In The Search for Life on Other Planets, Jakosky offers a scientific foundation for thinking there may be life elsewhere in the Universe. Using the early history of the Earth and the conditions that would allow life to exist, he creates a sound, scientific foundation for the possibility of life on planets other than our own. Jakosky integrates the mechanics of planets and recent findings from our planetary exploration program to create a rich and accessible look at the likelihood of extraterrestrials and the possibility of life on other planets. His prose is authoritative but avoids technical jargon and is well illustrated throughout. For all those interested in understanding the scientific evidence for and likelihood of extraterrestrial life, this is the most comprehensive and readable book to date. Bruce Jakosky is active in spacecraft observations, and has been involved with the Viking, Solar Mesosphere Explorer, Clementine, Mars Observer, and Mars Global Surveyor missions. Currently, he teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in terrestrial and planetary geology at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
1. The search for life in the universe; 2. Impacts, extinctions, and the earliest history of life on Earth; 3. The history of the Earth; 4. The Earth's geological record and the earliest life; 5. Energy and life in unique environments on Earth; 6. Origin of life on Earth; 7. Requirements for extraterrestrial life; 8. Is life on Mars possible?; 9. Possible fossil life in meteorites from Mars; 10. Implanting life on Mars; 11. The exobiology of Venus; 12. Titan - a natural exobiology laboratory?; 13. Exobiology in the Jupiter system; 14. Formation of planets around other stars; 15. Searching for planets around other stars; 16. The habitability of planets around other stars; 17. Intelligent life in the universe; 18. Life in the universe; Additional reading and bibliography; Index.
"Jakosky has done an excellent job conveying the excitement and depth of astrobiology...[the book] is a cleverly written account that is easily digested. Jakosky is to be congratulated on what will become a classic work." Science Spectra
"...offers readers an entry point to the latest ideas and issues in astrobiology....Jakosky's considerable experience as a geologist and teacher thinking about this material is evident in the book's superb organization and progression of ideas." Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada
"...the treatment is clear, authoritative, well illustrated, and thorough." Choice
"...a well-illustrated guide to the biological universe." Physics Today