Challenge of Interstellar Travelp. 438
Designing Spacecraft for Interstellar Travelp. 444
The Fermi Paradoxp. 456
The Process of Science in Action: Einstein's Special Theory of Relativityp. 466
The Big Picturep. 472
Summary of Key Conceptsp. 472
Review Questionsp. 473
Test Your Understandingp. 474
Quick Quizp. 474
Short-Answer/Essay Questionsp. 475
Quantitative Problemsp. 475
Discussion Questionsp. 476
Web Projectsp. 476
Epilogue: Contact-Implications of the Search and Discoveryp. 477
Is There Life Elsewhere?p. 478
Discussion Questionsp. 485
Useful Numbersp. A-3
Useful Formulasp. A-4
A Few Mathematical Skillsp. A-5
The Periodic Table of Elementsp. A-14
Planetary Datap. A-15
Selected Astrobiology Web Sitesp. A-20
Glossaryp. G-1
References and Bibliographyp. R-1
Creditsp. C-1
Indexp. I-1
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