Astrobiology : An Introduction book cover
1st Edition

An Introduction

ISBN 9781439875766
Published November 24, 2014 by CRC Press
472 Pages 145 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Astrobiology is a multidisciplinary pursuit that in various guises encompasses astronomy, chemistry, planetary and Earth sciences, and biology. It relies on mathematical, statistical, and computer modeling for theory, and space science, engineering, and computing to implement observational and experimental work. Consequently, when studying astrobiology, a broad scientific canvas is needed. For example, it is now clear that the Earth operates as a system; it is no longer appropriate to think in terms of geology, oceans, atmosphere, and life as being separate.

Reflecting this multiscience approach, Astrobiology: An Introduction:

  • Covers topics such as stellar evolution, cosmic chemistry, planet formation, habitable zones, terrestrial biochemistry, and exoplanetary systems

  • Discusses the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe in an accessible manner, sparing calculus, curly arrow chemistry, and modeling details

  • Contains problems and worked examples, and includes a solutions manual with qualifying course adoption

Astrobiology: An Introduction provides a full introduction to astrobiology suitable for university students at all levels.

Table of Contents

Origin of the Elements. The Chemistry of Space. Habitable Earth. Building the Solar System. Early Earth. Properties of Life. Terrestrial Biochemistry. Origin of Life. Early Life. Mars. Icy Worlds. Detecting Exoplanets. Exoplanetary Systems. Prospecting for Life.

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Alan Longstaff originally trained as a biochemist and, after a senior lectureship in the Biosciences Department at the University of Hertfordshire, he became a university student once again to study astronomy and planetary science. He now divides his time between teaching and writing. Since 2003, he has worked part-time as an astronomy tutor and planetarium presenter for The Royal Observatory, Greenwich, and held part-time teaching posts at Queen Mary University of London, Waldegrave Science School for Girls, and the Open University. He has lectured to astronomical and geological societies, co/authored several textbooks, and is a regular contributor to Astronomy Now.