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The Crowded Universe: The Search for Living Planets

by Alan Boss

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"We are nearing a turning point in our quest for life in the universe-we now have the capacity to detect Earth-like planets around other stars. But will we find any? In The Crowded Universe, renowned astronomer Alan Boss argues that based on what we already know about planetary systems, in the coming years we will find abundant Earths, including many that are indisputably alive. Life is not only possible elsewhere in the universe, Boss argues-it is common. Boss describes how our ideas about planetary formation have changed radically in the past decade and brings readers up to date on discoveries of bizarre inhabitants of various solar systems, including our own. America must stay in this new space race, Boss contends, or risk being left out of one of the most profoundly important discoveries of all time: the first confirmed finding of extraterrestrial life."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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A not-too-long "diary" of the current era (1995-) of detection and assessment of extrasolar planets, with emphasis on such actual and hoped-for space missions as CoRoT, OGLE, Kepler, Space Interferometry Mission, Darwin, and Terrestrial Planet Finder. I just hope that the delays caused by Dubya Shrubbish's appointments of anti-science NASA heads don't end up ensuring that the first discovery of extrasolar life doesn't occur until after my demise.
  fpagan | Apr 30, 2009 |
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"We are nearing a turning point in our quest for life in the universe-we now have the capacity to detect Earth-like planets around other stars. But will we find any? In The Crowded Universe, renowned astronomer Alan Boss argues that based on what we already know about planetary systems, in the coming years we will find abundant Earths, including many that are indisputably alive. Life is not only possible elsewhere in the universe, Boss argues-it is common. Boss describes how our ideas about planetary formation have changed radically in the past decade and brings readers up to date on discoveries of bizarre inhabitants of various solar systems, including our own. America must stay in this new space race, Boss contends, or risk being left out of one of the most profoundly important discoveries of all time: the first confirmed finding of extraterrestrial life."--BOOK JACKET.

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