Does life exist on other planets? This 1998 book presents the scientific basis for thinking there may be life elsewhere in the Universe. It is the first to cover the entire breadth of recent exciting discoveries, including the discovery of planets around other stars and the possibility of fossil life in meteorites from Mars. Suitable for the general reader, this authoritative book avoids technical jargon and is well illustrated throughout. It covers all the major topics, including the origin and early history of life on Earth, the environmental conditions necessary for life to exist, the possibility that life might exist elsewhere in our Solar System, the occurrence of planets around other stars and their habitability, and the possibility of intelligent extraterrestrial life. For all those interested in understanding the scientific evidence for and likelihood of extraterrestrial life, this is the most comprehensive and readable book to date.
1. The search for life in the universe; 2. Impacts, extinctions, and the earliest history of life on Earth; 3. The history of the Earth; 4. The Earth's geological record and the earliest life; 5. Energy and life in unique environments on Earth; 6. Origin of life on Earth; 7. Requirements for extraterrestrial life; 8. Is life on Mars possible?; 9. Possible fossil life in meteorites from Mars; 10. Implanting life on Mars; 11. The exobiology of Venus; 12. Titan - a natural exobiology laboratory?; 13. Exobiology in the Jupiter system; 14. Formation of planets around other stars; 15. Searching for planets around other stars; 16. The habitability of planets around other stars; 17. Intelligent life in the universe; 18. Life in the universe; Additional reading and bibliography; Index.