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Booklist

Academic books

These are academic textbooks at the graduate and post-graduate levels aimed particularly at students and researchers.

The Exoplanet Handbook
Michael Perryman

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 978110830416


Summary: Planet formation, exoplanet interiors and atmospheres, and habitability are discussed, providing in-depth coverage of our knowledge to date. Comprehensively updated from the first edition, it includes instrumental and observational developments, in-depth treatment of the new Kepler mission results and hot Jupiter atmospheric studies, and major updates on models of exoplanet formation.

Read more of the publisher’s summary here.

Transiting Exoplanets
Carole Haswell

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521191838


Summary: The methods used in the detection and characterisation of exoplanets are presented through the study of transiting systems in this unique textbook for advanced undergraduates. From determining the atmospheric properties of transiting exoplanets to measuring the planetary orbit’s alignment with the stellar spin, students will discover what these measurements imply for reinvigorated theories of planet formation and evolution. Worked examples and exercises with full solutions help students to assess their understanding of concepts and results.

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Astrophysics of Planet Formation
Phil Armitage

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781108344227


Summary: Written for beginning graduate students, this textbook provides a basic understanding of the astrophysical processes that shape the formation of planetary systems. It begins by describing the structure and evolution of protoplanetary disks, moves on to the formation of planetesimals, terrestrial and gas giant planets, and concludes by surveying new theoretical ideas for the early evolution of planetary systems.

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An Introduction to Astrobiology
Edited by D.A. Rothery, I. Gilmour, M.A. Sephton

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781108430838


Summary: A textbook designed for introductory university courses in astrobiology. It provides a detailed examination of how life may have arisen on Earth and looks at fossil evidence of early life. The evidence for possible life on Mars is reviewed in detail and the potential for life on Europa and Titan is also examined. The possibility of life in exoplanetary systems is considered and the book concludes with a discussion of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

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Astrobiology – A Very Short 
Introduction
David Catling

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199586455


Summary: Astrobiology: A Very Short Introduction explores some of the big unanswered questions about the universe, considers the origins of life on Earth and its evolution, and brings together the ideas of microbiologists, astronomers, planetary scientists, and geologists. It introduces the origins of astrobiology and demonstrates its impact on current astronomical research and potential future discoveries.

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Exoplanet Atmospheres – Physical Processes
Sara Seager

Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691146454


Summary: This is the first textbook to describe the basic physical processes–including radiative transfer, molecular absorption, and chemical processes–common to all planetary atmospheres, as well as the transit, eclipse, and thermal phase variation observations that are unique to exoplanets.


Books of special topics

These are aimed at the postgraduate researcher level and provide a deeper technical understanding of highly specialized topics.

Characterizing Stellar and Exoplanetary Environment 
Edited by H. Lammer and M.  Khodachenko

Publisher: Science Library, Volume 411; Springer Switzerland
ISBN 978-3-319-09748-0


Summary: In this book an international group of specialists discusses studies of exoplanets subjected to extreme stellar radiation and plasma conditions. It also presents an analysis of findings from Hubble Space Telescope observations of transiting exoplanets, as well as applications of advanced numerical models for characterizing the upper atmosphere structure and stellar environments of exoplanets.

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Life on Earth and other Planetary Bodies 
Edited by A. Hanslmeier, St. Kempe, J. Seckbach

Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 978-94-007-9204-3


Summary: This volume has gathered 68 expert authors from around the world to discuss questions of life on Earth and elsewhere. Their chapters deal with primeval seas, the origin of the genetic code, panspermia, and terrestrial habitability. The target audience for this new book comprises scientists, microbiologists working with extremophiles, biology, geology students, teachers and general readers.

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Methods of Detecting Exoplanets
Valerio Bozza

Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 9783319274560


Summary: Clearly describes the different techniques used to detect and characterize exoplanets. Explains the techniques’ advantages and limitations and their complementary roles. Meets the needs of researchers in planetary science looking to expand their knowledge of detection techniques.

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Exoplanetary atmospheres: Theoretical concepts and foundations
Kevin Heng

Publisher: 9780691166988
ISBN: Princeton University Press


Summary: Exoplanetary Atmospheres covers the physics of radiation, fluid dynamics, atmospheric chemistry, and atmospheric escape. It draws on simple analytical models to aid learning, and features a wealth of problem sets, some of which are open-ended. This authoritative and accessible graduate textbook uses a coherent and self-consistent set of notation and definitions throughout, and also includes appendixes containing useful formulae in thermodynamics and vector calculus as well as selected Python scripts.

Exoplanetary Atmospheres prepares PhD students for research careers in the field, and is ideal for self-study as well as for use in a course setting.

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Popular science books

These are books on exoplanets for a wide general audience.

The Smallest Lights In the Universe: A Memoir
Sara Seager

Publisher: Crown
ISBN: 9780525576266


Summary: An MIT astrophysicist reinvents herself in the wake of tragedy and discovers the power of connection on this planet, even as she searches our galaxy for another Earth, in this “bewitching” (Anthony Doerr, The New York Times Book Review) memoir.

Exoplanets: Diamond Worlds, Super Earths, Pulsar Planets, and the New Search for Life beyond Our Solar System
Michael Summers, James Trefil

Publisher: Smithsonian Books
ISBN: 978158834594


Summary: Astronomer Michael Summers and physicist James Trefil explore these remarkable recent discoveries: planets revolving around pulsars, planets made of diamond, planets that are mostly water, and numerous rogue planets wandering through the emptiness of space. This captivating book reveals the latest discoveries and argues that the incredible richness and complexity we are finding necessitates a change in our questions and mental paradigms.

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Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space
Carl Sagan

Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 978034537659


Summary: Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space
is a book published in 1994 by astronomer Carl Sagan and a sequel to his 1980 book Cosmos, inspired by the famous 1990 Pale Blue Dot photo for which Sagan provides a poignant description.

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How to Find a Habitable Planet
James Kasting

Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691138053


Summary: Kasting describes the efforts under way to find them, and predicts that future discoveries will profoundly alter our view of the universe and our place in it. This book is a must-read for anyone who has ever dreamed of finding other planets like ours – and perhaps even life like ours – in the cosmos.

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The Planet Factory: Exoplanets and the Search for a Second Earth
Elizabeth Tasker

Publisher: Bloomsbury Sigma
ISBN: 9781472917744


Summary: The Planet Factory tells the story of these exoplanets. Each planetary system is different, but in the beginning most if not all young stars are circled by clouds of dust. Planet formation is one of the greatest construction schemes in the Universe, and it occurred around nearly every star you see. Each results in an alien landscape, but is it possible that one of these could be like our own home world?

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Rare Earth: Why complex life is
uncommon in the universe
Peter D. Ward
Donald Brownlee

Publisher: Copernicus
ISBN: 978-0387952895


Summary: Rare Earth: Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe is a 2000 popular science book about xenobiology by Peter Ward, a geologist and evolutionary biologist, and Donald E. Brownlee, a cosmologist and astrobiologist. The book is the origin of the term ‘Rare Earth Hypothesis’ which, like the book’s authors, assert that complex life is rare in the universe.

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Books in German

Literature for a German-speaking audience.

Mensch und Universum
Brian Cox
Andrew Cohen

Verlag: Kosmos
ISBN: 978-3-440-15631-5


Zusammenfassung: Woher kommen wir? Ist unser Dasein reiner Zufall oder wurde der Kosmos für den Menschen geschaffen? Sind wir allein im Universum? Der Teilchenphysker Brian Cox und der Wissenschaftsredakteur Andrew Cohen gehen den großen Fragen unserer Existenz und unserem Platz im All in wissenschaftlicher Detektivarbeit auf den Grund.

Erfahren Sie hier mehr.

Unsere einsame Erde
Peter D. Ward
Donald Brwonlee

Verlag: Springer
ISBN: 978-3-642-56506-9


Zusammenfassung: Auf der Suche nach Leben im Universum nehmen die Autoren den Leser mit auf eine spannende Reise von den heißen vulkanischen Quellen des Ozeanbodens bis zu dem eisigen Antlitz von Europa, dem Jupiter-Mond. Dabei lernt der Leser, dass niedrig entwickeltes Leben vielleicht weiter verbreitet ist, als bisher angenommen, die Entstehung höher entwickelten Lebens aber zu komplex ist, um außerhalb der Erde stattfinden zu können.
Ein faszinierendes, erfrischend geschriebenes Buch, das auf dem neuesten Stand der Wissenschaft beruht.

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Die Neuentdeckung des Himmels – Auf der Suche nach Leben im Universum
Florian Freistetter

Publisher: Carl Hanser Verlag München 
ISBN: 978-3-446-43882-8


Zusammenfassung: Florian Freistetter beschreibt, wie die moderne Astronomie erst lernen musste, das Unsichtbare zu sehen, um Supererden und Heiße Jupiter zu finden. Er erklärt, wie fremde Welten beschaffen sein müssen, damit auf ihnen Leben entstehen kann – und wie wir mit Hilfe neuer Teleskope bald herausfinden werden, wie Außerirdische wirklich aussehen.

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Die Erforschung der Exoplaneten: Auf der Suche nach den Schwesterwelten des Sonnensystems
Bernhard Mackowiak

Publisher: Kosmos 
ISBN: 978-3-440-16259-0


Zusammenfassung: Gibt es auch Planeten in anderen Sternen? Erst 1995 konnte diese Frage mit “Ja” beantwortet werden. Seitdem wird mit großen Teleskopen und Raumsonden nach ihnen gesucht. Inzwischen sind fast 2.000 Exoplaneten bekannt. 20 Jahre nach der ersten Entdeckung zieht dieses Buch eine detaillierte Bilanz: Welche Arten von Exoplaneten sind bekannt, wie wird heute nach ihnen gesucht und warum ist es so schwierig, eine zweite Erde zu entdecken?



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