The search for life in the universe is one of the most challenging topics of science. It is not a modern topic at all, since more than 100 years ago, it was speculated that on the Moon, there are oceans and seas; on Venus, there are swamps and also Mars is inhabitated. However, now we have the scienti?c background and the scienti?c tools to answer this question and it is also certain that the answer would have deep imp- cations for our culture, philosophy, and religions. If we ?nd that life has developed on other planets or satellites of giant planets, then this would be the ?nal breakdown of our central position in the universe. But is life a widespread phenomenon? How vulnerable is it to changing conditions and even catastrophic events? These topics will be discussed in this book. If life is in the extreme case a unique phenomenon found only on planet Earth, which seems to be highly unrealistic, then also it is important to discuss how it is adaptable to changing external conditions. Can we survive a cosmic catastrophe? How do these catastrophes change habitability? Which forms of life are more v- nerable? It was mentioned that now science has made great progress to answer such qu- tions. Let us give some examples. In modern biology, in connection with organic chemistry, the origin of life is studied.
Publisher: Springer-Verlag Berlin and Heidelberg GmbH & Co. KG
Number of pages: 248
Weight: 409 g
Dimensions: 235 x 155 mm
Edition: Softcover reprint of hardcover 1st ed. 2009
From the reviews:
"Habitability and Cosmic Catastrophes, part of the `Advances in Astrobiology and Biogeophysics' series, is an interesting read. Hanslmeier ... provides information that spans numerous disciplines, from solar and galactic astrophysics and geology to biology. The book's reach is tremendous: attempting to assess the risk to life from various cosmic catastrophes that range from supernovae to asteroid collisions and almost everything in between. ... Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals/practitioners." (E. S. Perlman, Choice, Vol. 46 (11), 2009)