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Beyond UFOs:
The Search for Extraterrestrial Life and Its Astonishing Implications for Our Future
Jeffrey Bennett
With a new afterword by the author

Book Description | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [HTML] or [PDF format]


"[Jeffrey Bennett] has taken a break from the treadmill of updating his textbook and has written a popular book instead, bringing the rest of us up to date on our extraordinary new and expanded universe--and on who else might live in it . . . Beyond UFOs is crammed with neat analogies, startling imagery and mind-blowing illustrations of astronomical concepts. If you want to understand the universe and our place in it, you will not find a better primer. The first diagram alone--which shows how Earth's 10,000-kilometre span of real estate fits into a supercluster of galaxies a billion trillion kilometers across--bear a good 10 minutes of study. This truth is astonishing, and humbling--and Beyond UFOs is a great place to find it."--Michael Brooks, New Scientist

"Planet by planet, moon by moon, [Beyond UFOs] explores the possibility of life elsewhere in this solar system. It then speculates about other solar systems in our galaxy where, according to the prevailing scientific view, simple life almost surely exists and intelligent life is plausible. For the most part, Bennett's search for extraterrestrial life adds up to a very satisfying package. . . . At its core, this book delivers a combination that is hard to beat: solid yet highly speculative science plus accessible prose that add up to an out-of-this-world reading experience."--Fred Bortz, Seattle Times

"Bennett walks us through the daunting calculations that lead to the conclusion that the existence of life elsewhere is not only possible, but highly likely. But as we wonder where else life exists and what forms it might take, scientists are forced back to more fundamental questions. What is the nature of life itself? Will we know it if we see it?...Bennett offers a host of lessons here not only about global warming and environmental degradation, but our place in the universe as well."--Matthew Battles, The Boston Globe

"This exploration of potential alien life is a timely work, just as the steadily increasing discoveries of extra-solar planets makes the possibility of finding alien life more plausible. . . . [Beyond UFOs] is a fully rounded examination of the subject, accessible to all. I guarantee that after reading this book you will be watching space probe results that much more closely. And maybe, you will be watching the skies too!"--Steve Ringwood, Astronomy Now

"This is a highly readable and enjoyable book that centers on astrobiology--a discipline that melds astronomy, biology, geology--and a little bit of luck--to explore the prospect of life on other worlds. . . . Bennett is an excellent writer, taking the reader on an exploration quest to find alien life, and how difficult solar system sleuthing can be, such as on Mars, Jupiter's Europa, or on Saturn's Titan. You'll also find an excellent treatment on current activities surrounding the on-going search for extraterrestrial intelligence."--The Coalition for Space Exploration

"Particularly enjoyable is the down-to-earth writing; Bennett, an astrophysicist, author, and educator, tells the reader exactly how he feels about various topics (even the role of God in the scheme of things). Readers may not agree with everything he says, but he does offer food for thought."--B.R. Parker, Choice

"Beyond UFOs gives a good impression from the moment you first take it into your hands. It is attractively produced, well written, and very thoroughly proofread. It's an interesting and challenging complement to focused research, and will be particularly enjoyed by anyone who has an appetite for broad science tinged with morals."--Elizabeth Griffin, The Observatory

"Beyond UFOs is a rich, slow, and rewarding read. Rich because it is full of some of the most interesting current interdisciplinary science regarding planets and life that you can find, blending astronomy, geology, history, and astrobiology in a single narrative. Slow because each page is so full of interesting content that you don't want to skim. Rewarding because Bennett is simply a fantastic writer and presenter, making the read thoroughly enjoyable. No science expertise required."--Jennifer Wiseman, Books & Culture


"With the possible exception of the God question, I can think of no subject that has inspired such wide-eyed wonder and speculation as the matter of whether or not we are alone in the cosmos. The search for extraterrestrial intelligence today has almost theological status in terms of its implications, and yet it is a rigorous science conducted by world-class scientists. Jeffrey Bennett's book is one of the finest primers on this burgeoning new field. And even though this can be a technically daunting science, Bennett's highly readable prose invites everyone into the dome to gaze through the telescope to have a look for themselves, for this is a journey we are all on together."--Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic and columnist for Scientific American

"Bennett describes the search for life beyond the Earth in terms that are accessible to the nonscientist and yet reveal a broad understanding of the evolution of stars, planets, and organisms. The author's optimism is contagious. May it help inspire us to actually accomplish these lofty goals."--James F. Kasting, Pennsylvania State University

"Precise, accurate, lucid, and engaging. This is popular-science writing at its best. I enjoyed reading this book."--Christopher McKay, NASA Ames Research Center

"This is a fascinating book about the living universe, well-written and timely."--David Morrison, coauthor of The Planetary System and Voyages to the Planets

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File created: 4/24/2017

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