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Alone but Not Lonely
Exploring for Extraterrestrial Life
Louis Friedman
University of Arizona Press, 2023
Humans have always been fascinated by the possibility of extraterrestrial life, often wondering if we are alone in the universe. Drawing on nearly fifty years as a leader in planetary exploration, Louis Friedman brings into focus the subject of extraterrestrial life, separating knowledge from conjecture, fact from fiction, to draw scientific and technical conclusions that answer this enduring question.

Friedman argues that intelligent life is probably rare in the universe (maybe even uniquely on Earth) but that simple life is likely abundant on millions or billions of planets waiting now to be discovered. He asserts that studying and searching for extraterrestrial life cannot be done by interstellar probes—due to the vastness of space and the comparative brevity of human lifespans—but it can be done remotely by a new technique involving the solar gravity lens that can magnify exoplanets by tens of billions. This technique will allow humankind to explore exoplanets and open up an exciting new field of comparative astrobiology.

Wide-ranging in scope, this book discusses the history of searching for extraterrestrial life, the scientific evidence thereof, and finally his own conclusions on what’s next. Included in the book are three appendices: an explanation of interstellar messaging, a reprint of a debate between Carl Sagan and Ernst Mayr on extraterrestrial intelligence, and an opinion essay on the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

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American Astronomical Society Centennial Issue of the Astrophysical Journal
Edited by Helmut A. Abt
University of Chicago Press, 2000
Selected by 50 notable astronomers from the major sub-fields of the discipline, the articles assembled in this special AAS Centennial collection are accompanied by commentary that provides the scientific-historical context essential to comprehending each article's original impact. Many commentators were contemporaries of the original authors and provide first-person accounts of papers published in the journals—and the earliest reactions they evoked. Arranged in chronological order of publication, these classic papers include works by Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, George E. Hale, Fred Hoyle, Edwin Hubble, A.A. Michelson, Henry Norris Russell, Arthur Achuster, Harlow Shapley, and others. Together the articles and commentaries provide a historical window into twentieth-century astronomy and how the results were achieved.

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American Astronomy
Community, Careers, and Power, 1859-1940
John Lankford
University of Chicago Press, 1997
In this collective biography of the more than 1,200 individuals who engaged in astronomical
research, teaching, or practice in the United States between 1859 and 1940, John Lankford
paints a meticulously documented portrait of this community. He tallies the number with and
without doctorates, the number that taught in colleges or universities versus those involved in
industrial or government work, the number of women versus men, and so on. He also
addresses the crucial question of power within the community—what it meant, which
astronomers had it, and what they did with it.

Drawing on more than a decade of archival research, Lankford attends to the numbers in
concise tables and figures, and takes care to focus through biographical sketches on the
human beings his data represent. This dual approach convincingly illustrates how the changing
structure of a scientific community can alter both the career trajectories of its members and the
nature of the scientific research they choose to pursue.

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Anton Pannekoek
Ways of Viewing Science and Society
Chaokang Tai
Amsterdam University Press, 2019
Anton Pannekoek (1873-1960), prominent astronomer and world-renowned socialist theorist, stood at the nexus of the revolutions in politics, science and the arts of the early twentieth century. His astronomy was uniquely visual and highly innovative, while his politics were radical. Anton Pannekoek: Ways of Viewing Science and Society collects essays on Pannekoek and his contemporaries at the crossroads of political history, the history of science and art history.

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Clifford J. Cunningham
Reaktion Books, 2021
Grounded in historical studies of asteroids from the nineteenth century, Asteroids is a fully up-to-date view of these remarkable objects. Without resorting to any technical diagrams or mathematics, Clifford J. Cunningham shows that asteroids are not just rocks in space, but key to understanding the life and death on Earth of both animals and humans. From space missions to the asteroids’ starring role in literature and film, Cunningham precisely and entertainingly looks at the place asteroids have in our solar system and how they affect our daily lives.

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Tom Gehrels
University of Arizona Press, 1979
Originally published in 1979, this was a comprehensive source and textbook on asteroids by 70 authors covering exploration, composition, evolution, and the interrelations with other small solar system bodies. Also includes an extensive file of all known asteroid parameters including magnitudes, colors, proper elements and compositional types.

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Asteroids II
Richard P. Binzel
University of Arizona Press, 1989
This sourcebook brought together our knowledge about asteroids, based on a gather during the week of March 8-11, 1988 with move than 160 scientists from 14 countries who gathered in Tucson for the Asteroids II conference.

Asteroids II is not a sequel, per se, to the 1979 book Asteroids. It offered a fresh treatment intended to stand on its own as a complete description of the current understanding of the field. It was published in December 1989. The work showcased a large international collaboration, a sign of an active and growing discipline.

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Asteroids III
Edited by W. F. Bottke Jr., A. Cellino, P. Paolicchi, and R. P. Binzel
University of Arizona Press, 2002
Two hundred years after the first asteroid was discovered, asteroids can no longer be considered mere points of light in the sky. Spacecraft missions, advanced Earth-based observation techniques, and state-of-the-art numerical models are continually revealing the detailed shapes, structures, geological properties, and orbital characteristics of these smaller denizens of our solar system. This volume brings together the latest information obtained by spacecraft combined with astronomical observations and theoretical modeling, to present our best current understanding of asteroids and the clues they reveal for the origin an,d evolution of the solar system.

This collective knowledge, prepared by a team of more than one hundred international authorities on asteroids, includes new insights into asteroid-meteorite connections, possible relationships with comets, and the hazards posed by asteroids colliding with Earth. The book's contents include reports on surveys based on remote observation and summaries of physical properties; results of in situ exploration; studies of dynamical, collisional, cosmochemical, and weathering evolutionary processes; and discussions of asteroid families and the relationships between asteroids and other solar system bodies. Two previous Space Science Series volumes have established standards for research into asteroids. Asteroids III carries that tradition forward in a book that will stand as the definitive source on its subject for the next decade.

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Asteroids IV
Edited by Patrick Michel, Francesca E. DeMeo, and William F. Bottke
University of Arizona Press, 2015
Over the past decade, asteroids have come to the forefront of planetary science. Scientists across broad disciplines are increasingly recognizing that understanding asteroids is essential to discerning the basic processes of planetary formation, including how their current distribution bespeaks our solar system’s cataclysmic past. For explorers, the nearest asteroids beckon as the most accessible milestones in interplanetary space, offering spaceflight destinations easier to reach than the lunar surface. For futurists, the prospects of asteroids as commercial resources tantalize as a twenty-first-century gold rush, albeit with far greater challenges than faced by nineteenth-century pioneers. For humanity, it is the realization that asteroids matter. It is not a question of if—but when—the next major impact will occur. While the disaster probabilities are thankfully small, fully cataloging and characterizing the potentially hazardous asteroid population remains unfinished business.

Asteroids IV sets the latest scientific foundation upon which all these topics and more will be built upon for the future. Nearly 150 international authorities through more than 40 chapters convey the definitive state of the field by detailing our current astronomical, compositional, geological, and geophysical knowledge of asteroids, as well as their unique physical processes and interrelationships with comets and meteorites. Most importantly, this volume outlines the outstanding questions that will focus and drive researchers and students of all ages toward new advances in the coming decade and beyond.

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The Dangerous Religion of the Corporate Space Race
Mary-Jane Rubenstein
University of Chicago Press, 2022
A revealing look at the parallel mythologies behind the colonization of Earth and space—and a bold vision for a more equitable, responsible future both on and beyond our planet.
As environmental, political, and public health crises multiply on Earth, we are also at the dawn of a new space race in which governments team up with celebrity billionaires to exploit the cosmos for human gain. The best-known of these pioneers are selling different visions of the future: while Elon Musk and SpaceX seek to establish a human presence on Mars, Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin work toward moving millions of earthlings into rotating near-Earth habitats. Despite these distinctions, these two billionaires share a core utopian project: the salvation of humanity through the exploitation of space.
In Astrotopia, philosopher of science and religion Mary-Jane Rubenstein pulls back the curtain on the not-so-new myths these space barons are peddling, like growth without limit, energy without guilt, and salvation in a brand-new world. As Rubenstein reveals, we have already seen the destructive effects of this frontier zealotry in the centuries-long history of European colonialism. Much like the imperial project on Earth, this renewed effort to conquer space is presented as a religious calling: in the face of a coming apocalypse, some very wealthy messiahs are offering an other-worldly escape to a chosen few. But Rubenstein does more than expose the values of capitalist technoscience as the product of bad mythologies. She offers a vision of exploring space without reproducing the atrocities of earthly colonialism, encouraging us to find and even make stories that put cosmic caretaking over profiteering.

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