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Life beyond Earth
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    James, Anto John, Chris Owais, Cheriyacheruvakkara Myakala, Stephen Nagaraju Chandra Shekar, Sarap Choudhuri, Jyoti Roy and Swathi, Rotti Srinivasamurthy 2018. Graphynes: indispensable nanoporous architectures in carbon flatland. RSC Advances, Vol. 8, Issue. 41, p. 22998.

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Book description

What is life and where can it exist? What searches are being made to identify conditions for life on other worlds? If extraterrestrial inhabited worlds are found, how can we explore them? In this book, two leading astrophysicists provide an engaging account of where we stand in our quest for habitable environments, in the Solar System and beyond. Starting from basic concepts, the narrative builds scientifically, including more in-depth material as boxed additions to the main text. The authors recount fascinating recent discoveries from space missions and observations using ground-based telescopes, of possible life-related artefacts in Martian meteorites, extrasolar planets, and subsurface oceans on Europa, Titan and Enceladus. They also provide a forward look to future missions. This is an exciting, informative read for anyone interested in the search for habitable and inhabited planets, and an excellent primer for students in astrobiology, habitability, planetary science and astronomy.


‘A thorough tour of the possible abodes of life elsewhere in the cosmos, Life Beyond Earth unifies the study of planets in a way that should be more common but is still rare. Coustenis and Encrenaz provide a clear and engaging exposition of planetary habitability, giving an authoritative picture of the wealth of information that we have on planets and the engaging mysteries that remain unsolved.’

Jonathan I. Lunine - Director, Center for Radiophysics and Space Research, Cornell University, and author of Earth: Evolution of a Habitable Planet

‘A lot is happening in planetary science just now, with in-depth exploration of our solar system underway, and announcements of the discovery and characterisation of new worlds around other stars happening nearly every week. This new book, by two of the world's top planetary astronomers, describes the state-of-play in accessible but authoritative terms, with an exciting focus on the habitability of remote environments and the prospects for finding life beyond Earth.’

Fred Taylor - Emeritus Halley Professor of Physics, University of Oxford

‘A delightful introduction to the wonderful world of astrobiology and the ongoing search for extraterrestrial life! Along with their recognised expertise in planetary science and astrophysics, the authors also exhibit a thorough understanding of the nature of life and of the techniques that are being used to try to detect it. This search will keep us busy for the next few generations.’

James Kasting - Pennsylvania State University

‘There's no scientific question more interesting than whether the life that carpets Earth is some sort of miracle, or merely an unremarkable example of a common, cosmic phenomenon. This book engagingly describes many fascinating missions and discoveries, explaining why today's researchers think there's something alive out there, and how they hope to find it.’

Seth Shostak - Senior Astronomer, SETI Institute, USA

'… [a] packed primer.'

Source: Nature

'It's hard to think of a better primer for anyone with an interest in the prospects for life in the universe.'

Source: BBC Sky at Night

'Thorough and entertaining …'

Source: New Scientist

'Both eminent researchers in the fields of astrophysics and planetary science (the authors) here train their considerable and passion on the quest for extraterrestrial life.'

Source: The Times Higher Education Supplement

'Excellent and eye-opening …'

Source: Fortean Times

'The question of life provides a compelling framework for the discussion. It’s also of course one we often get from students and visitors. Can it exist elsewhere in the cosmos? What does contemporary astronomy research say? Encrenaz and Coustenis provide a rigorous though accessible introduction to the biochemical nature of terrestrial life and use this as a lens to examine the rest of the universe. … the authors do a great job of explaining why these results will be so compelling for these overarching questions.'

Stephen Case Source: Planetarian

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Recommended books
Arrieta, R. T., From the Atacama to Makalu: A Journey to Extreme Environments on Earth and Beyond (Coqui Press, 1997).
Horikoshi, Koki & Grant, William D. (eds.), Extremophiles: Microbial Life in Extreme Environments (Wiley Series in Ecological and Applied Microbiology, 1998).
Gross, Michael, Life on the Edge: Amazing Creatures Thriving in Extreme Environments (Basic Books, 2001).
Karl, David M. (ed.), The Microbiology of Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vents (CRC Series on Microbiology of Extreme and Unusual Environments, 1995).
Amy, Penny S. & Haldeman, Dana L. (eds.), The Microbiology of the Terrestrial Deep Subsurface (CRC Series on Microbiology of Extreme and Unusual Environments, 1997).
Lee Van Dover, Cindy, Deep-Ocean Journeys: Discovering New Life at the Bottom of the Sea (Addison-Wesley, 1997). Cindy Lee Van Dover was the first female pilot of the research submarine Alvin.
Robinson, Kim Stanley, 2312, (Orbit Books, 2012).
Impey, C., Lunine, J. & Funes, J. (eds.) Frontiers of Astrobiology (Cambridge University Press, 2012).
Lunine, J., Astrobiology: A Multidisciplinary Approach (Addison Wesley, 2005).
Rothery, D. A., Gimour, I. & Sephton, M. A (eds.), An Introduction to Astrobiology (Cambridge University Press, 2003).
Davies, P., Other Worlds (Simon and Schuster, 1980).
Forget, F., Costard, F. & Lognonné, P., Planet Mars: Story of Another World (Praxis Publishing, 2008).
Casoli, F. & Encrenaz, T., The New Worlds: Extrasolar Planets (Praxis Publishing, 2007).
Encrenaz, T., Searching for Water in the Universe (Praxis Publishing, 2005).
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Ollivier, M., Encrenaz, T., Roques, F., Selsis, F. & Casoli, F.. Planetary Systems: Detection, Formation, Habitability of Extrasolar Planets (Springer, 2009).
Perryman, M., The Exoplanet Handbook (Cambridge University Press, 2011).
Botta, O., Bada, J. L., Gomez-Elvira, J. et al., Strategies of Life Detection (ISSI Space Sciences Series, Springer, 2008).
du Foresto, Vincent Coudé, Gelino, Dawn M. & Ribas, Ignasi (eds.), Pathways Towards Habitable Planets (ASP Conference Series Vol. 430, 2010).
Gargaud, M., Barbier, B., Martin, H. & Reiss, J. (eds.), Lectures in Astrobiology, Vol. I: The Early Earth and Other Cosmic Habitats for Life (Springer, 2006).
Gargaud, M., Martin, H. & Clayes, P. (eds.), Lectures in Astrobiology, Vol. II (Springer, 2007).
Beaulieu, J.-P., Dieters, S. & Tinetti, G. (eds.), Molecules in the Atmospheres of Extrasolar Planets (ASP Conference Series Vol. 450, 2011).
Horneck, G. & Baumstark-Khan, C. (eds.), Astrobiology: The Quest for the Conditions of Life (Springer, 2002).
Cassen, P., Guillot, T. & Quirrenbach, A. (eds.), Extrasolar Planets (Saas Fee Advanced Course 31, Springer, 2006).
Gargaud, M. et al., Encyclopedia of Astrobiology (Springer, 2011).
The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopedia.


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