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Life in the Universe (3rd Edition) Paperback – January 17, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0321687678 ISBN-10: 0321687671 Edition: 3rd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley; 3 edition (January 17, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321687671
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321687678
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 0.8 x 10.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #197,269 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jeffrey Bennett

Jeffrey Bennett holds a B.A. (1981) in biophysics from the University of California, San Diego, and an M.S. and Ph.D. (1987) in astrophysics from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has taught at every level from preschool through graduate school, including more than 50 college classes in astronomy, physics, mathematics, and education. He served two years as a visiting senior scientist at NASA headquarters, where he created NASA's "IDEAS" program, started a program to fly teachers aboard NASA's airborne observatories (including SOFIA), and worked on numerous educational programs for the Hubble Space Telescope and other space science missions. He also proposed the idea for and helped develop both the Colorado Scale Model Solar System on the CU-Boulder campus and the Voyage Scale Model Solar System on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. In addition to this astronomy textbook, he has written college-level textbooks in astrobiology, mathematics, and statistics; two books for the general public: On the Cosmic Horizon (Pearson Addison-Wesley, 2001) and Beyond UFOs (Princeton University Press, 2008); and an award-winning series of children's books that includes Max Goes to the Moon, Max Goes to Mars, Max Goes to Jupiter, and Max's Ice Age Adventure. When not working, he enjoys participating in masters swimming and in the daily adventures of life with his wife, Lisa; his children, Grant and Brooke; and his dog, Cosmo. His personal Website is www.jeffreybennett.com.

 

 

Seth Shostak earned his B.A. in physics from Princeton University (1965) and a Ph.D. in astronomy from the California Institute of Technology (1972). He is currently a senior astronomer at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California, where he helps press the search for intelligent cosmic company. For much of his career, Seth conducted radio astronomy research on galaxies and investigated the fact that these massive objects contain large amounts of unseen mass. He has worked at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Charlottesville, Virginia, as well as at the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute in Groningen, the Netherlands (where he learned to speak bad Dutch). Seth also founded and ran a company that produced computer animation for television. He has written several hundred popular articles on various topics in astronomy, technology, film, and television. A frequent fixture on the lecture circuit, Seth gives approximately 70 talks annually at both educational and corporate institutions, and he is also a frequent commentator on astronomical matters for radio and television. His book Confessions of an Alien Hunter: A Scientist's Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (National Geographic, 2009) details the latest ideas, as well as the personal experience of his day job. When he’s not trying to track down aliens, Seth can often be found behind the microphone, as host of the SETI Institute's weekly, one-hour radio show about science, Are We Alone.

Customer Reviews

Still, for use in a class it is actually a great book.
Morgan S Gibbs
It was definitely a good buy, and cheaper almost by half as much as it would've been if i'd bought it through my schools' textbook resource.
JJ
Very clearly written with very little prerequisites needed to understand the subject matter.
George Joannou

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Morgan S Gibbs on May 8, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book does a fantastic job of introducing concepts in geology, biology, chemistry, physics, and of course astronomy, and ties them all together with the search for extraterrestrial life. The book was both entertaining and informative, and was truly a pleasure to read.

If this book were cheaper I would recommend it for laymen to read if the search for ET is an affinity or interest. The book is relatively thin, and like most text books I can't figure out why they are so expensive when I can buy books of the same or bigger sizes new for $20. It is also a paperback, which I don't like very much as I prefer hardcovers for books that I will keep and reference later. Still, for use in a class it is actually a great book. 4.5/5 stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By George Joannou on January 31, 2013
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I bought and read the 2nd edition as well as the 3rd and both are amazingly well written with lots of coloured diagrams and photos. Very clearly written with very little prerequisites needed to understand the subject matter. The 3rd edition has updated information regarding more recently discovered extrasolar planets. If you buy one book on Astrobiology make it this one , it is that good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Yuliya on June 9, 2014
Format: Paperback
I rented this book from BookRenter.com because I thought I would just need it for my Intro to Astrobiology class, and now I am deeply regretting not buying it from the get-go!! Fascinating and very clearly explains the theories behind the origins of life and potential for life in the universe without being too wordy or going to deep into complex science. It pulls together the important parts of biology, chemistry, physics, and astronomy. Kudos to the writers. Highly recommend to professors teaching Astrobiology and unsure of what book to pick. As a student, it was a perfect companion to an already great class.
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Disclaimer, Only on chapter 7. I like that they anticipated all the questions I would have had at the right time and present things in the right order to keep it interesting. It never seems to falter. I also happen to love the subject. My issue is only with a single chapter, but its a critical chapter. If the authors read this, I'd suggest they just take out the claims for that chapter and mind the tone (make it more like the first chapter.) I think instructors could simply avoid the material and the book would still flow.

The book was progressing pretty well until the second half of the chapter on life. It started getting into religion in a religious way. It seemed religious in its claims about the explanatory power of evolution. Reminded me of those documentary biologists who until recently would constantly repeat in their film monologues that animals compete to spread their genes as if they had the actual psychological ideation to do so. It's as if they suppose an animal awareness that amounts to a hardwired epiphenomenon dedicated to spreading genes as a consequence of some random chemistry.

They back off a bit when they talk about "first life" but then still play this game where they try to suggest that the evolutionary theory accounts for life. It's like suggesting that current billiard ball neurology accounts for awareness. It comes across as wishful thinking to such an extent that the leaps seem religious or hypocritical. There are so many gaps in description/explanation it would be like saying that evolution perfectly accounts for awareness and then trying to claim its just self-evident or obvious. Where is the description that tends toward plausible explanation?
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By Rainer Luptowitz on January 22, 2013
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This book provides a simple explanation of combined sciences: Astronomy, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Geology. It has a has what is considered valid explanations of the Universe is existence and composition. The easy to read text makes for a very good beginners book on what is astronomy and Bioastronomy.
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By Misty on April 29, 2014
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Works like a charm. I am a happy customer. The product does what it is intended to do. I would recommend this to others.
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By Phillip on September 1, 2013
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It helped and was a good text for my class. For person with no knowledge of the stars and planets this is excellent
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By Kim on November 11, 2014
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Really like this mannequin, worked out perfect! Being that it is adjustable is a plus!
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