Cover: Life in the Cosmos: From Biosignatures to Technosignatures, from Harvard University PressCover: Life in the Cosmos in HARDCOVER

Life in the Cosmos

From Biosignatures to Technosignatures

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Product Details

HARDCOVER

$75.00 • £60.95 • €67.50

ISBN 9780674987579

Publication Date: 06/29/2021

Text

1088 pages

6-3/8 x 9-1/4 inches

2 photos, 78 illus., 9 tables

World

  • Preface
    • 1. Some Intrinsic Properties of Life
      • 1.1. Defining life: Does it matter?
      • 1.2. The requirements for life
      • 1.3. The Anna Karenina principle
  • I. The Origin and Evolution of Life on Earth
    • 2. The Pathways to the Origin of Life on Earth
      • 2.1. When did life originate on Earth?
      • 2.2. The basic building blocks of life
      • 2.3. Synthesis of the basic building blocks of life
      • 2.4. The polymerization of monomers
      • 2.5. The RNA world
      • 2.6. Did metabolism arise first?
      • 2.7. What are the plausible sites for abiogenesis?
      • 2.8. Mathematical models relating to the origin of life
      • 2.9. Conclusion
    • 3. The Evolutionary History of Life on Earth
      • 3.1. The origin of life
      • 3.2. The diversification of bacteria and archaea
      • 3.3. Oxygenic photosynthesis
      • 3.4. The rise of oyxgen and the Great Oxygenation Event
      • 3.5. Eukaryotes
      • 3.6. Complex multicellularity
      • 3.7. Intelligence in animals
      • 3.8. Technological intelligence
      • 3.9. Paradigms for major evolutionary events
      • 3.10. The critical steps model
      • 3.11. Conclusion
  • II. Aspects of Extraterrestrial Biospheres
    • 4. Habitability: Stellar Factors
      • 4.1. The habitable zone and its extensions
      • 4.2. Stellar winds
      • 4.3. Stellar electromagnetic radiation
      • 4.4. Stellar flares and associated space weather phenomena
      • 4.5. Conclusion
    • 5. Habitability: Planetary Factors
      • 5.1. The myriad roles of temperature
      • 5.2. Plate tectonics and habitability
      • 5.3. Tidal locking and its consequences
      • 5.4. Atmospheric composition
      • 5.5. The extent of landmasses and oceans on the surface
      • 5.6. The distribution of landmasses and oceans
      • 5.7. Life in the atmosphere
      • 5.8. Conclusion
    • 6. The Quest for Biosignatures
      • 6.1. Transiting planets
      • 6.2. Non-transiting planets
      • 6.3. Alternative observational constraints on habitability
      • 6.4. Gaseous biosignatures
      • 6.5. Surface biosignatures
      • 6.6. Temporal biosignatures
      • 6.7. False positives versus real biosignatures
      • 6.8. Assessing the plausibility of life detection
      • 6.9. Conclusion
    • 7. Life in Subsurface Oceans
      • 7.1. Worlds with subsurface oceans within our solar system
      • 7.2. Temperature profiles of the ice envelopes
      • 7.3. The habitats for subsurface ocean worlds
      • 7.4. The routes to abiogenesis on subsurface ocean worlds
      • 7.5. Ecosystems in planets with subsurface oceans
      • 7.6. Bioessential elements and subsurface ocean worlds
      • 7.7. Evolutionary trajectories on subsurface ocean worlds
      • 7.8. Number of subsurface ocean worlds and the implications for detection
      • 7.9. Conclusion
  • III. Aspects of Extraterrestrial Technospheres
    • 8. The Drake Equation and Fermi’s Paradox
      • 8.1. The Drake equation
      • 8.2. The great silence: Where is everybody?
      • 8.3. Conclusion
    • 9. The Quest for Technosignatures
      • 9.1. Radio technosignatures
      • 9.2. Optical and infrared technosignatures
      • 9.3. Modality of interstellar signaling
      • 9.4. On the classification of technological agents
      • 9.5. Artifact technosignatures
      • 9.6. The relative prospects for detecting ETIs
      • 9.7. Conclusion
    • 10. The Propagation of Life in the Universe
      • 10.1. History and principles of panspermia
      • 10.2. Interplanetary and interstellar panspermia
      • 10.3. Seeking potential signatures of panspermia
      • 10.4. Interstellar travel via rockets
      • 10.5. Interstellar travel without onboard fuel
      • 10.6. Conclusion
  • Epilogue: Sic Itur Ad Astra
  • References
  • Acknowlegments
  • Index

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