Out There: A Scientific Guide to Alien Life, Antimatter, and Human Space Travel (For the Cosmically Curious)

Out There: A Scientific Guide to Alien Life, Antimatter, and Human Space Travel (For the Cosmically Curious)


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In the vein of Randall Munroe's What If? meets Brian Green's Elegant Universe, a senior writer from Space.com leads readers on a wild ride of exploration into the final frontier, investigating what's really "out there."

We've all asked ourselves the question. It's impossible to look up at the stars and NOT think about it: Are we alone in the universe? Books, movies and television shows proliferate that attempt to answer this question and explore it. In Out There Space.com senior writer Dr. Michael Wall treats that question as merely the beginning, touching off a wild ride of exploration into the final frontier. He considers, for instance, the myriad of questions that would arise once we do discover life beyond Earth (an eventuality which, top NASA officials told Wall, is only drawing closer).
  • What would the first aliens we meet look like?
  • Would they be little green men or mere microbes?
  • Would they be found on a planet in our own solar system or orbiting a star far, far away?
  • Would they intend to harm us, and if so, how might they do it?
  • And might they already have visited?

Out There is arranged in a simple question-and-answer format. The answers are delivered in Dr. Wall's informal but informative style, which mixes in a healthy dose of humor and pop culture to make big ideas easier to swallow. Dr. Wall covers questions far beyond alien life, venturing into astronomy, physics, and the practical realities of what long-term life might be like for we mere humans in outer space, such as the idea of lunar colonies, and even economic implications. Dr. Wall also shares the insights of some of the leading lights in space exploration today, and shows how the next space age might be brighter than ever.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781538729373
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 11/13/2018
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 453,375
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Dr. Michael Wall is a senior writer at Space.com who has written extensively about the search for alien life. His work also has appeared in Scientific American, NBC News, Fox News and a number of other outlets. He holds a graduate certificate in science journalism from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Before becoming a writer, Dr. Wall worked as a biologist; he earned a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Sydney in Australia and has 15 peer-reviewed publications. He's based in San Francisco, where he also chronicles the space tech revolution in Silicon Valley.

Illustrations by Karl Tate.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part I What's Out There?

1 Where Is Everybody? 9

2 Are We All Martians? 27

3 What Does ET Look Like? 40

4 Do Aliens Have Sex? 66

5 What Are We Looking For? 74

6 Where Is ET Hiding? 98

7 How Would the World Be Told? 124

8 Could We Talk to ET? 133

9 How Would the World Respond? 142

10 Have We Already Found ET? 153

11 Will Aliens Kill Us All? 168

Part II Getting Out There

12 Will We Colonize the Moon and Mars? 183

13 Can We Go Interstellar? 200

14 Will There Be a Homo spaciens? 215

15 Is TIME Travel Possible? 222

16 What Will Happen to Us? 229

Bibliography 235

Index 237

Acknowledgments 244

About the Author 246

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