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The Crowded Universe: The Search for Living Planets

3.23 of 5 stars 3.23  ·  rating details  ·  43 ratings  ·  9 reviews
We are nearing a turning point in our quest for life in the universe—we now have the capacity to detect Earth-like planets around other stars. But will we find any?In The Crowded Universe, renowned astronomer Alan Boss argues that based on what we already know about planetary systems, in the coming years we will find abundant Earths, including many that are indisputably al ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published February 3rd 2009 by Basic Books (first published 2009)
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Todd Martin
The Crowded Universe outlines the search for planets outside of our solar system, the means used to detect them, and some of the upcoming missions NASA will be launching to further the search.

That's the good news.

The book also contains details of the vagaries of NASA budgeting and funding and internal politics and changes in leadership. Details which are probably of little interest to anyone outside of the agency.

I can't figure out why this book was written. The science of planet hunting and th
...more
Colin
A good but dry account of the modern search for extrasolar planets. While I did enjoy the book, I was suprized by how dry it was. It is basically a dad-by-day account of every event, large and small that was somehow related to the search. I did find it interesting but I'm suprized the author was unable to spruce it up more. There are some more fluid sections - passages that describe things in more detail and with more flair - but aside from these and the occassional joke (Boss has a great sense ...more
Corinna Bechko
An interesting read although the title and cover are a bit misleading. It contains a lot of information about the way that science missions are funded through America's NASA and various other governmental organizations, how planets can be found, and how science works in general. It doesn't say much about how biomarkers could be found in the future, or speculate much on how much life there might be in our galaxy.

Still, it did give a nice overview of how far we've come in our understanding of spa
...more
John Paterson
We live in interesting times. As of this review, 365 extra-solar planets have been discovered or await confirmation. This book begins with the first discovery of a planet around another star in 1995 and gives a chronology of the scientific rush to discover another Earth. Hopefully, that will be soon with the launch of Kepler in March of this year.
MikeFromQueens
This book had potential, but I lost the ability to follow when it turned towards the budget. And that's too bad because discussing how NASA programs are being cut and that the future of innovation hangs in the balance is an important topic. Unfortunately, the book was not able to impress me, perhaps because of its bifurcated subject.
ej cullen
Interesting is the current search for earth-like planets using new and simple, but ingenious methodology. They can't see the planets, but can infer their presence and size by the gravitational wobble of the host star. They have found some already; more to come. The writer, however seems something of a bore (and boor).
Joanna
An excellent overview of the recent history of exoplanet searches. The author makes several snide remarks about the Bush administration, which are out of place but amusing nonetheless.
Rebecca C
more than i ever needed to know about how NASA underfunds and cuts various telescope projects.
Regina
we are not alone...
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Looking for Earths: The Race to Find New Solar Systems Crowded Universe, The: The Race to Find Life Beyond Earth

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