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Origins of life in the universe

Author: Robert Jastrow; Michael R Rampino
Publisher: Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, ©2008.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"This concise and highly illustrated textbook traces the evolution of the Cosmos from the Big Bang to the development of intelligent life on Earth, conveying clear science in an engaging narrative. By mapping the history of the Universe for introductory science and astrobiology courses for non-science majors, this book allows many of the most fascinating questions in science to be explored. What is the origin of the  Read more...
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Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Robert Jastrow; Michael R Rampino
ISBN: 9780521825764 0521825768 9780521532839 0521532833
OCLC Number: 213400647
Notes: Includes index.
Description: xx, 395 pages : illustrations (chiefly color), color maps ; 25 cm
Contents: Foreword --
Preface --
pt. I. The Universe --
1. Our place in the Universe : the realm of the galaxies --
1.1. The Sun and planets --
1.2. The Sun's nearest neighbors --
1.3. Our Galaxy --
1.4. Neighboring galaxies --
1.5. Clusters of galaxies --
1.6. The observable Universe --
1.7. The composition of the Universe --
1.8. The basic forces of nature --
1.9. Summary --
Questions --
2. A view of the origin of the Universe : evidence for an explosive beginning --
2.1. Evidence for the explosive origin of the Universe --
2.1.1. How the speeds of galaxies are measured : the Doppler shift --
2.2. The law of the expanding Universe --
2.2.1. Hubble's Law --
2.2.2. Is Earth at the center of the expanding Universe? --
2.3. The age of the Universe --
2.4. The primordial fireball : proof of the cosmic explosion --
2.5. Conditions in the evolving Universe --
2.6. The horizon problem --
2.7. The flat Universe problem --
2.8. The inflationary Universe --
2.9. Dark energy and an accelerating Universe --
2.10. Summary --
Questions --
3. Life from the cosmic cauldron : life history of a star ; creation of the chemical elements within stars --
3.1. Birth of a star --
3.2. Stellar evolution --
3.3. White dwarfs and supernovas --
3.4. Abundances of the elements in the Universe and the life cycle of stars --
3.5. Neutron stars and black holes --
3.6. Pulsars --
3.7. Black holes --
3.8. Quasars and giant black holes --
3.9. Summary --
Questions. pt. II. The Solar System --
4. Formation of the conditions for life : planets and moons --
4.1. The origin of the Sun and planets --
4.1.1. The Sun's flare-up --
4.1.2. Accretion : Planetesimals into planets --
4.2. Other solar systems --
4.3. A tour of the terrestrial planets --
4.3.1. Mercury --
4.3.2. Venus --
4.3.3. The Earth-Moon system --
4.3.4. Mars --
4.4. A tour of the outer planets --
4.4.1. Jupiter --
4.4.2. The Galilean satellites --
4.4.3. Saturn --
4.4.4. The moons of Saturn --
4.4.5. The rings of Saturn --
4.4.6. Uranus and Neptune --
4.4.7. Pluto --
4.5. Minor bodies of the Solar System --
4.5.1. Asteroids --
4.5.2. Meteorites --
4.5.3. Comets --
4.6. Summary --
Questions --
5. Origins of a habitable planet : the Moon as a record of early Earth history --
5.1. The Moon as a Rosetta Stone --
5.2. The surface of the Moon --
5.3. The Apollo findings --
5.3.1. Ages of the lunar rocks --
5.3.2. Evidence for internal melting --
5.4. The origin of the Moon --
5.5. Summary --
Questions --
6. Prospects for life : is Mars a habitable planet? --
6.1. Mars --
6.1.1. Geology of Mars --
6.1.2. Evidence for geological activity --
6.1.3. Evidence for an early abundance of water --
6.2. Prospects for life on Mars --
6.2.1. The search for Martian life --
6.2.2. Pathfinder mission to Mars --
6.2.3. The Mars exploration rovers --
6.2.4. Ancient life in a Martian meteorite? --
6.2.5. The significance of the search for Martian life --
6.3. Summary --
Questions --
7. Venus--our sister planet : the evolution of a hostile world --
7.1. Venus --
7.2. Surface conditions --
7.3. The Venus atmosphere --
7.3.1. The greenhouse effect --
7.3.2. Removal of carbon dioxide from Earth's atmosphere --
7.3.3. The runaway greenhouse effect --
7.3.4. Why oxygen is present in Earth's atmosphere but not on Venus --
7.3.5. Why Venus has less water than Earth --
7.4. Conditions for life : the habitable zone around a star --
7.5. Summary --
Questions. pt. III. The Earth --
8. Earth : composition and structure of a habitable planet --
8.1. Composition of Earth --
8.2. The chemical bond --
8.2.1. Laws of the chemical bond --
8.2.2. Examples of chemically inactive and active elements --
8.2.3. The common Earth elements and their electron configurations --
8.2.4. Compounds of silicon and oxygen : the silicate minerals --
8.3. Rocks --
8.4. Melting of Earth --
8.4.1. Properties of radioactive substances --
8.4.2. How radioactivity is used to determine the "age" of a rock --
8.4.3. Dating a rock by its lead/uranium ratio --
8.5. Differentiation of Earth --
8.6. Earthquakes and Earth's interior --
8.7. The floating crust : Isostasy --
8.7.1. Creep --
8.8. Convection currents in Earth's interior --
8.9. Earth's lithosphere --
8.10. Summary --
Questions --
9. The changing face of an active habitable planet : explanation of Earth's surface features --
9.1. Continents and ocean basins --
9.2. Evidence for continental drift and plate tectonics --
9.2.1. Match of fossil flora and fauna --
9.2.2. Match of rock units --
9.2.3. Evidence from the ocean floor : the Mid-Ocean Ridge --
9.2.4. Evidence from Earth's magnetism --
9.2.5. Magnetic stripes on the ocean floor --
9.2.6. Age of ocean-floor rocks --
9.2.7. Direct measurements of plate motions --
9.3. Boundaries of Earth's plates --
9.4. Types of plate boundaries --
9.4.1. Separating or diverging plates --
9.4.2. The opening of a new sea --
9.4.3. Colliding plates : ocean against ocean --
9.4.4. Colliding plates : ocean against continent --
9.4.5. Colliding plates : continent against continent --
9.4.6. Sliding plate boundary --
9.4.7. The Hawaiian Islands and hotspots in Earth's mantle --
9.5. History of the super-continent Pangaea --
9.6. Summary --
Questions --
10. Climate change and the evolution of life : climate changes and Earth history --
10.1. Timescales of climate change --
10.2. Climate change over hundreds of millions of years --
10.2.1. Plate tectonics and continental drift : a cause of major ice ages --
10.3. Snowball Earth --
10.4. Episodes of climate change lasting tens to hundreds of thousands of years --
10.5. Short-term climate change : the last 10000 years --
10.5.1. The Medieval Warm Period --
10.5.2. The Little Ice Age --
10.6. Causes of short-term climate change --
10.6.1. Volcanic eruptions and climate --
10.6.2. Climate and the Sun's brightness --
10.6.3. Carbon dioxide and climate : the human factor --
10.7. Summary --
Questions. pt. IV. Origin and history of life on Earth --
11. The origin of life : life's beginnings and evolution and Darwin's theory of evolution --
11.1. What is life? --
11.2. The basic building blocks of life --
11.3. Proteins --
11.4. DNA --
11.4.1. DNA replication --
11.4.2. Genes and chromosomes --
11.5. The origin of life --
11.5.1. The Miller-Urey experiment --
11.6. The virus --
11.7. Evolution --
11.8. Darwin's discovery --
11.9. Natural selection --
11.10. DNA, mutations, and evolution --
11.11. Summary --
Questions --
12. The early history of life on Earth : from single cells to complex organisms --
12.1. The cell --
12.2. Photosynthesis --
12.2.1. The growth of atmospheric oxygen --
12.3. Major steps in the early evolution of life --
12.3.1. The Tree of Life --
12.3.2. The first cells with nuclei --
12.3.3. Utilization of oxygen --
12.3.4. The origins of sex --
12.3.5. Multi-celled organisms --
12.4. The Cambrian explosion : the appearance of hard-bodied organisms --
12.5. The fishes --
12.6. Invasion of the land --
12.7. Summary --
Questions --
13. The development of higher life forms : the age of the reptiles and dinosaurs --
13.1. Evolution of the reptile --
13.2. The mammal-like reptiles --
13.3. The mammals --
13.4. The dinosaurs --
13.5. Why were the dinosaurs successful? --
13.6. The End Cretaceous extinction --
13.7. The Alvarez Hypothesis --
13.8. Mass extinctions in Earth history --
13.9. Catastrophism --
13.10. Summary --
Questions. pt. V. Evolution of intelligent life --
14. The mammals : the rise of intelligence --
14.1. Evolutionary radiation of the mammals --
14.2. Success of the mammals --
14.3. The evolution of mammal intelligence --
14.4. The tree dwellers --
14.5. The evolution of monkeys and apes --
14.6. Summary --
Questions --
15. The evolution of higher intelligence : growth of the brain --
15.1. Evolution of bipedalism --
15.2. The toolmakers --
15.2.1. Explosive growth of the brain --
15.2.2. Why did the brain grow rapidly? --
15.3. Summary --
Questions --
16. Are we alone in the Universe? Humankind's place in the cosmic community --
16.1. Habitable planets --
16.2. Are we alone? --
16.2.1 What if life is common but intelligent life is rare? --
16.3. Humankind's place in the cosmic community --
16.3.1. Intelligent life in the Universe --
16.4. The search for extraterrestrial intelligence --
16.4.1. The Drake Equation --
16.4.2. The Fermi Paradox --
16.4.3. Search strategies --
16.4.4. Transmitting signs of intelligence on Earth --
16.5. Summary --
Questions --
Epilog --
Appendix A. History of the Earth --
Appendix B. Periodic table of the elements --
Index.
Responsibility: Robert Jastrow, Michael Rampino.
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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  Read more...

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   schema:description "pt. V. Evolution of intelligent life -- 14. The mammals : the rise of intelligence -- 14.1. Evolutionary radiation of the mammals -- 14.2. Success of the mammals -- 14.3. The evolution of mammal intelligence -- 14.4. The tree dwellers -- 14.5. The evolution of monkeys and apes -- 14.6. Summary -- Questions -- 15. The evolution of higher intelligence : growth of the brain -- 15.1. Evolution of bipedalism -- 15.2. The toolmakers -- 15.2.1. Explosive growth of the brain -- 15.2.2. Why did the brain grow rapidly? -- 15.3. Summary -- Questions -- 16. Are we alone in the Universe? Humankind's place in the cosmic community -- 16.1. Habitable planets -- 16.2. Are we alone? -- 16.2.1 What if life is common but intelligent life is rare? -- 16.3. Humankind's place in the cosmic community -- 16.3.1. Intelligent life in the Universe -- 16.4. The search for extraterrestrial intelligence -- 16.4.1. The Drake Equation -- 16.4.2. The Fermi Paradox -- 16.4.3. Search strategies -- 16.4.4. Transmitting signs of intelligence on Earth -- 16.5. Summary -- Questions -- Epilog -- Appendix A. History of the Earth -- Appendix B. Periodic table of the elements -- Index."@en ;
   schema:description "pt. III. The Earth -- 8. Earth : composition and structure of a habitable planet -- 8.1. Composition of Earth -- 8.2. The chemical bond -- 8.2.1. Laws of the chemical bond -- 8.2.2. Examples of chemically inactive and active elements -- 8.2.3. The common Earth elements and their electron configurations -- 8.2.4. Compounds of silicon and oxygen : the silicate minerals -- 8.3. Rocks -- 8.4. Melting of Earth -- 8.4.1. Properties of radioactive substances -- 8.4.2. How radioactivity is used to determine the "age" of a rock -- 8.4.3. Dating a rock by its lead/uranium ratio -- 8.5. Differentiation of Earth -- 8.6. Earthquakes and Earth's interior -- 8.7. The floating crust : Isostasy -- 8.7.1. Creep -- 8.8. Convection currents in Earth's interior -- 8.9. Earth's lithosphere -- 8.10. Summary -- Questions -- 9. The changing face of an active habitable planet : explanation of Earth's surface features -- 9.1. Continents and ocean basins -- 9.2. Evidence for continental drift and plate tectonics -- 9.2.1. Match of fossil flora and fauna -- 9.2.2. Match of rock units -- 9.2.3. Evidence from the ocean floor : the Mid-Ocean Ridge -- 9.2.4. Evidence from Earth's magnetism -- 9.2.5. Magnetic stripes on the ocean floor -- 9.2.6. Age of ocean-floor rocks -- 9.2.7. Direct measurements of plate motions -- 9.3. Boundaries of Earth's plates -- 9.4. Types of plate boundaries -- 9.4.1. Separating or diverging plates -- 9.4.2. The opening of a new sea -- 9.4.3. Colliding plates : ocean against ocean -- 9.4.4. Colliding plates : ocean against continent -- 9.4.5. Colliding plates : continent against continent -- 9.4.6. Sliding plate boundary -- 9.4.7. The Hawaiian Islands and hotspots in Earth's mantle -- 9.5. History of the super-continent Pangaea -- 9.6. Summary -- Questions -- 10. Climate change and the evolution of life : climate changes and Earth history -- 10.1. Timescales of climate change -- 10.2. Climate change over hundreds of millions of years -- 10.2.1. Plate tectonics and continental drift : a cause of major ice ages -- 10.3. Snowball Earth -- 10.4. Episodes of climate change lasting tens to hundreds of thousands of years -- 10.5. Short-term climate change : the last 10000 years -- 10.5.1. The Medieval Warm Period -- 10.5.2. The Little Ice Age -- 10.6. Causes of short-term climate change -- 10.6.1. Volcanic eruptions and climate -- 10.6.2. Climate and the Sun's brightness -- 10.6.3. Carbon dioxide and climate : the human factor -- 10.7. Summary -- Questions."@en ;
   schema:description "pt. II. The Solar System -- 4. Formation of the conditions for life : planets and moons -- 4.1. The origin of the Sun and planets -- 4.1.1. The Sun's flare-up -- 4.1.2. Accretion : Planetesimals into planets -- 4.2. Other solar systems -- 4.3. A tour of the terrestrial planets -- 4.3.1. Mercury -- 4.3.2. Venus -- 4.3.3. The Earth-Moon system -- 4.3.4. Mars -- 4.4. A tour of the outer planets -- 4.4.1. Jupiter -- 4.4.2. The Galilean satellites -- 4.4.3. Saturn -- 4.4.4. The moons of Saturn -- 4.4.5. The rings of Saturn -- 4.4.6. Uranus and Neptune -- 4.4.7. Pluto -- 4.5. Minor bodies of the Solar System -- 4.5.1. Asteroids -- 4.5.2. Meteorites -- 4.5.3. Comets -- 4.6. Summary -- Questions -- 5. Origins of a habitable planet : the Moon as a record of early Earth history -- 5.1. The Moon as a Rosetta Stone -- 5.2. The surface of the Moon -- 5.3. The Apollo findings -- 5.3.1. Ages of the lunar rocks -- 5.3.2. Evidence for internal melting -- 5.4. The origin of the Moon -- 5.5. Summary -- Questions -- 6. Prospects for life : is Mars a habitable planet? -- 6.1. Mars -- 6.1.1. Geology of Mars -- 6.1.2. Evidence for geological activity -- 6.1.3. Evidence for an early abundance of water -- 6.2. Prospects for life on Mars -- 6.2.1. The search for Martian life -- 6.2.2. Pathfinder mission to Mars -- 6.2.3. The Mars exploration rovers -- 6.2.4. Ancient life in a Martian meteorite? -- 6.2.5. The significance of the search for Martian life -- 6.3. Summary -- Questions -- 7. Venus--our sister planet : the evolution of a hostile world -- 7.1. Venus -- 7.2. Surface conditions -- 7.3. The Venus atmosphere -- 7.3.1. The greenhouse effect -- 7.3.2. Removal of carbon dioxide from Earth's atmosphere -- 7.3.3. The runaway greenhouse effect -- 7.3.4. Why oxygen is present in Earth's atmosphere but not on Venus -- 7.3.5. Why Venus has less water than Earth -- 7.4. Conditions for life : the habitable zone around a star -- 7.5. Summary -- Questions."@en ;
   schema:description "pt. IV. Origin and history of life on Earth -- 11. The origin of life : life's beginnings and evolution and Darwin's theory of evolution -- 11.1. What is life? -- 11.2. The basic building blocks of life -- 11.3. Proteins -- 11.4. DNA -- 11.4.1. DNA replication -- 11.4.2. Genes and chromosomes -- 11.5. The origin of life -- 11.5.1. The Miller-Urey experiment -- 11.6. The virus -- 11.7. Evolution -- 11.8. Darwin's discovery -- 11.9. Natural selection -- 11.10. DNA, mutations, and evolution -- 11.11. Summary -- Questions -- 12. The early history of life on Earth : from single cells to complex organisms -- 12.1. The cell -- 12.2. Photosynthesis -- 12.2.1. The growth of atmospheric oxygen -- 12.3. Major steps in the early evolution of life -- 12.3.1. The Tree of Life -- 12.3.2. The first cells with nuclei -- 12.3.3. Utilization of oxygen -- 12.3.4. The origins of sex -- 12.3.5. Multi-celled organisms -- 12.4. The Cambrian explosion : the appearance of hard-bodied organisms -- 12.5. The fishes -- 12.6. Invasion of the land -- 12.7. Summary -- Questions -- 13. The development of higher life forms : the age of the reptiles and dinosaurs -- 13.1. Evolution of the reptile -- 13.2. The mammal-like reptiles -- 13.3. The mammals -- 13.4. The dinosaurs -- 13.5. Why were the dinosaurs successful? -- 13.6. The End Cretaceous extinction -- 13.7. The Alvarez Hypothesis -- 13.8. Mass extinctions in Earth history -- 13.9. Catastrophism -- 13.10. Summary -- Questions."@en ;
   schema:description "Foreword -- Preface -- pt. I. The Universe -- 1. Our place in the Universe : the realm of the galaxies -- 1.1. The Sun and planets -- 1.2. The Sun's nearest neighbors -- 1.3. Our Galaxy -- 1.4. Neighboring galaxies -- 1.5. Clusters of galaxies -- 1.6. The observable Universe -- 1.7. The composition of the Universe -- 1.8. The basic forces of nature -- 1.9. Summary -- Questions -- 2. A view of the origin of the Universe : evidence for an explosive beginning -- 2.1. Evidence for the explosive origin of the Universe -- 2.1.1. How the speeds of galaxies are measured : the Doppler shift -- 2.2. The law of the expanding Universe -- 2.2.1. Hubble's Law -- 2.2.2. Is Earth at the center of the expanding Universe? -- 2.3. The age of the Universe -- 2.4. The primordial fireball : proof of the cosmic explosion -- 2.5. Conditions in the evolving Universe -- 2.6. The horizon problem -- 2.7. The flat Universe problem -- 2.8. The inflationary Universe -- 2.9. Dark energy and an accelerating Universe -- 2.10. Summary -- Questions -- 3. Life from the cosmic cauldron : life history of a star ; creation of the chemical elements within stars -- 3.1. Birth of a star -- 3.2. Stellar evolution -- 3.3. White dwarfs and supernovas -- 3.4. Abundances of the elements in the Universe and the life cycle of stars -- 3.5. Neutron stars and black holes -- 3.6. Pulsars -- 3.7. Black holes -- 3.8. Quasars and giant black holes -- 3.9. Summary -- Questions."@en ;
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   schema:reviewBody ""This concise and highly illustrated textbook traces the evolution of the Cosmos from the Big Bang to the development of intelligent life on Earth, conveying clear science in an engaging narrative. By mapping the history of the Universe for introductory science and astrobiology courses for non-science majors, this book allows many of the most fascinating questions in science to be explored. What is the origin of the Universe? How do stars and planets form? How does life begin? How did intelligence arise? Are we alone in the Cosmos? Physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy and geology are combined to create a chronicle of events in which the swirling vapors in the primordial cloud of the Universe evolved over billions of years into conscious life. Outlining, the latest discoveries in astrobiology, this textbook is suffused with the excitement of this fast-moving field."--NHBS Environment Bookstore." ;
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