Are we alone in the universe ... or are there other planets generating and sustaining life? The question may be as old as civilization, but in the twilight of a century marked by countless frustrated quests to find other solar systems, several teams of pioneering astronomers have at last discovered a rich crop of mammoth, Jupiter-sized gas planets -the first compelling evidence that there may indeed be life in other galaxies.
In Looking for Earths, a prominent planetary scientist takes us along on this thrilling hunt for new life, revealing the behind-the-scenes stories of scientific determination, frustration, and triumph. Ushering us to the mountaintop observatories that house the world's most powerful telescopes, and into the tension-filled scientific meetings where new results are announced and old results overturned, Alan Boss brings the process of exploration vividly alive. Experience the roller-coaster ride as intricate observations of minuscule stellar wobbles raise hopes that at last a true planet has been found, only to be almost immediately shattered by more powerful observations. Boss also introduces the principal players whose dreams defied all odds and made the first major discovery possible.
Like no other book, Looking for Earths captures the lively tension between theory and observation that defines cutting-edge astronomical discovery, along with the heated battles that will determine the direction of big-ticket American astronomy for years to come.
"Highly recommended." - Sciences and Technology
"Full of humor, heartbreak, and a deep understanding of the ardor and luck that compose years of research.