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Beschreibung des Verlags
This book applies the latest scientific discoveries and theories to enquire whether life exists on other planets and, if so, what forms it might take. Could there be, elsewhere, life as advanced as here on Earth, or are we more likely to find much more primitive life forms, or even no life at all? Can science tell us whether there is something out there? Or are we the sole living organisms in a desolate and boundless cosmos? This is an impeccably thorough review of the evidence, making accessible an extraordinary array of scientific findings, including cutting-edge research by biologists, astronomers and palaeontologists.
Is there life out there? The short answer is probably not. The shorter and more intriguing answer maybe. In this beguiling and accessible book, the man responsible for finding the first black hole in our galaxy roams the universe looking for life from Earth to Mars and beyond. Though he writes that his head is telling him one thing, astronomer Murdin (Secrets of the Universe) admits that his heart is telling him another, and he's hopeful that life out there exists. One encouraging sign comes from the moon missions bacteria normally found in the human mouth survived for over two years in Surveyor 3 equipment, which was later collected by astronauts aboard Apollo 12. But in order for life to flourish, Murdin explains, you need water, energy, and atmosphere. He goes on to explore possible combinations of these critical elements on neighboring planets, while also interweaving accounts of relevant discoveries and the scientists that made them, from Aristotle to Darwin to contemporary researchers, as well as the debates that continue to confound them. Murdin's enthusiasm and fascination with the subject matter is palpable throughout, and he deftly manages to inform without boring knowledgeable readers or dumbing it down for lay folk. Photos, illus., and tables.