Books  Physical Sciences  Cosmology & Astronomy 

The Crowded Universe: The Search for Living Planets

Out of Print

By: Alan Boss

227 pages, Col plates, figs

Basic Books

Hardback | Mar 2009 | #181421 | ISBN-13: 9780465009367
Out of Print Details

About this book

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.

Debra Fischer, Professor of Astronomy, San Francisco State University
"Alan Boss is widely respected for his scientific research and for his ability to clearly convey forefront research to the public. "The Crowded Universe" is a delightful read that chronicles the twists and turns of the birth and evolution of the rapidly evolving field of exoplanet discovery."

Michel Mayor, Professor of Astronomy, University of Geneva
"The discovery of exoplanets has transformed modern astronomy. In "The Crowded Universe," renowned expert Alan Boss offers an exciting insider's account of the quest for other Worlds."

Sir Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal of Great Britain
"The search for life beyond the Earth, and the study of planets orbiting other stars, are surely among the most fascinating topics in 21st century science. Alan Boss offers a clear and masterly guide to these exciting and fast-moving subjects."

Dr. Paul Butler, Carnegie Institution of Washington
"In the past decade we have gone from complete ignorance of extrasolar planets to the verge of finding habitable planets. In "The Crowded Universe," Alan Boss gives an extraordinary inside look at the people and events that have shaped the field. The excitement of discovery shines in Boss's elegant prose, and the work of centuries is seamlessly assembled for the non-expert reader."

Professor Geoff Marcy, Center for Integrative Planetary Science, UC Berkeley
"Rarely is the history of science so accurately told as in this lively and authoritative book. Alan Boss offers insights about our terrestrial origins, our extraterrestrial brethren, and our destiny in the Galaxy, placing ourEarth in the cosmic context for the first time."

Dr. Frank Drake, Director, Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe, SETI Institute CIRC
""The Crowded Universe" is a thorough depiction of the events and people involved in one of the greatest milestones in the history of science: the detection of other planetary systems in the Milky Way. The author is one of the primary players in this ongoing saga, and he tells the story with commendable detail. If you want to see how science works at its best, read this book."

Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist, American Museum of Natural History and author of "The Pluto Files"
"The search for planets outside our solar system has become a cottage industry. In "The Crowded Universe," Alan Boss weaves a 'you are there' narrative that reaches behind the scenes of this thrilling new field, exposing the reader to the people, the politics, and the sheer joy of doing science."

"Solid coverage of one of the most exciting topics in science."

"Scientific American"
"Astronomer Alan Boss of the Carnegie Institution of Washington predicts that CoRoT and Kepler will discover abundant Earths. These telescopes are poised to prove him right or wrong, and his book provides essential and fascinating background as the drama unfolds."

"The space race is on. No, not back to the moon. The next great achievement for humanity will be to find alien life on another planet. Astronomer Boss gives an inside view of how new space telescopes like Kepler and Corot are on the verge of finding Earth-like worlds around other stars."

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