- Mass Market Paperback: 509 pages
- Publisher: Emerson-Adams Press; 1 edition (November 16, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 189280302X
- ISBN-13: 978-1892803023
- Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6.5 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,563,602 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Intelligent Life in the Universe 1st Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
Top Customer Reviews
Sagan annotates the original Russian work of Shklovskii. Sagan's annotations help clarify some of Shklovskii's work by inserting examples and 'fer-instance's, offering opposing arguments, and telling charming tales in his incomparable way.
The book has three sections. The first deals with Cosmology, which is the study of the structure and composition of the universe. The second section deals with the origins of life, how it happened on Earth, and how life might form in extraterrestrial environments, such as on other planets. The third section details the search for extraterrestrial life.
The book will give a sense of awe for the reader who may not know, for example, that there are former stars in our galaxy which are as massive as our Sun, are the size of our Earth, and that spin 300 times a second! (These are the pulsars). The book also succeeds in giving the reader a sense of enormity both in the size and the age of the universe.
There are sections in the book that you will want to ignore because they are severely outdated. For example, there are several chapters dealing with the quest for life on other planets in our solar system, such as Mars. All of the Mars pictures in the book are of fuzzy images from ground-based observatories. This book was written before Voyager, Viking, and the Hubble Space Telescope. So when Sagan asks "Are there canals on Mars?" or "Are the moons of Mars artificial satelites?", you can just skip it (there aren't and they aren't).Read more ›
since then, and it pained me somewhat to find that the book is now out of print. I can honestly say this is still, without any doubt
in my mind, the *best* starting place for the study of astronomy,
cosmology, astrobiology/xenobiology (call it what you will) and
all things extraterrestrial. The book gives you all the background information available at the time of its publication to understand
problems that are still profound to this day, in a step by step
method that is both an absorbing read and and a good bit of education in itself. Invaluable for both its conclusions and for the historical background it gives to current issues, well illustrated and beautifully far reaching, I most highly recommend this rare and wonderful book.
Sagan explains the genesis of this book in the Preface as follows: "When I received a copy of (Shklovskii's) book, I was struck by its broad scope and novel insights. I wrote to Shklovskii, asking him if we might translate it into English. Shklovskii readily consented, and invited me to add additional material as I saw fit.... I have added about as much material as there was in the work initially .... The result is a peculiar kind of cooperative endeavor. I have sent much of the entirely new material to Shklovskii for his comment, and he has sent much new material to me for inclusion."
Concerning the possibility of extraterrestrial life, Sagan writes, "I think Shklovskii and I can be described as cautious optimists on this question." They write, "If it seemed likely that technical civilizations existed on planets only 10 or 20 light years away, or civilizations greatly in advance of our own, at larger distances, a serious effort to establish contact might be justified. On the other hand, if we can only reasonably expect civilizations at about our level of technical advance thousands of light years away, attempts at communication would not seem profitable, at least at the present time." They add, "The number of extant civilizations substantially in advance of our own in the Galaxy today appears to be perhaps between 50 thousand and one million. The average distance between technical civilizations is between a few hundred light years and about 1,000 light years.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent book about the state of the art back when it was written.
It contains Carl Sagan's run-in with a UFO contactee, someone who claims to have close encounters of... Read more
Many of the math calcuations were beyond this cowboys education.........the rest of the book was very insitefull........thought provacating.Published 17 months ago by Ray
If there was ever a 'desert island' book that you'd want with you, it's this tome. Brilliantly far-sighted, the book looks with intelligence and measured steps from what we know... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Beantown Jim
The basis of speculations...
Anybody should think about all this stuff , rather than doing useless and stupid activities in life...
This book is widely seen as the modern classic in the scientific search for life on on other worlds (or elsewhere in space). Read morePublished on January 31, 2012 by a reader
I was very happy to find this book on a visit to a local used book store (where interestingly enough I also found a copy of the first book published under John F. Read morePublished on November 14, 2006 by Steve Reina