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Mirror Earth: The Search for Our Planet's Twin

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  71 ratings  ·  16 reviews
In the mid-1990s, astronomers made history when they detected three planets orbiting stars in the Milky Way. The planets were nothing like Earth, however: they were giant gas balls like Jupiter or Saturn. More than 500 planets have been found since then, yet none of them could support life.
Now, armed with more powerful technology, planet hunters are racing to find a true
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published October 16th 2012 by Walker & Company (first published October 1st 2012)
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Paul Lunger
The search for a 2nd Earth is something that is almost a fundamental question that will help we humans answer the question "Are we alone in the universe?" & with the 1995 discovery of the planet around 51 Pegasi it opened up a whole new era in astronomy in the field of exoplanetology. In "Mirror Earth: The Search for Our Planet's Twin", Michael D. Lemonick describes the steps & history of this new field of study from the beginning concepts of who scientists were beginning to look for oth ...more
W. Derek Atkins
I checked this book out from the library because I have an interest in exoplanets, and this book delivers! In this book, Michael D. Lemonick tells the history of the search for exoplanets, and will remain relevant into the future, regardless of how many more exoplanets are discovered. And even though it's a history of the search for worlds around other stars, it still contains good scientific information about those exoplanets that have been discovered up to the time of this book's publication.

Mirror Earth is about one of the most exciting research topics in astrophysics at the moment, planets that exist beyond our solar system (exoplanets). It was only in the 1990s that scientists were able to detect such planets, and they've been overturning our expectations about the universe ever since. Before exoplanets, scientists assumed that planets near their stars must be small and rocky, with large gaseous planets further away (such as Jupiter and Saturn). But the first exoplanets discovere ...more
David James
A good work of science journalism. Lemonick introduces us to the major figures currently searching for exoplanets, clearly explains the technologies they have devised to aid in their efforts, and summarizes what was found as of late 2012 or so. This is a rapidly moving field, and during the week that I was reading this book a couple of major announcements were made on new findings. As I read news reports I saw quotes from some of the same people Lemonick had profiled, and thanks to his eloquent ...more
Lemonick's book MIRROR EARTH, describes and analyzes the idea if we found a planet similar to planet earth. Lemonick writes with honesty and compassion about his experieces growing up and looking out of the stars wondering what law beyond. Lemonick also incorporates a lot of factual information with a lot of personal information about what it would be like to discover a "Mirror Earth." Overall i enjoyed the book, but at times Lemonick would go off topic and present ideas that were not related to ...more
The book is a mix of astrophysics and human interest stories about scientists, and I'm not completely sure it works on either level.
Interesting book about the history of the search for planets outside the solar system.
Well written tale of the work done by numerous astronomers. A bit of knowledge of astronomy would be helpful although not absolutely required
Michael Patrick
So I came into this book wondering, 'Okay, even if we can infer planets similar to Earth that are 'mere' light years away, what will that ultimately mean?'. Turns out, nope, even though we might be able to 'find' them (keep in mind we're not photographing them directly), we're no better off than we were; communicating with these planets (assuming there's life capable of communicating) is a multi-year process, and travel to them is out of the question. So....
Very interesting coverage of the hunt for planets in the milky way around other stars that has taken place over the last two decades. In that time period science has gone from no known exo-planets, as they are called, to thousands at present. The hunt now is focusing on finding earth-like planets that could harbor life. A key element in the search is the Kepler satellite which is featured in this history of the search.
Inspiring and breezy update on (some of) what has happened in planetary science since I last checked in about 15 years ago. Very exciting stuff about finding planets around stars other than our Sun. Good read for Christmas break if your a composer who is inspired by space!
Lemonick is fantastic at explaining complicated processes in an easy and engaging style. It shows in this work on the history of "planet hunting". I learned a lot about the culture of astronomers as well as the qualities of 'habitable' planets.
Jeffrey McKinley
(read 2/14/2013) This book traces the history of the field of planet hunters. Fascinating if you are interested in the possibility of other worlds in the Milky Way. The way it sounds, there may be more than we realize.
Andy Coulam
Well explained update for those interested in astronomy, a good insight to how current mehtodology will continue to expand over the next few decades
Burky Ford
Think this is a vanity book.
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