Five Billion Years of Solitude: The Search for Life Among the Stars

Lee Billings


An intimate background of Earth and the search for all times past the sun system

For 4.6 billion years our dwelling planet has been by myself in an unlimited and silent universe. yet quickly, Earth's isolation may come to an finish. during the last 20 years, astronomers have chanced on millions of planets orbiting different stars. a few of these exoplanets might be replicate photos of our personal international. And extra are being stumbled on all of the time.

Yet because the velocity of discovery hurries up, a solution to the universe's maximum riddle nonetheless continues to be simply out of succeed in: Is the nice silence and vacancy of the cosmos an indication that we and our global are someway singular, designated, and profoundly by myself, or does it simply suggest that we’re trying to find existence in the entire flawed areas? As star-gazing scientists come in the direction of studying the reality, their insights are proving ever extra the most important to figuring out life’s difficult mysteries and percentages the following on Earth.

Science journalist Lee Billings explores the prior and way forward for the "exoplanet growth" via in-depth reporting and interviews with the astronomers and
planetary scientists at its vanguard. He recounts the tales at the back of their world-changing discoveries and captures the pivotal moments that drove them ahead of their historical look for the 1st liveable planets past our sun method. Billings brings readers with reference to a variety of interesting characters, such as:

FRANK DRAKE, a pioneer who has used the world’s maximum radio telescopes to behavior the 1st searches for extraterrestrial intelligence and to transmit a message to the celebs so strong that it in short outshone our Sun.

JIM KASTING, a mild-mannered former NASA scientist whose examine into the Earth’s surroundings and weather unearths the inner most foundations of existence on our planet, foretells the tip of existence in the world within the far-off destiny, and publications the planet hunters of their look for alien life.

SARA SEAGER, a visionary and iron-willed MIT professor who goals of escaping the sunlight method and construction the large area telescopes required to find and research life-bearing planets round countless numbers of the Sun’s neighboring stars.

Through those and different eye-catching stories, Billings strains the triumphs, tragedies, and betrayals of the intense women and men looking existence one of the stars. inspite of inadequate investment, clashing evaluations, and the flaws of a few of our world’s such a lot well-known and robust medical enterprises, those planet hunters won't leisure till they locate the that means of existence within the endless depths of house. Billings emphasizes that the heroic quest for different Earth-like planets is not just a systematic pursuit, but in addition a mirrored image of our personal culture’s undying hopes and fears.

 

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