Strange New Worlds

Strange New Worlds

The Search for Alien Planets and Life Beyond Our Solar System

Book - 2011
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Soon astronomers expect to find alien Earths by the dozens in orbit around distant suns. Before the decade is out, telltale signs that they harbor life may be found. If they are, the ramifications for all areas of human thought and endeavor--from religion and philosophy to art and biology--will be breathtaking. In Strange New Worlds , renowned astronomer Ray Jayawardhana brings news from the front lines of the epic quest to find planets--and alien life--beyond our solar system.

Only in the past fifteen years, after millennia of speculation, have astronomers begun to discover planets around other stars--hundreds in fact. But the hunt to find a true Earth-like world goes on. In this book, Jayawardhana vividly recounts the stories of the scientists and the remarkable breakthroughs that have ushered in this extraordinary age of exploration. He describes the latest findings--including his own--that are challenging our view of the cosmos and casting new light on the origins and evolution of planets and planetary systems. He reveals how technology is rapidly advancing to support direct observations of Jupiter-like gas giants and super-Earths--rocky planets with several times the mass of our own planet--and how astronomers use biomarkers to seek possible life on other worlds.

Strange New Worlds provides an insider's look at the cutting-edge science of today's planet hunters, our prospects for discovering alien life, and the debates and controversies at the forefront of extrasolar-planet research.

Publisher: Princeton : Princeton University Press, c2011.
ISBN: 9780691142548
Branch Call Number: 523.24 Jayaward 05/2011
Characteristics: 255 p. :,ill. ;,22 cm.


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Apr 16, 2013

Profssor Jayawardhana's book is perhaps the best historical account of the exciting search for planets beyond our solar system. From his Canada Research Chair in Observational Astrophysics at the University of Toronto, he has been in the thick of that discovery activity, and has personal knowledge of all the scientists involved and their instruments and techniques. It is all well explained in laymen's terms and is up to date with the latest discoveries at publication time. If you want to learn more about exoplanets and how they were found, this is the premier book to read!

KileyP Apr 26, 2012

Everybody has an opinion on the idea of whether or not there is life outside of Earth - and Ray Jayawardhana is an astrophysicist still in touch with his everyday roots, making him the perfect candidate for telling us about the chances of finding hospitiable planets, extraterrestrial lifeforms and sentient beings outside of our own solar system.

If you love the Big Bang Theory, this will help you understand what it is Raj does...and maybe even understand what the gang is saying half the time!


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