Studying the origins of life and looking for life in the universe is complex, involving biologists, chemists who study molecules in interstellar clouds and those who search for extrasolar planets.
Chemical Cosmos - book review
"The Chemical Cosmos: A Guided Tour" is an astronomy book about chemistry - or perhaps a chemistry book about astronomy. Itīs an engrossing guided tour that will take you from the baby Universe through the first stars, the formation of solar systems and to our search for the origins of life.
Exotic Exoplanets Tour
We're used to a tidy Solar System. But there are some pretty strange planets orbiting stars far, far away. On one it doesn't rain water, it rains rock. Another has the density of cork. One has a double sun. And what would you do with a diamond the size of a planet?
Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia [offsite link]
This is an interactive catalog of the planets. It tells you when and how they were discovered and information about them. You can also find out what groups are involved in the searches and the latest news.
Georgeīs Cosmic Treasure Hunt - book review
George is sad. The family next door are moving away and things will be so dull without them. Or maybe not! Why is the new Martian rover acting so strangely? Has the search for life met an alien threat to Earth? Lucy and Stephen Hawking take George and the reader on a cosmic adventure.
Itīs Alive - book review
The Universe Verse is back. Book 1 was the Big Bang Theory in verse and drawings. Now stars and planets have formed, but something new is happening: Life. Book 2 is about evolution by natural selection. In its cheerful verse and lovely color drawings, itīs also a love poem to our beautiful Earth.
Searching for Extrasolar Planets
Only a few dozen planets orbiting stars outside the Solar System were directly imaged. But as of October 2013 astronomers had discovered over a thousand of them. How do they find what they can't see?
Top Astronomy Stories 2012
What were the big astronomy stories of the year 2012? Here is my choice of the top ten plus a non-story. What do you think?
Top Ten Astronomy Stories of 2013
What were the big astronomy events of 2013? Here are my top ten choices and they include a big bang over Russia, a Moon goddess and Jade Rabbit, a telescope in the high Andean desert to look for the first galaxies and the launch one of the most ambitious space missions ever.
Virgo the Maiden
Virgo is one of the constellations of the zodiac, and its stars have been linked to agricultural goddesses for thousands of years. This area of sky contains thousands of galaxies, dozens of known extrasolar planets, and was where the first quasar was discovered.
What Is Astrobiology
Do you wonder if there's life elsewhere in the universe? The universe is a big place, so it seems likely that there is. See how astrobiologists are helping to plan the search.
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