First Contact

First Contact

Scientific Breakthroughs in the Hunt for Life Beyond Earth

Book - 2011/04/05
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Baker & Taylor
Documents the scientific community's search for the beginnings of life on Earth and other planets, drawing on recent discoveries that support the existence of extraterrestrial life while exploring how the search for life on other planets is changing what humans think about their own history. 50,000 first printing.

Blackwell Publishing
"Mare Kaufman traveled to the ends of the Earth to report this fascinating, awe-inspiring, and accessible book. Arewe alone in the universe? Almost certainly not. Kaufman leaves the reader with a lucid sense of what we know and where the next wave of discovery will take place."---Steve Colll, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of Ghost Wars

"In First Contact, journalist Mare Kaufman reveals' how the extremes of life on Earth illuminate oursearch for life in the universe. Along the way, Kaufman invokes crisp, clear, and engaging narrative that, at times, leaves you to think you were conducting the research yourself."---Neil Degrasse Tyson, astrophysicist. American Musesium of Natural History, and author of the Pluto Files

"The search for life beyond Earth has now become the big scientific quest of our age. Kaufman skillfully weaves personal narrative and technical exposition to guide the reader through the challenges, both scientific and philosophical, that confront astrobiological researchers. An immensely readable book, infused with the thrill of the chase."---Paul Davies, author of The Ecrie Silence and The Goldiloks Enigma

"Mare Kaufman, a world-class reporter whose writing is clear and clean, is just the right author for First Contact. I found this book as thrilling as it is illuminating, as he takes us around the Earth and off into space in search of the beginnings of life here and probably elsewhere."---David Maraniss, author of Marched into Sunlight and When Pride Still Mallred

"Mare Kaufman brings to life the broad and increasingly successful effort by scientists to find signs of life beyond Karth. It's an exciting read about a scientific venture that will no doubt surprise and intrigue many people---especially when he takes us to incredibly exotic locations. Space, it seems, is the next frontier not only for exploration, but quite likely for learning about life as well."---Elon Musk, founder and CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors

In First Contact, Marc Kaufman provides a gripping tour of the magnificent new science of astrobiology that is closing in on the discovery of extraterrestrial life. In recent decades, scientists generally held that the genesis of life was unique to Earth: It was too delicate a process, and the conditions needed to support it too fragile, for it to exist anywhere else. But we are now on the verge of the biggest discovery since Copernicus and Galileo told us that Earth is not at the center of the universe.

New scientific breakthroughs have revolutionized our assumptions about the building blocks of life and where it may be found. Scientists have hunted down and identified exoplanets, those mysterious balls in the universe that orbit distant suns not too different from our own. They have discovered extremophiles, the extraordinary microbes that thrive in environments of intense heat or cold that may mimic the inhospitable conditions of other planets. They have landed rovers on Mars and detected its methane, a possible signature of past life. And they have created sophisticated equipment to sweep the sky for distant radio signals and to explore the deep icebound lakes of Antarctica.

Each of these developments has brought forth a new generation of out-of-the-box researchers, adventurers, and thinkers who are each part Carl Sagan, part Indiana Jones, part Watson and Crick---and part forensic specialists on CSI: Mars.

In this masterful book, Kaufman takes us to the frontiers of astrobiology's quest for extracterrestrial life and shows how this quest is inextricably linked with the quest to understand life on Earth. He takes us deep under the glaciers of Antarctica, into the mouth of an Alaskan volcano, and beneath the Earth into the unbearable heat of a South African mine, and leads us tothe world's driest desert.

For thousands of years, humans have wondered about who and what mightbe living beyond the confines of our planet. First Contact transports us into the cosmos to bring those musings back to Earth and recast our humanity.

Baker
& Taylor

Documents the scientific community's search for the beginnings of life on Earth and other planets, exploring how the search for life on other planets is changing what humans think about their own history.
Kaufman details the incredible true story of science's search for the beginnings of life on Earth and the probability that it exists elsewhere in the universe.

Simon and Schuster
Are we alone in the universe? Almost certainly not.

In First Contact, Marc Kaufman provides a gripping tour of the magnificent new science of astrobiology that is closing in on the discovery of extraterrestrial life. In recent decades, scientists generally held that the genesis of life was unique to Earth: It was too delicate a process, and the conditions needed to support it too fragile, for it to exist anywhere else. But we are now on the verge of the biggest discovery since Copernicus and Galileo told us that Earth is not at the center of the universe. New scientific breakthroughs have revolutionized our assumptions about the building blocks of life and where it may be found. Scientists have hunted down and identified exoplanets, those mysterious balls in the universe that orbit distant suns not too different from our own. They have discovered extremophiles, the extraordinary microbes that thrive in environments of intense heat or cold that may mimic the inhospitable conditions of other planets. They have landed rovers on Mars and detected its methane, a possible signature of past life. And they have created sophisticated equipment to sweep the sky for distant radio signals and to explore the deep icebound lakes of Antarctica. Each of these developments has brought forth a new generation of out-of-the-box researchers, adventurers, and thinkers who are each part Carl Sagan, part Indiana Jones, part Watson and Crick—and part forensic specialists on CSI: Mars.

In this masterful book, Kaufman takes us to the frontiers of astrobiology’s quest for extraterrestrial life and shows how this quest is inextricably linked with the quest to understand life on Earth. He takes us deep under the glaciers of Antarctica, into the mouth of an Alaskan volcano, and beneath the Earth into the unbearable heat of a South African mine, and leads us to the world’s driest desert. For thousands of years, humans have wondered about who and what might be living beyond the confines of our planet. First Contact transports us into the cosmos to bring those musings back to Earth and recast our humanity.

Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2011/04/05
Edition: 1st Simon & Schuster hardcover ed
ISBN: 9781439109007
1439109001
Branch Call Number: 576.839 KAU
Characteristics: 213 p. : col. ill. ; 25 cm

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