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Life in the Universe

The Abundance of Extraterrestrial Civilizations

by James N. Pierce


Publisher: BrownWalker Press
Pub date: 2008
Pages: 247
ISBN-10: 1599424517
ISBN-13: 9781599424514
Categories: Astronomy & Space Science


This book explores the science of extraterrestrial life, with a particular emphasis on the existence of intelligent alien civilizations. It introduces the reader to the basic chemistry associated with life on Earth and describes the planetary and stellar environments that allow us to exist. It also discusses the likelihood of alien life developing at other locations in our galaxy, along with the possibility that we will meet or communicate with them. This book is suitable for use as a text in an introductory "Life in the Universe" course.

About the Author

The author is a professor of astronomy at Minnesota State University, Mankato, where he has been teaching since 1980. His teaching experience includes a full range of astronomy offerings, from general education courses to classes for astronomy majors, as well as some in mathematics and physics. He holds a B.S. in chemical engineering and a Ph.D. in astrophysics, both from Iowa State University. Dr. Pierce is also the author of Elementary Astronomy, a book written to explain basic astronomy concepts to teachers in grades K-6.