Astronomers' Universe

Stardust

The Cosmic Seeds of Life

Authors: Kwok, Sun

  • Uses everyday experience and common things found on Earth (fire, chimneys, factories, oil) to playfully introduce non-experts to the principles of astrochemistry 
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  • Presents a popular account of the history of the discovery and latest understanding of organic matter in space, and the potential impacts of these discoveries on the understanding of the origin of life 
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  • Provides understandable insights into the building blocks of life and their stellar origin 
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  • Explains that every atom in our body has at one time been inside a star or was made by a star 
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  • A refreshing change from the mainstream popular astronomy and astrobiology books
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eBook $29.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-642-32802-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $39.95
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-642-32801-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Rent the ebook  
  • Rental duration: 1 or 6 month
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About this book

How did life originate on Earth? For over 50 years, scientists believed that life was the result of a chemical reaction involving simple molecules such as methane and ammonia cooking in a primordial soup. Recent space observations have revealed that old stars are capable of making very complex organic compounds. At some point in their evolution, stars eject those organics and spread them all over the Milky Way galaxy. There is evidence that these organic dust particles actually reached the early Solar System. Through bombardments by comets and asteroids, the young Earth inherited significant amounts of stardust. Was the development of life assisted by the arrival of these extraterrestrial materials?
 
In this book, the author describes stunning discoveries in astronomy and solar system science made over the last 10 years that have yielded a new perspective on the origin of life.
 
Other interesting topics discussed in this book
 

  • The discovery of diamonds and other gemstones in space
  • The origin of oil
  • Neon signs and fluorescent lights in space
  • Smoke from the stars
  • Stardust in our hands
  • Where oceans come from
  • The possibility of bacteria in space

About the authors

Sun Kwok is a leading world authority on the subject of astrochemistry and stellar evolution. He is best known for his theory on the origin of planetary nebulae and the death of Sun-like stars. His recent research has been on the topic of the synthesis of complex organic compounds in the late stages of stellar evolution. He is the author of a number of books, including Cosmic Butterflies : The Colorful Mysteries of Planetary Nebulae.

Reviews

From the reviews:

Selected by Choice magazine as an "Outstanding Academic Title" for 2014

“Stardust is a very readable, lucid description of the origins of life, from the standpoint of an astronomer. … Six appendixes, a 10-page glossary, and a 20-page bibliography support the text. Summing Up: Highly recommended. General readers and lower-division undergraduates.” (E. S. Perlman, Choice, Vol. 51 (5), January, 2014)

Table of contents (22 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $29.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-642-32802-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $39.95
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-642-32801-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Rent the ebook  
  • Rental duration: 1 or 6 month
  • low-cost access
  • online reader with highlighting and note-making option
  • can be used across all devices
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Stardust
Book Subtitle
The Cosmic Seeds of Life
Authors
Series Title
Astronomers' Universe
Copyright
2013
Publisher
Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Copyright Holder
Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
eBook ISBN
978-3-642-32802-2
DOI
10.1007/978-3-642-32802-2
Softcover ISBN
978-3-642-32801-5
Series ISSN
1614-659X
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XXII, 267
Number of Illustrations and Tables
24 b/w illustrations, 50 illustrations in colour
Topics