Astronomer and science writer David Whitehouse takes us on a journey through the evolving cosmos as he considers humankind's place in the universe – and how our survival depends on otherworldly perspectives.
From the Earth to the depths of outer space, this inspiring book shows how human evolution has been intertwined with the workings of the cosmos from the very beginning, and what the far-distant future may hold, both for the universe and for ourselves.
Given enough time, Whitehouse contends, we must communicate with intelligent aliens whose divergent perspective will transform our understanding of the universe. First contact may even come sooner than we think. We have already transmitted signals towards promising exoplanets. If, say, Gliese 581d harbours life, the return signal could reach us in 2051.
Drawing the thread of human consciousness from the cave to the cosmos, the acclaimed author of Apollo 11: The Inside Story charts our future journey to the end of space and time and considers whether something of humanity could remain at the end of it all.
David Whitehouse is a former BBC science correspondent and science editor, and the author of several books, including most recently Apollo 11: The Inside Story and Space 2069. He has a doctorate from the Jodrell Bank Radio Observatory and Asteroid 4036 is named after him. He is a regular broadcaster and contributor to newspapers and magazines.
"Often-complex ideas are explained with clarity and precision, but this is clearly a passion project for the author, and the book soars where he deploys more poetic language, as when musing on the deeper themes that arise from his central question. [...] If you've ever looked up at the sky and pondered on the big questions of life in the Universe, this is essential reading."
– BBC Sky at Night magazine