Stardust: The Cosmic Seeds of Life by Sun KwokStardust: The Cosmic Seeds of Life by Sun Kwok

Stardust: The Cosmic Seeds of Life

bySun Kwok

Paperback | April 18, 2013

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How did life originate on Earth? For over 50 years, scientists believed that life was the result of chemistry involving simple molecules such as methane and ammonia cooking in a primordial soup. Recent space observations have revealed that old stars are capable of making very complex organic compounds. The stars then ejected the organics and spread them all over the Milky Way Galaxy. There is evidence that these organic dust particles actually reached the early Solar System. Through bombardments by comets and asteroids, the early Earth inherited significant amounts of star dust. Was the development of life assisted by the arrival of these extraterrestrial materials? In this book, we describe stunning discoveries in astronomy and solar system science over the last 10 years that resulted in a new perspective on the origin of life.

Other interesting topics discussed in this book

  • The discovery of diamonds and other gemstones in space
  • The origin of oil
  • Neon signs and fluorescent lights in space
  • Smoke from stars
  • Star dust in our hands
  • Where oceans come from
  • Possibility of bacteria in space
Sun Kwok is a leading world authority on the subject of astrochemistry and stellar evolution. He is best known for his theory on the origin of planetary nebulae and the death of Sun-like stars. His recent research has been on the topic of the synthesis of complex organic compounds in the late stages of stellar evolution. He is the auth...
Title:Stardust: The Cosmic Seeds of LifeFormat:PaperbackDimensions:267 pagesPublished:April 18, 2013Publisher:Springer-Verlag/Sci-Tech/TradeLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:3642328016

ISBN - 13:9783642328015

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Table of Contents

1. Where do we come from?.- 2. Rocks and dust in the planetary neighborhood.- 3. Impacts from beyond.- 4. Descendants of stars.- 5. Glowing in the dark.- 6. Star dust in our eyes.- 7. The oldest and brightest.- 8. Neon signs in the sky.- 9. Stars as molecular factories.- 10. Smoke from stellar chimneys.- 11. Gems from Heaven.- 12. Diamonds in the sky.- 13. A mysterious red glow.- 14. A celestial origin for oil?.- 15. Organics in our Solar System.- 16. Stardust in our hands.- 17. Bacteria in space?.- 18. Comets: messengers from the past.- 19. Where do oceans come from?.- 20. Playing God with primordial soup.- 21. Stardust and origin of life.- 22. Our place in the Universe.- 23. Bibliography.- 24. Appendix I. Scientific notation.- 25. Appendix II. Units of measurement.- 26. Appendix III Color and Temperature.- 27. Appendix IV: Naming convention of astronomical objects.- 28. Appendix V Elemental abundance.- 29. Appendix VI Mass and energy.- 30. Glossary.

Editorial Reviews

From the reviews:

Selected by Choice magazine as an "Outstanding Academic Title" for 2014

"Stardust is a very readable, lucid description of the origins of life, from the standpoint of an astronomer. . Six appendixes, a 10-page glossary, and a 20-page bibliography support the text. Summing Up: Highly recommended. General readers and lower-division undergraduates." (E. S. Perlman, Choice, Vol. 51 (5), January, 2014)