The Crowded Universe: The Search for Living Planets

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Basic Books, Feb 3, 2009 - Science - 256 pages
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.


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THE CROWDED UNIVERSE: The Search for Living Planets

User Review  - Kirkus

An astronomer's tale of the search for extrasolar planets, including a critique of NASA's role.Boss, a research scientist at the Carnegie Institution, takes a largely chronological approach to the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - fpagan - LibraryThing

A not-too-long "diary" of the current era (1995-) of detection and assessment of extrasolar planets, with emphasis on such actual and hoped-for space missions as CoRoT, OGLE, Kepler, Space ... Read full review


PROLOGUE A New Space Race
CHAPTER2 Eccentric Planets
Transits Gone Wild

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About the author (2009)

One of the world's leading authorities on the formation of stars and planets, Alan Boss is a research scientist at the Carnegie Institution of Washington Department of Terrestrial Magnetism. He has been elected a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Meteoritical Society, and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.

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