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Astrobiology: Understanding Life in the Universe


By: Charles S Cockell(Author)

449 pages, colour photos, colour illustrations, tables


Paperback | Dec 2015 | #226959 | ISBN-13: 9781118913338
Availability: Usually dispatched within 4 days Details
NHBS Price: £42.50 $56/€48 approx
Hardback | Dec 2015 | #226958 | ISBN-13: 9781118913321
Availability: Usually dispatched within 4 days Details
NHBS Price: £120.00 $158/€136 approx

About this book

Astrobiology is an interdisciplinary field that asks profound scientific questions. How did life originate on the Earth? How has life persisted on the Earth for over three billion years? Is there life elsewhere in the Universe? What is the future of life on Earth?

Astrobiology: Understanding Life in the Universe is an introductory text which explores the structure of living things, the formation of the elements for life in the Universe, the biological and geological history of the Earth and the habitability of other planets in our own Solar System and beyond. Astrobiology: Understanding Life in the Universe is designed to convey some of the major conceptual foundations in astrobiology that cut across a diversity of traditional fields including chemistry, biology, geosciences, physics and astronomy. It can be used to complement existing courses in these fields or as a stand-alone text for astrobiology courses.


Acknowledgements xv
About the Companion Website xvii

1 Astrobiology and Life 1
2 Matter, the Stuff of Life 13
3 Life's Structure: Building the Molecules 33
4 Life's Structure: Building Cells from Molecules 51
5 Energy for Life 77
6 The Tree of Life 105
7 The Limits of the Biospace 123
8 The Formation of the Elements of Life 143
9 Astrochemistry – Carbon in Space 167
10 The Early Earth (The First Billion Years) 183
11 The Origin of Life 197
12 Early Life on Earth 217
13 The History of the Earth 233
14 The Rise of Oxygen 261
15 Mass Extinctions 275
16 The Habitability of Planets 291
17 The Astrobiology of Mars 307
18 The Moons of Giant Planets 341
19 Exoplanets: The Search for Other Habitable Worlds 363
20 The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence 385
21 Our Civilisation 399

Appendix 417
Glossary 423
Index 443

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Charles Cockell is Professor of Astrobiology at the University of Edinburgh. His research interests are focused on the study of life in extreme environments and understanding the habitability of planets.

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