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How did life originate on Earth? For over 50 years, scientists believed that life was the result of a chemical reaction involving simple molecules such as methane and ammonia cooking in a primordial soup. Recent space observations have revealed that old stars are capable of making very complex organic compounds. At some point in their evolution, stars eject those organics and spread them all over the Milky Way galaxy. There is evidence that these organic dust particles actually reached the early Solar System. Through bombardments by comets and asteroids, the young Earth inherited significant amounts of stardust. Was the development of life assisted by the arrival of these extraterrestrial materials? In this book, the author describes stunning discoveries in astronomy and solar system science made over the last 10 years that have yielded a new perspective on the origin of life. Other interesting topics discussed in this book The discovery of diamonds and other gemstones in space The origin of oil Neon signs and fluorescent lights in space Smoke from the stars Stardust in our hands Where oceans come from The possibility of bacteria in space
If you have ever wanted to understand the basic principles of astronomy and celestial movements, you should read this book. Using pictures of the sky observed from different places on Earth, as well as drawings of ancient astronomical methods and tools, Prof. Sun Kwok tells this story in an entertaining and fascinating way. Since the beginning of human civilization, people have wondered about the structure of the cosmos and our place in the Universe. More than 2,000 years ago, our ancestors knew that the seasons were unequal, the Earth was an unattached object floating in space, and stars existed that they could not see. From celestial observations, they concluded that the Earth was round. Using simple tools and mathematics, ancient astronomers accurately determined the sizes of the Earth and Moon, the distance to the Moon, and the lengths of the months and year. With a clever device called the armillary sphere, Greek astronomers could predict the times of sunrise and sunset on any day of the year, at any place on Earth. They developed sophisticated mathematical models to forecast Mars’ motions hundreds of years into the future. Find out how ancient observers achieved these remarkable feats. With minimal use of mathematics, this book retraces the footsteps of our ancestors, explains their intellectual journeys in simple terms, and explores the philosophical implications of these discoveries.
The Gribbins relate the developments in 20th-century astronomy that have led to the shattering realization that all life is made of stardust scattered across the universe in great stellar explosions from supernovae. The authors eloquently explain how the physical structure of the universe has produced conditions ideal for life. 22 illustrations.
'Superb ... Gribbin has done it again ... the story of how the matter that makes up our bodies travelled from the stars ... a wonderful account' Sunday Times, Books of the Year Every one of us is made of stardust, John Gribbin explains in this dazzling book. Everything we see, touch, breathe and smell, nearly every molecule in our bodies, is the by-product of stars as they live and die in spectacular explosions, scattering material across the universe which is recycled to become part of us. It is only by understanding how stars are made and how they die that we can every understand how we came into being. Taking us on an enthralling journey, John Gribbin shows us the scientific breakthroughs in the quest for our origins. With the raw materials for creating life all around us, he concludes, it is impossible to believe we are alone in the universe. 'An incredible story ... gives a sense of the almost unbelievable coincidence of physical laws and circumstances that resulted in your being able to read these words today' Literary Review 'Gribbin skilfully and engagingly traces the historical sequence ... rather like Sherlock Holmes reading clues' New Scientist
An exciting introduction to astronomy, the fourth edition of this book uses recent discoveries and stunning photography to inspire non-science majors about the Universe. Written by two highly experienced and engaging instructors, each chapter has been fully updated, with more than 200 new images throughout, including recent images from space missions and the world's best observatories. The newly redesigned text is organized as a series of stories, each presenting the history of the field, the observations made and how they fit within the process of science, our current understanding and what future observations are planned. Math is provided in boxes and easily read around, making the book suitable for courses taking either mathematical or qualitative approaches. New discussion questions encourage students to think widely about astronomy and the role science plays in our everyday lives and podcasts for each chapter aid studying and comprehension.
This authoritative volume provides a comprehensive review of the origin and evolution of planetary nebulae. It covers all the stages of their evolution, carefully synthesizes observations from across the spectrum, and clearly explains all the key physical processes at work. Particular emphasis is placed on observations from space, using the Hubble Space Telescope, the Infrared Space Observatory, and the ROSAT satellite. This book presents a thoroughly modern understanding of planetary nebulae, integrating developments in stellar physics with the dynamics of nebular evolution. It also describes exciting possibilities such as the use of planetary nebulae in determining the cosmic distance scale, the distribution of dark matter and the chemical evolution of galaxies. This book provides graduate students with an accessible introduction to planetary nebulae, and researchers with an authoritative reference. It can also be used as an advanced text on the physics of the interstellar medium.
Are You Feeling A Little Lonely In This Vast Universe? Find Out Who Your Neighbours Are In This Spectacular And Thrilling Guide To The Deepest Mysteries Of The Cosmos. International Best-Selling Author And World-Renowned Scientist Dr Mani Bhaumik Takes Young Readers On A Whirlwind Tour Into Space With The Cosmic Detective. Addressing His Readers As Cosmic Detectives, The Author Actively Enlists His Young Sleuths In Finding Solutions To Questions That Have Puzzled Space Scientists For Ages. How And When Did The Universe Begin? What Are Stars Made Of? How Far Away Are The Most Distant Galaxies? What Is A Quasar? Explore These Fundamental Cosmic Riddles And More In This Fascinating Journey Of Discovery And Wonder. Find Out About Nebulae And Black Holes, Navigate The Galaxies And The Enormous Expanses Beyond, Dive Into The Heart Of Neutron Stars And Walk On Distant Planets As You Join The Author In Investigating The Most Bizarre Aspects Of The Cosmos. And In The Broader Context Of Our Own Existence In The Universe, Dr Bhaumik Reveals That When We Explore The Cosmos, We Also Explore Ourselves. Packed With Interesting Facts And Dazzling Colour Photographs, This Beautifully Written Primer Is Ideal For Students And Cosmic Detectives Of All Ages. Age Group Of Target Audience (Puffin): 11 + See The Wonders Of The Cosmos Here

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