First Contact: Scientific Breakthroughs in the Hunt for Life Beyond Earth
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Now in paperback, Marc Kaufman’s riveting, game-changing book tells the incredible true story of science’s search for the beginnings of life on Earth—and the likelihood of it existing elsewhere in our universe.
For decades, researchers assumed that the genesis of life was too delicate a process, and the conditions needed to support it too fragile, for it to exist anywhere other than Earth. But recent discoveries—from microbes and creatures living in unimaginably inhospitable environments to newly discovered extra-solar planets—point towards a day when the existence of extraterrestrial life will be irrefutably confirmed.
Science reporter Marc Kaufman takes readers around the globe, into space, and miles below Earth’s surface to show how the search for life on other planets is changing the way humans think about their own history, about what it means to be human, and about what, exactly, life is.
First Contact is the first book to bring together recent developments across many competing branches of science, from microbiology to geochemistry, physics, and astronomy, all racing to verify what was once deemed impossible. Kaufman demystifies the key points behind the rigorous science and advanced technology that is edging ever closer to the most important discovery of modern times.
Svalbard regular. Results from the rovers, he said, “show more convincingly that Mars at some point in its past was a habitable world. You have to be careful, and I’m always reminded of the parable of the blind man and the elephant: We have two little, tiny spots on Mars we’re looking at and we have to be careful about what we conclude. But the rovers are in very different places, and both show compelling evidence of near surface water, of interaction of that water with rocks and minerals, and.
Visible and the telescope could take the spectra of atmospheres and consequently find out what elements were present. It was Cash who contacted NASA about the occulter idea in 2006, reaching out to Ed Weiler, who was then head of the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center, outside Washington. Weiler, who had previously been in charge of science for NASA and would resume that position a few years later, is known as an advocate for astrobiology and someone who believes strongly that life does exist.
After his studies at Cambridge University and joined the nonviolent wing of the fight against apartheid. Neither means he’s correct about the nature and meaning of fine-tuning, but he is nonetheless well regarded in the field. A practicing Quaker, he has published prolifically on cosmology, multiverses, and fine-tuning, and generally argues the following: The fine-tuning of the universe makes it likely that life in our universe is common, that no scientific proof has been offered (or probably.
The Berkeley radio telescope program, which researches more traditional and incrementally revealed subjects such as how galaxies form, the nature and properties of dark matter (ubiquitous in the universe but known only by its gravitational pull), and the nature and workings of black holes. Under Welch’s leadership, the array is also drawing a cosmological map of the presence of hydrogen in the universe. Hat Creek represents quite a coming of age for SETI, which long struggled for telescope time,.
Sullivan and Baross, eds., Planets and Life: The Emerging Science of Astrobiology. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007. Cronin, John, and Sandra Pizzarello. “Enantiomeric excesses in meteoritic amino acids.” Science, 1997. Cunningham, K. I., D. E. Northup, et al. “Bacteria, Fungi and Biokarst in Lechuguilla Cave, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico.” Environmental Geology, 1995. Davies, Paul. “Searching for an alternative form of life on Earth.” Proceedings of SPIE, 2007.