Imagined Life (Hardcover)
A Speculative Scientific Journey among the Exoplanets in Search of Intelligent Aliens, Ice Creatures, and Supergravity Animals
Smithsonian Books, 9781588346643, 240pp.
Publication Date: September 17, 2019
Other Editions of This Title:
Compact Disc (9/17/2019)
It is now known that we live in a galaxy with more planets than stars. The Milky Way alone encompasses 30 trillion potential home planets. Scientists Trefil and Summers bring readers on a marvelous experimental voyage through the possibilities of life--unlike anything we have experienced so far--that could exist on planets outside our own solar system.
Life could be out there in many forms: on frozen worlds, living in liquid oceans beneath ice and communicating (and even battling) with bubbles; on super-dense planets, where they would have evolved body types capable of dealing with extreme gravity; on tidally locked planets with one side turned eternally toward a star; and even on "rogue worlds," which have no star at all. Yet this is no fictional flight of fancy: the authors take what we know about exoplanets and life on our own world and use that data to hypothesize about how, where, and which sorts of life might develop. Imagined Life is a must-have for anyone wanting to learn how the realities of our universe may turn out to be far stranger than fiction.
About the Author
Praise For Imagined Life: A Speculative Scientific Journey among the Exoplanets in Search of Intelligent Aliens, Ice Creatures, and Supergravity Animals…
"As galactic tour guides, the authors demonstrate an infectious, playful curiosity alongside their technical prowess, maintaining a light touch with some heavy science. Will appeal to sf newcomers and budding space nerds." - Booklist
"This relatively easy read is an appealing addition to the growing body of recent works addressing the possibility of extraterrestrial life. VERDICT Both popular science and sf readers will enjoy this extrapolative natural history." - Library Journal
"The prose is straightforward, and the authors make the potentialities of exoplanet life intriguingly real. [...] A curiosity-whetting investigation of imagined life beyond our world." - Kirkus Reviews
“Imagined Life, a speculative romp by two scientists that examines what life might be like on worlds very different from Earth. Trefil and Summers, a physicist and planetary scientist, respectively, at George Mason University, spend the first few chapters providing an overview of the science of life beyond Earth, from astronomy to biology. The fun really begins, though, when they examine a range of hypothetical worlds and their ability to support life.” - The Space Review
“At the outset, Trefil and Summers’ book is an excellent introduction to the basic ideas of the study of astrobiology, explaining what experiments have shown us so far, what scientists are searching for, and the underlying physics and chemistry. The language is very accessible, always emphasizing the questions scientists are asking, how we’ve discovered answers, and how much we still don’t know.” –Emily Lakdawalla, The Planetary Society