Light of the Stars: Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth

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Astrophysicist and NPR commentator on what the latest research on the existence and trajectories of alien civilizations may teach us about our own.

Light of the Stars tells the story of humanity’s coming of age as we awaken to the possibilities of life on other worlds and their sudden relevance to our fate on Earth. Astrophysicist Adam Frank traces the question of alien life and intelligence from the ancient Greeks to the leading thinkers of our own time, and shows how we as a civilization can only hope to survive climate change if we recognize what science has recently discovered: that we are just one of ten billion trillion planets in the Universe, and it’s highly likely that many of those planets hosted technologically advanced alien civilizations. What’s more, each of those civilizations must have faced the same challenge of civilization-driven climate change.

Written with great clarity and conviction, Light of the Stars builds on the inspiring work of pioneering scientists such as Frank Drake and Carl Sagan, whose work at the dawn of the space age began building the new science of astrobiology; Jack James, the Texas-born engineer who drove NASA’s first planetary missions to success; Vladimir Vernadsky, the Russian geochemist who first envisioned the Earth’s biosphere; and James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis, who invented Gaia theory. Frank recounts the perilous journey NASA undertook across millions of miles of deep space to get its probes to Venus and Mars, yielding our first view of the cosmic laws of planets and climate that changed our understanding of our place in the universe.

Thrilling science at the grandest of scales, Light of the Stars explores what may be the largest question of all: What can the likely presence of life on other worlds tell us about our own fate?

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3 comments on “Light of the Stars: Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth”

  1. An excellent read to understand the chance for life and civilization to occur (and be sustained) across the cosmos Adam Frank tells an intriguing story of humanity's project of civilization and how it may apply on other worlds. 'Light of the Stars: Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth' is a direct and uncomplicated read that will instantly engage you and make you hope for follow-up works from the author.In the book, Adam starts us off by summarizing our current civilization in a historical context and how it ties so closely to the Earth's biosphere. He goes on to share insights from other...

  2. Frank shares his far-seeing, provocative insights in this latest book with clarity and style. I 'binge-read' this book in 3 days, couldn't put it down -- Frank has an impeccable talent for thought-provoking story telling (whether you catch him giving a talk in person, over the radio, or in writing) and yet I think he may have outdone himself with this one... The prose is elegant, the arguments compelling and clearly presented, and the conclusions powerful.In light of the torrent of newly discovered exo-worlds, Frank expertly picks up where Drake left off, re-envisioning the...

  3. Highly recommend to individuals who wish to know more about this subject matter. Light of the Stars - Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth - Adam Frank - Non Fiction - Astronomy - Space Exploration - Earth Science [0779-August 2, 2018] The scientific theories of the possibility of life on other planets and the amazing discoveries of multitudes of alien worlds is a major topic of this interesting and comprehensible book. The author also discusses theories of how intelligent life could evolve and why we have never, so far, detected any sign or signal confirming...

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