Book review: Search for life (Grady)

Conway, A. and Grady, M. (2001). Book review: Search for life (Grady). Journal of the British Astronomical Association, 111(5) p. 294.



ABSTRACT OF 'SEARCH FOR LIFE':Whether we are alone in the universe is a question that has fascinated humans since the earliest of times. Today the search for extraterrestrial life focuses on understanding how life arose on Earth in order to investigate the potential for life elsewhere.

Beginning with the Big Bang and formation of the universe, Monica Grady investigates the emergence of life on Earth, describing the factors and key stages necessary for the development of micro-organisms. She then considers the possibility of life arising under similar conditions on other planets. From the deepest depths of the ocean floor to the outmost edges of the galaxy, the potential for life is explored. Mars, Europa - the water-rich satellite of Jupiter - and Saturn's enigmatic moon, Titan, are investigated as ideal candidates for exploration. Beyond the solar system, the search for Earth-like planets is also considered.

Search for Life is richly illustrated with images, from microscopic bacteria to panoramic starscapes, and provides a stunning, comprehensive introduction to astrobiology - the study of life in the universe.

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