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A fascinating summary of current thinking on life, the universe and everything,
This review is from: Astrobiology: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
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I am a fan of the "very short introduction" series of books and have quite a few of them. This is my favourite so far. It is clearly written, wide ranging and on a great topic.
I have always been interested in the origin of life on Earth and the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe. This is a scientific area where there have been huge developments in the last decade and the book neatly draws the separate strands together.
It includes theories on how elements have arisen; how planets form; the possible original sources of life on Earth, the development of life (and in particular its interaction with what we now know about how the Sun and the Earth changed over the last 4 billion years); the prospects for life in the rest of the Solar System and the rest of the galaxy; and the study of planets around other stars and how we can test for habitability and even for life.
What also comes across is his enthusiasm for the topic and his conviction that this is going to be one of the most exciting areas of science over the next few years.
A great read - highly recommended.