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From Dust to Life Synopsis

The birth and evolution of our solar system is a tantalizing mystery that may one day provide answers to the question of human origins. From Dust to Life tells the remarkable story of how the celestial objects that make up the solar system arose from common beginnings billions of years ago, and how scientists and philosophers have sought to unravel this mystery down through the centuries, piecing together the clues that enabled them to deduce the solar system's layout, its age, and the most likely way it formed. Drawing on the history of astronomy and the latest findings in astrophysics and the planetary sciences, John Chambers and Jacqueline Mitton offer the most up-to-date and authoritative treatment of the subject available. They examine how the evolving universe set the stage for the appearance of our Sun, and how the nebulous cloud of gas and dust that accompanied the young Sun eventually became the planets, comets, moons, and asteroids that exist today. They explore how each of the planets acquired its unique characteristics, why some are rocky and others gaseous, and why one planet in particular--our Earth--provided an almost perfect haven for the emergence of life. From Dust to Life is a must-read for anyone who desires to know more about how the solar system came to be. This enticing book takes readers to the very frontiers of modern research, engaging with the latest controversies and debates. It reveals how ongoing discoveries of far-distant extrasolar planets and planetary systems are transforming our understanding of our own solar system's astonishing history and its possible fate.

From Dust to Life Press Reviews

[T]here is much solid information to be gleaned from careful reading. --Publishers Weekly A stellar read --Nature In this grand chronicle of the science behind the origins of our 4.6-billion-year-old Solar System, John Chambers and Jacqueline Mitton peruse everything from the giant collision thought to have formed our Moon to the nature of meteorites. --Rosalind Metcalfe, Nature [This book] provides a truly comprehensive overview of our solar system's origins and is written in plain, jargon-free language. --Marcus Chown, New Scientist Incredibly thorough and detailed, yet very accessible to non-scientists too... A compelling overview of the evolution of the Solar System. --Katia Moskvitch, BBC Sky at Night This is not your average tour of our solar system. Using clear, relatively jargon-free language, Chambers and Mitton provide a comprehensive examination of our current understanding of its formation, which should readily appeal to the general reader who enjoys scientific detail without getting into equations. --Library Journal Chambers and Mitton stay focused on the science in From Dust to Life: unlike other books that create narratives around the scientists, they discuss the science and the history of its development, rather than the individuals who made it possible. That's a worthwhile trade: while there have been, and are today, interesting people studying the formation of the solar system, the science is even more fascinating as we find out just how complex the process is to turn a cloud of gas and dust into a star and planets. --Jeff Foust, Space Review Read From Dust to Life to gain a fascinating perspective on the current state of the science behind solar system formation. --David Dickinson, Astro Guys blog This wild ride across the cosmos and through time covers a lot of territory but isn't merely a laundry list of observations. Instead, readers will find one lucid explanation piggybacked onto another... The authors ... make celestial mechanics comprehensible even to readers with more curiosity than scientific background... Best of all, the authors help readers glimpse the why of it all. --Science News This book ... is accessible to a scientifically literate general reader... The author team is eminently qualified ... one is a well-known planetary scientist and the other an experienced science writer. The result of their efforts is a highly readable book. --Star Formation Newsletter Chambers and Mitton present a well-researched, detailed, big-picture overview of the solar system that shows how all of people's observations of its contents contribute to a coherent model for its origin. The authors place the modern theory and latest observations in historical context by beginning each chapter with an overview of the development of these scientific ideas from their beginning. --Choice This book is up-to date, thorough, and authoritative. It revels in the latest discussions and controversies... It is a joy to read and is accessible to any student with a scientific background... Read this book. Join the cosmogonists and help change the cosmogony/cosmology ratio. --David W. Hughes, Observatory From Dust to Lifefurnishes a comprehensive overview of current models for the formation of the solar system. --Cait MacPhee, Times Higher Education

Book Information

ISBN: 9780691175706
Publication date: 2nd May 2017
Author: John Chambers, Jacqueline Mitton, John Chambers, Jacqueline Mitton
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 320 pages
Categories: Popular science, Solar system: the Sun & planets, The Earth: natural history general,

About John Chambers, Jacqueline Mitton, John Chambers, Jacqueline Mitton

John Chambers is a planetary scientist in the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism at the Carnegie Institution for Science. Jacqueline Mitton is a writer, editor, and media consultant in astronomy. Her books include Titan Unveiled: Saturn's Mysterious Moon Explored (Princeton).

More About John Chambers, Jacqueline Mitton, John Chambers, Jacqueline Mitton

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