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Extrasolar Planets and Astrobiology by Caleb…
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Extrasolar Planets and Astrobiology

by Caleb A. Scharf

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Scharf provides a clear and stunning immersion into the world of--well, really, literally, the WORLDS of--exoplanets and exosuns. (I haven't seen this one used, but why not--we have "exomoons.") So far I have perused mostly the charts and attendant prose, but that is no small thing since the charts cover "The Tree of Life, from Archaea to Eukarya." "Carbon Structures observed in Interstellaer medium (short chains, Bucky tubes, soot, diamonds!)," "Spectral features of molecular species of proto-star W33A (from CH2OH to CO and silicates)," and standard knowledge such as Airy diffraction (for telescopes) and the Keeling curve (atmospheric CO2 measured on Maui since 1958).
Related to the charts are a couple hundred equations which I struggle to comprehend from my college calculus a couple decades back. Prof. Scharf often apologizes for simplifying the math by, for example, assuming something that could be wrong; for example, a formula he adduces that a stellar system "harbors a surviving terrestrial-type planet," one which surprisingly peaks at slightly higher metallicity than the solar (p.411). May I say I am grateful for any simplifications, which still leave me wracking my mind for f(x) and delta S.
I write this as the author of a biography of Giordano Bruno, who would be amazed to see his death-defying (and death-resulting) idea of habitable worlds taken to its precisian scientific heights...so to speak. ( )
  AlanWPowers | Sep 19, 2013 |
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