Cover: Life in Space: Astrobiology for Everyone, from Harvard University PressCover: Life in Space in HARDCOVER

Life in Space

Astrobiology for Everyone

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Product Details


$31.50 • £25.95 • €28.50

ISBN 9780674033214

Publication Date: 03/31/2009


344 pages

6-1/8 x 8-1/2 inches

35 line illustrations


In a fascinating primer, Lucas John Mix lays the groundwork for what may become the hottest science in the latter part of this century. Through basic biology and planetary sciences, Mix muses over which worlds in our solar system might possibly harbor life and which seemingly possess environments too hostile to expect life of any kind. He investigates the conditions under which life is known to thrive and ponders whether it’s inevitable that life could, or would, take hold just about anywhere the prerequisite temperatures and elements come together.—Edward C. Fennell, The Post and Courier [Charleston, SC]

Most of this book is accessible and fascinating.—Bruce Ramsey, The Seattle Times

Mix does an excellent job ‘assembling the larger puzzle’ about life in space from the pieces provided by all the scientific disciplines.—Connie Bertka, Lecturer on Contemporary Issues in Science & Religion, Wesley Theological Seminary

What is life? If you are sure you know and do not want to be challenged, DO NOT READ THIS BOOK! However, you will miss an extraordinarily fascinating account, told with a particularly engaging style. Is an egg alive? Maybe yes, maybe no. It is a single cell. Most cells are invisible to the unaided eye, but the largest cell is an ostrich egg, perhaps 20 centimeters across. As the author concludes, life is a great deal more confusing and wonderful than anyone suspected.—Owen Gingerich, Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, author of God’s Universe

Lucas Mix has written a beautiful synthesis of the multiple sciences that make up astrobiology. He tells the story of life from the broad perspective that links discoveries in astronomy, geoscience, chemistry, and biology and connects the history of life on Earth to our prospects for finding life, perhaps very different life forms, beyond our familiar home planet.—David Morrison, astrobiologist, coauthor of The Planetary System

Mix has written a book that captures the excitement of this new age of discovery that we are in the midst of today. He is systematic and thorough, an admirable accomplishment given the multidisciplinary nature of astrobiology. This makes the book valuable to the reader seriously interested in the subject. Mix’s prose is very light and entertaining, making his thorough treatment of the subject an asset, rather than a liability. The casual reader will most likely enjoy the book and learn a lot from it.—Dimitar Sasselov, Director, Harvard Origins of Life Initiative

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