From Dying Stars to the Birth of Life
The new science of astrobiology and the search for life in the universe
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- + Chapter 1 - COMPUTERS, ROCKET SCIENCE, AND THE BIRTH OF ASTROBIOLOGY
Chapter 2 - OUR VAST AND HOSTILE LIFE-FRIENDLY UNIVERSE
- Brief History 1 - In the Early Days, Seeing was Believing
- Brief History 2 - Telescopes and Spectrometers Open Door to Modern Era of Astronomy
- Transition to Instrument Assisted Observations reveals a Universe whose Age, Size, and Complexity Boggles the Minds of Scientists and non-Scientists.
- “Big Bang” Theory of the Birth of the Universe
- Formation of the First Stars and the First Galaxies
- Birth, Life, and Death of Stars and Creation of Heavy Atomic Elements Needed to Build Planets and Life
- Construction of Planetary Homes for Life
Chapter 3 - HOW LIFE WORKS ON PLANET EARTH
- “Definitions of Life” Offered by Life Scientists
- Life on Earth is Packaged inside Small Containers that Resemble Bags or Sacks
- First “Primitive” Single-Celled Organisms
- Modern Single-Celled Organisms that Live and Thrive in Extreme Hostile Environments
- Arrival of Larger “Complex” Single-Cell Organisms
- Explosion of “Complex” Multi-Cellular Life-Forms
- Different Life-Forms on Earth use Different Methods to Feed Themselves
- All Life-forms on Earth Use Same “Chemical Power Generator” to Perform Biological Work
- Every Cell of every Living Organism Contains a Copy of an Instruction Manual which allows the Organism to Replicate Itself
- All Life must Adjust to Short Term Changes in the External Environment plus Undergo Biological Evolution in Response to Long Term Alterations
Chapter 4 - HOW LIFE AND EARTH CO-EVOLVED TO PRODUCE A LIFE-FRIENDLY BIOSPHERE
- Scientists’ Mind Boggling Concept of DEEP TIME
- Hadean Eon Witnessed Gathering of Raw Materials Needed for Birth of Life on Earth
- Archean Eon Allowed Life to Quickly Gain Permanent Foothold on Earth
- End of Archean and Beginning of Proterozoic Eon Witnessed important Geological Changes that Dramatically Increased the Pace of Life’s Evolution
- Arrival of Oxygen Atmosphere at End of Proterozoic Eon allowed Life to Begin Upgrading to Multi-Cellular Forms
- Phanerozoic Eon Sets Stage for Surge toward “Modern Life-Forms“
- Death of Dinosaurs opens door for “Age of Mammals” and Evolution of Humans
- Role of “Mass Extinctions” in Evolution of Life
- Most Common Forms of External Threats to Evolution and Survival of Life on Planets
- Common Internal Threats to Evolution and Survival of Life on Planets
- Will Mankind be the Source of the Final Mass Extinction of Life on Earth?
Chapter 5 - THE SEARCH FOR OTHER WORLDS AND OTHER LIFE-FORMS
- What kinds of Extraterrestrial Life-Forms should we Search For?
- Searching for Life in the Inner Solar System
- Possibility of Life in Outer Regions of Solar System
- Search for Habitable Worlds beyond our Solar System
- Mankind has the Technology to Detect Earth-like Worlds Orbiting other Stars plus Search for Evidence of Living Inhabitants
- What kinds of Evidence for Life will Astrobiologists Search For?
- Which Stars are Likely to Host Life-Friendly Worlds?
- What Kinds of Exoplanets Should We Search For?
Chapter 6 - THE POSSIBILITY OF VISITING OR COMMUNICATING WITH EXTRATERRESTRIAL CIVILIZATIONS
- How Feasible is Interstellar Space Travel?
- Searching for Signals Sent by Intelligent Extraterrestrials or Physical Objects left behind by ET
- The Enigma of the Flying Saucers (UFOs)
- What it is about the UFO Phenomenon that might make it worth Scientific Investigation
- + Chapter 7 - SOME FINAL THOUGHTS FROM THE AUTHOR
- FURTHER SUGGESTED READINGS
This book tells the incredible story of the birth of a whole new field of science called Astrobiology.