About the Book

The Crowded Universe

The Crowded Universe

The Race to Find Life Beyond Earth
December 2010
Trade Paperback · 256 Pages
$16.95 U.S. · $21.50 CAN · £11.99 U.K. · €11.99 E.U.
ISBN 9780465020393
Basic Books


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We are nearing a turning point in our quest for life in the universe—we now have the capacity to detect Earth-like planets around other stars. But will we find any?

In The Crowded Universe, renowned astronomer Alan Boss argues that based on what we already know about planetary systems, in the coming years we will find abundant Earths, including many that are indisputably alive. Life is not only possible elsewhere in the universe, Boss argues—it is common.

Boss describes how our ideas about planetary formation have changed radically in the past decade and brings readers up to date on discoveries of bizarre inhabitants of various solar systems, including our own. America must stay in this new space race, Boss contends, or risk being left out of one of the most profoundly important discoveries of all time: the first confirmed finding of extraterrestrial life.

About the Author

Alan Boss is a research scientist at the Carnegie Institution of Washington and a member of its Department of Terrestrial Magnetism. One of the world's leading authorities on the formation of stars and planets, Boss is the author of over 400 scientific publications and has done numerous radio and TV interviews. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.