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A complete and in-depth review of exoplanet research, covering the discovery methods, physics and theoretical background.
Is the Sun and its planetary system special? How did the Solar system form? Are there similar systems in the Galaxy? How common are habitable planets? What processes take place in the early life of stars and in their surrounding circumstellar disks that could impact whether life emerges or not? This book is based on the lectures by Philip Armitage and Wilhelm Kley presented at 45th Saas-Fee Advanced Course „From Protoplanetary Disks to Planet Formation“ of the Swiss Society for Astrophysics and Astronomy. The first part deals with the physical processes occurring in proto-planetary disks starting with the observational context, structure and evolution of the proto-planetary disk, turbulence and accretion, particle evolution and structure formation. The second part covers planet formation and disk-planet interactions. This includes in detail dust and planetesimal formation, growth to protoplanets, terrestrial planet formation, giant planet formation, migration of planets, multi-planet systems and circumbinary planets. As Saas-Fee advanced course this book offers PhD students an in-depth treatment of the topic enabling them to enter on a research project in the field.
Read an exclusive interview with Professor Vera Kolb here. Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life on Earth. This exciting and significant field of research also investigates the potential existence and search for extra-terrestrial life in the Solar System and beyond. This is the first handbook in this burgeoning and interdisciplinary field. Edited by Vera Kolb, a highly respected astrobiologist, this comprehensive resource captures the history and current state of the field. Rich in information and easy to use, it assumes basic knowledge and provides answers to questions from practitioners and specialists in the field, as well as providing key references for further study. Features: Fills an important gap in the market, providing a comprehensive overview of the field Edited by an authority in the subject, with chapters written by experts in the many diverse areas that comprise astrobiology Contains in-depth and broad coverage of an exciting field that will only grow in importance in the decades ahead
This state-of-the-art reference work includes over 15 sections dealing with all aspects of exoplanets and exobiology research, including historic aspects, the Solar System as a template, objects at the planet-to-star transition, exoplanet detection and characterization with related instrumentation, technology and software tools, planet and planet-system statistics with recent and planned surveys, their atmosphere and formation and evolution processes, habitability and exobiology implications, and outlooks for future exploration and science development, including visionary contributions. Each section has 10-20 contributions written by the top experts in their subject, including both senior researchers as well as young, smart researchers who represent the future of the discipline. All in all, this handbook comprehensively tackles one of the most challenging and dynamic fields of modern astronomy and astrophysics.
This handbook contains introductory information about the exoplanet colonization program sponsored by the Galactic Association of Intelligent Life - Earth Branch (GAILE). It is designed to help you decide whether you want to become a space pioneer and which of the eight exoplanet settlements would be right for you. Here you will find answers to questions, including:Do I have what it takes to become a pioneer?How do I get there?How long will it take?Who and what can I take with me?Where will I live?What are the plants and animals like?What is the climate like?What is the state of development of each planet?How will my lifestyle differ from the life I have on earth?Are there indigenous intelligent life forms?What jobs are available?What educational resources are there?What will I be able to do for recreation?The handbook contains 49 illustrations, including maps of the planets, star charts, diagrams, and architectural and engineering drawings of homes, work places, and the starships that transport settlers. To give you a more intimate and personal view of day-to-day life, it also includes first-person accounts by people who live on each of the exoplanets.Don't delay. Learn about opportunities on the exoplanet colonies!
Evolution and the Emergent Self is an eloquent and evocative new synthesis that explores how the human species emerged from the cosmic dust. Lucidly presenting ideas about the rise of complexity in our genetic, neuronal, ecological, and ultimately cosmological settings, the author takes readers on a provocative tour of modern science's quest to understand our place in nature and in our universe. Readers fascinated with "Big History" and drawn to examine big ideas will be challenged and enthralled by Raymond L. Neubauer's ambitious narrative. How did humans emerge from the cosmos and the pre-biotic Earth, and what mechanisms of biological, chemical, and physical sciences drove this increasingly complex process? Neubauer presents a view of nature that describes the rising complexity of life in terms of increasing information content, first in genes and then in brains. The evolution of the nervous system expanded the capacity of organisms to store information, making learning possible. In key chapters, the author portrays four species with high brain:body ratios—chimpanzees, elephants, ravens, and dolphins—showing how each species shares with humans the capacity for complex communication, elaborate social relationships, flexible behavior, tool use, and powers of abstraction. A large brain can have a hierarchical arrangement of circuits that facilitates higher levels of abstraction. Neubauer describes this constellation of qualities as an emergent self, arguing that self-awareness is nascent in several species besides humans and that potential human characteristics are embedded in the evolutionary process and have emerged repeatedly in a variety of lineages on our planet. He ultimately demonstrates that human culture is not a unique offshoot of a language-specialized primate, but an analogue of fundamental mechanisms that organisms have used since the beginning of life on Earth to gather and process information in order to buffer themselves from fluctuations in the environment. Neubauer also views these developments in a cosmic setting, detailing open thermodynamic systems that grow more complex as the energy flowing through them increases. Similar processes of increasing complexity can be found in the "self-organizing" structures of both living and nonliving forms. Recent evidence from astronomy indicates that planet formation may be nearly as frequent as star formation. Since life makes use of the elements commonly seeded into space by burning and expiring stars, it is reasonable to speculate that the evolution of life and intelligence that happened on our planet may be found across the universe.

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