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Astronomy - Astrobiology | Cosmic Biology - How Life Could Evolve on Other Worlds

Cosmic Biology

How Life Could Evolve on Other Worlds

Irwin, Louis Neal, Schulze-Makuch, Dirk

2011, XXII, 338 p.

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  • Discusses a broad range of possible environments where alien life might evolve Explains why carbon-based, water-borne life is more likely than the alternatives Outlines for general readers the principles of ecology and the mechanisms of evolutionary change Provides an imaginative and plausible framework for how life might evolve in different environments

It is very unlikely that little green humanoids are living on Mars. But what are the possible life forms that might exist in our Solar System and how might they have evolved?

This uniquely authoritative and imaginative book on the possibilties for alien life addresses the intrinsic interest that we have about life on other worlds - reinforcing some of our assumptions and reshaping others. It introduces new possibilties that will enlarge our understanding of the issue overall, in particular the enormous range of environments and planetary conditions within which life might evolve.

Cosmic Biology

-discusses a broad range of possible environments where alien life might have evolved;

-explains why carbon-based, water-borne life is more likely that its alternatives, but is not the only possiblity;

-applies the principles of planetary science and modern biology to evolutionary scenarios on other worlds;

-looks at the future fates of living systems, including those on Earth.

Content Level » Popular/general

Keywords » Astrobiology studies - Chemistry of living systems - Extraterrestrial life - Fermi paradox - Life in other planets - Nature and definition of life - Taxonomy of Living Systems

Related subjects » Animal Sciences - Astrobiology - Extraterrestrial Physics, Space Sciences - Organic Chemistry - Popular Astronomy

Table of contents 

Preface.- List of Illustrations.- Chapter 1: Rare Earths and Life Unseen.- Chapter 2: Life, Chemistry, Action!.- Chapter 3: Life's Fundamentals.- Chapter 4: Fire and Water.- Chapter 5: Frozen Desert.- Chapter 6: Hell Fire and Brimstone.- Chapter 7: Suspended Animation.- Chapter 8: Deep and Dark.- Chapter 9: Fire and Ice.- Chapter 10: Petrolakes.- Chapter 11: Exotic Cocktails.- Chapter 12: Biocomplexity in the Cosmos.- Chapter13: Anticipating the Future.- Glossary.- Index.

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