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  • Published: 2 January 2015
  • ISBN: 9781617230165
  • Imprint: Current
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $29.99

Five Billion Years of Solitude: The Search for Life Among the Stars



For 4.6 billion years our living planet has been alone in a vast and silent universe. But soon, Earth's isolation could come to an end. Over the past two decades, astronomers have discovered thousands of planets orbiting other stars. Some of these exoplanets may be mirror images of our own world. And more are being found all the time.

For 4.6 billion years our living planet has been alone in a vast and silent universe. But soon, Earth's isolation could come to an end. Over the past two decades, astronomers have discovered thousands of planets orbiting other stars. Some of these exoplanets may be mirror images of our own world. And more are being found all the time.

Science journalist Lee Billings explores the 'exoplanet boom' through in-depth reporting and interviews with the astronomers at its forefront. As star-gazing scientists come closer to learning the truth, their insights are proving ever more crucial to understanding life's intricate mysteries and possibilities right here on Earth.  Billings emphasizes that the quest for other Earth-like planets is not only a scientific pursuit but also a reflection of our own culture's timeless hopes and fears.

'In this elegant book, Billings writes with energy and brilliance about a big question, possibly the biggest of all; Are we all alone in the universe or are there other forms of life out there somewhere?'  Richard Preston, author of The Hot Zone and The Wild Trees
'Astrobiology, the study of alien life, has been a dream - until now.  Suddenly the detection of life on other planets no longer seems quite so peculiar.  Lee Billings explains how the impossible dream became possible after all.'  The Economist 'Books of the Year'
'In this compelling, wide-ranging survey, Billings steps back to look at this broader picture, largely through richly textured portraits of some of the giants of the field . . ..An extraordinary tale of scientific discovery.'  Scientific American
'A fascinating and informative read for both casual and serious astronomy buffs.'  Booklist

  • Published: 2 January 2015
  • ISBN: 9781617230165
  • Imprint: Current
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $29.99

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