The Earth as a Distant Planet - A Rosetta Stone for the Search of Earth-Like Worlds
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In The Earth as a Distant Planet, the authors become external observers of our solar system from a distance and try to determine how one can understand how Earth, the third in distance to the central star, is essentially unique and capable of sustaining life. The knowledge gained from this original perspective is then applied to the search for other planets outside the solar system, or exoplanets.
Since the discovery in 1992 of the first exoplanet, the number of planet detections has increased exponentially and ambitious missions are already being planned for the future. The exploration of Earth and the rest of the rocky planets are Rosetta stones in classifying and understanding the multiplicity of planetary systems that exist in our galaxy. In time, statistics on the formation and evolution of exoplanets will be available and will provide vital information for solving some of the unanswered questions about the formation, as well as evolution of our own world and solar system. Special attention is paid to the biosignatures (signs of life) detectable in the Earth's reflected spectra and the search for life in the universe.
The authors are experts on the subject of extrasolar planets. They provide an introductory but also very much up-to-date text, making this book suitable for researchers and for advanced students in astronomy and astrophysics.
Provides a guide for the remote detection of life on other planets
Presents an updated perspective of our planet as seen from outer space
Establishes the Earth-Exoplanets connection and its value for a better understanding of our own planet as well as other planets beyond the solar system
The authors are researchers at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias. M. Vázquez is also author of Ultraviolet Radiation in the Solar System and The Sun Recorded Through History.
"This very up-to-date book stresses the importance that future studies of the Earth will bring to our quest to discover life around extrasolar planets. ... The book is also an excellent reference source for researchers interested in detailed summary descriptions of the Earth and its role in the search for extraterrestrial life and other planets. Includes striking color pictures, graphs, and figures; extensive end-of-chapter references; a list of acronyms and units; and a four-page index. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals; general audiences." (W. E. Howard III, Choice, Vol. 48 (3), November, 2010)
The authors of this book are experts on the subject of extrasolar planets. By presenting an updated perspective of our planet as seen from outer space, they provide a guide for the remote detection of life on other planets and planets beyond the solar system.