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Astrobiology: A Very Short Introduction

David C. Catling

October 2013

ISBN: 9780199586455

160 pages
Paperback
174x111mm

In Stock

Very Short Introductions

Price: £8.99

Astrobiologists study the origin and evolution of life on Earth and the possibility of life beyond Earth; a question that has fascinated scientists for hundreds of years. In this Very Short Introduction, David C. Catling introduces the latest scientific understanding of astrobiology, incorporating aspects of microbiology, geology, and astronomy.

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Description

Astrobiologists study the origin and evolution of life on Earth and the possibility of life beyond Earth; a question that has fascinated scientists for hundreds of years. In this Very Short Introduction, David C. Catling introduces the latest scientific understanding of astrobiology, incorporating aspects of microbiology, geology, and astronomy.

  • Explores some of the big unanswered questions about the universe
  • Considers the origins of life on Earth and its evolution, to understand the possibility of life elsewhere
  • Brings together the ideas of microbiologists, astronomers, planetary scientists, and geologists
  • Looks at the origins of astrobiology and the discoveries it is making
  • Part of the Very Short Introductions series - over six million sold worldwide

About the Author(s)

David C. Catling, Deptartment of Earth and Space Sciences and Astrobiology Program, University of Washington, Seattle, USA.

David Catling is a Professor of Earth and Space Sciences. After a doctorate at the University of Oxford, he worked as a planetary scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center near San Francisco, from 1995-2001. In 2001, he was appointed as one of the world's first astrobiology professors at the University of Washington in Seattle. From 2005-2008, Prof. Catling was European Union Marie Curie Chair in Earth System and Planetary Studies at the University of Bristol, before returning to Seattle in 2009. He has taught astrobiology courses for over a decade and has published over eighty papers and articles in areas ranging from the geology of Mars, to the biochemistry of complex life, to the co-evolution of Earth's atmosphere and biosphere.

Table of Contents

    1:What is astrobiology?
    2:From stardust to planets, the abodes for life
    3:Origins
    4:From slime to sublime
    5:Life: a genome's way of making more and fitter genomes
    6:Life in the solar system
    7:Far-off worlds, distant suns
    8:Controversies and prospects

Reviews

"Although this is a very short introduction, it is very comprehensive. The subject is introduced and pursued with a workman-like manner, getting down to the essentials directly." - The Skeptic, Norman Hansen

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