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What is the origin of the Universe? Are we alone in the Cosmos? Answering some of the most fascinating questions in science, this textbook employs an engaging narrative to tell the story of the Universe, for short introductory science and astrobiology courses.
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'This book is a great introduction to the grand journey of 14 billion years of cosmic evolution from the Big Bang to human evolution! It presents a sweeping synthesis of the sciences ranging from astronomy and astrophysics to planetology, geology, climatology, evolution of life and molecular biology and makes an original and exciting text for a general introductory science course for non-science majors. The text flows smoothly from one topic to another, covering the latest developments in many fields. ... this book has the potential to become a well-received text, and the basis for a popular, exciting science course.' Vivien Gornitz, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
'Extraordinarily well written, a very pleasant learning experience for me ... Jastrow and Rampino have written a remarkable text that should be read by all undergraduates who require a science distributive. Their lucid and entertaining presentation takes the reader through a roller coaster ride covering 14 billion years of cosmic and biological evolution.' Edward Berger, Professor of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College
'Jastrow and Rampino have managed a tour-de-force - from the origin of the universe to the emergence of life on Earth and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Their book makes engaging reading and provides an excellent first overview of this subject for non-specialists.' Christian Koeberl, Professor of Geological Sciences (Geochemistry), University of Vienna
'Robert Jastrow (an astronomer) and Michael Rampino (an Earth scientist) have now taken a comprehensive look at astrobiology in an accessible, well-written text aimed at undergraduate students who do not pursue science as a principal subject. ... this book gives an extremely comprehensive understanding of the evolution of life and the possibility for life beyond our own planet, and it should serve as an excellent textbook for an introductory astrobiology course.' Nature Geoscience
'... a great book ... beautifully illustrated ... breaks new ground ... it is a book which, for the first time, allows a general reader to grasp the wonders of our Universe and of life at a deeper and more logical level.' Contemporary Physics
Robert Jastrow is well known internationally as an astronomer and author of many widely acclaimed books. His initial research experience was in the field of nuclear physics, and his later work has been in planetary science, atmospheric physics, weather and climate prediction, and application of satellite observations to studies of earth resources. Dr Jastrow joined NASA when it was formed in 1958 and in 1961 set up NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, a U.S. Government laboratory charged with carrying out research in astronomy and planetary science.
Michael Rampino is an associate professor of earth science and biology at New York University, and a research associate at GISS in New York. His research spans many areas of the earth sciences, especially the inter-relationships between the Earth's changing environments and the evolution of life. He is Series Co-Editor for the highly acclaimed Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences (Springer) and the Editor-in-Chief of the Earth Science Encyclopedia On-Line.
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