Alien Earths: Planet Hunting in the Cosmos

Kaltenegger, Lisa


4 in stock

4 in stock

The world expert explains how we hunt new planets, then search them to find if we’re alone in the universe

For thousands of years, humans have wondered whether we’re alone in the cosmos. Now, for the first time, we have the technology to investigate. The question should have an obvious answer- yes or no. But once you try to find life elsewhere, you realize it is not so simple. How do you find it over cosmic distances? What actually is life?

As founding director of Cornell University’s Carl Sagan Institute, astrophysicist Lisa Kaltenegger built a team of tenacious scientists from many disciplines to create a uniquely specialized toolkit to find life on faraway worlds. In Alien Earths, she demonstrates how we can use our homeworld as a Rosetta Stone, creatively analyzing Earth’s history and its astonishing biosphere to inform this search. With infectious enthusiasm, she takes us on an eye-opening journey to the most unusual exoplanets that have shaken our worldview – planets covered in oceans of lava, lonely wanderers lost in space, and others with more than one sun in their sky! And the best contenders for Alien Earths. We also see the imagined worlds of science fiction and how close they come to reality.

We live in an incredible new epoch of exploration. As our witty and knowledgeable tour guide, Professor Kaltenegger shows how we discover not merely new continents, like the explorers of old, but whole new worlds circling other stars and how we could spot life there. Worlds from where aliens may even be gazing back at us. What if we’re not alone?

Review Quotes:

\”A stellar exploration … Readers will be riveted.\”
–Publishers Weekly (starred)

\”Exquisite book is for all who have peered into the night sky pondering the mysteries of the universe … a mind-bending journey.\”
–Booklist (starred)

\”Eloquent … Science and space enthusiasts will revel in this journey through the cosmos. They will undoubtedly learn novel information along the way.\”
— Library Journal

\”In Alien Earths, Lisa Kaltenegger, a skillful educator, offers first-hand access to her expertise on the search for planets in the universe, and the life they may contain. Along the way, Lisa’s breezy narrative style invites you to experience with her the challenges and joys of being a scientist on the frontier of discovery.\”
— Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist, American Museum of Natural History

\”If you’ve ever wondered if we’re alone in the cosmos– and Dr. Kaltenegger is certain you have, start with Alien Earths. With her combined degrees in astronomy and engineering, she presents a primer on the geology, physics, chemistry, biology, and ultimately mathematics of places just like Earth– which she sets about seeking every (Earth) day. She’ll show you; the answer is in the sky, our window on the cosmos. Read on!\”
–Bill Nye, CEO, The Planetary Society (and former student of Carl Sagan)

\”What a fascinating glimpse into the creative work of exobiologists, humankind’s exciting search for life elsewhere in the universe, and the tantalizing facts we’ve learned thus far. I was enchanted.\”
–Diane Ackerman, author of The Zookeeper’s Wife

\”An erudite and highly readable inside view of the science and emerging discoveries of this remarkable new era.\”
–Charles Cockell, author of Taxi from Another Planet, Professor of Astrobiology, University of Edinburgh

Format: Hardback
Pages: 288
Imprint: Allen Lane
Publication date: 16/04/2024

ISBN: 9780241680988 Category: