Goldilocks and the Water Bears PDF Ì and the Water

Goldilocks and the Water Bears ✫ [PDF] ✑ Goldilocks and the Water Bears By Louisa Preston ✸ – Astrobiology is the study of life in the universe from its origins to its evolution into intelligent sentient beings All life as we know it is carbon based reliant on sources of liuid water and energy Astrobiology is the Water PDF/EPUB ¶ the study of life in the universe from its origins Goldilocks and PDF \ to its evolution into intelligent sentient beings All life as we know it and the Water ePUB ↠ is carbon based reliant on sources of liuid water and energy for its survival and as far as we are aware exists only on EarthOur planet occupies a uniue spot in the solar system It is just the right distance from the Sun within the so called Goldilocks Zone to be not too hot or too cold for liuid water to be stable on its surface which together with a protective shielding atmosphere allowed the four billion year journey from a single celled organism to an upright humanoid species Most of primordial life if seen today would be classified as “alien” as it bears little resemblance to anything that currently existsWe can learn much about the possibilities of extraterrestrial life by studying life forms from our planet's history and by exploring organisms still present in harsh environments on Earth that mimic those on other worlds These organisms called “extremophiles” are directing our search for alien life throughout the solar system and beyond Could we one day find Earth's toughest animal the microscopic water bear living under the surface of another world Goldilocks and the Water Bears is an accessible introduction to the most fascinating of all the astro sciences the uest to learn whether we are alone in the universe.

10 thoughts on “Goldilocks and the Water Bears

  1. Brian Clegg Brian Clegg says:

    Although it made me cringe don't be put off by the title this is a book about the eually strangely named astrobiology the author says it combines biology and space ie the biology and environmental considerations of potential alien life but strictly the name means the biology of stars which is potentially a very interesting subjectThe 'Goldilocks' part of the title as most readers will recognise refers to the Goldilocks zone the region around a star where a planet would be not too hot not too cold but just right for carbon based water dependent life As Louisa Preston makes clear this is no longer given the significance it once was as some of the best candidates for low level life in our solar system are the moons of Jupiter and Saturn which appear to have liuid water oceans under a thick ice crust Even so the concept is usefulAs for the water bears they were far and above my favourite part of the book fascinating little 8 legged creatures that can go into a dehydrated state where they can be exposed to everything space can throw at them from extreme low temperatures to radiation and still come back to life when rehydrated at the right temperature They are interesting in this context both as a type of life that could in principle support transport through space to seed a new planet and also as a model of some of the extreme ways that life could survive in habitats that we might once have thought would never support itApart from the water bears the book is at its best in is its survey of possible places life could exist and its enthusiasm for the concept of astrobiology But there are some problems Large chunks of the book consist of what Rutherford referred to as 'stamp collecting' little than listing details of the various possibilities This comes across particularly strongly in the section on extremophiles organisms that can exist in extreme conditions on Earth as a model for life elsewhere For page after page we get lists of bacteria and other organisms that can survive in various conditions There is also heavy repetition So for example there are three separate sections talking about the possibilities for life in the water beneath the ice on the moon Europa with big overlaps in content This reflects a distinct lack of narrative structure to the book which is probably why one of the most interesting uestions in the subject if life came into existence easily why does it appear to have only done so once on Earth? isn't coveredI'm sure Preston knows her stuff on astrobiology but a science writer has to have a much wider knowledge and here she has the biggest problems Every popular science book includes the odd error but here there are so many it's worrying For instance we are given the excellent movie The Martian as an example of a movie featuring aliens Unless a martian pops up in the corner of a frame or you count a potato grown on Mars as an alien this could only be the result of simply looking at the title and assuming that it does without checkingThings get worse when we look back into history We are told that the Ancient Greek Democritus 'realised that the Sun was just as star in his wisdom he understood that the planets revolved around the Sun and that Earth itself is a planet He even theorised about exoplanets' But he didn't Democritus didn't have a heliocentric model I can only assume this is a confusion with the later Aristarchus nor did he realise all that clever astronomical stuff He did support but not originate the idea of the pluralism of worlds but this was not an astronomical theory like the parallel universes beloved of pulp science fiction Worse still we are told that Aristotle with dates given as 460 370 BC had Plato 428 327 BC as a mentor Plato was indeed Aristotle's teacher but you don't need anything but basic logic to suspect that Aristotle wasn't 32 years older than PlatoSadly it's not just the history that is suspect physics presents some issues too We are told that 'deuterium is an isotope of hydrogen but holds two neutrons rather than just one in the nucleus' Unfortunately hydrogen has no neutrons and deuterium has just one We are told there was no light before stars formed which is unfortunate for the Cosmic Microwave Background and we are told that the nuclei of two hydrogen atoms combine to make helium which would make it rather underweight And yes inevitably we get the myth that Giordano Bruno was martyred for his idea that there were many suns with their own solar systemsThe combination of this error rate and the lack of writing style means that overall things could have been a lot better There is plenty of interesting material in here though how it can be described as an 'expert romp' as it is on the cover I don't know but the book does not do the subject justice

  2. Nicky Nicky says:

    The best thing about the book is that title It’s just inspired Unfortunately it’s also misleading; actual tardigrades are covered in about three pages buried in the middle of the book Most of it is about the search for other life in the universe what it might look like where we might find it and how it might survive Granted the blurb does say that calling it “a tale of the origins and evolution of life and the uest to find it on other planets on moons in other galaxies and throughout the universe” But still I’d hoped for tardigrades to be a little central or at least relevant than just another example in a litany of living creatures which can tolerate extreme conditions or rather what would be extreme from our point of view At the very least I was hoping for a survey of where in our solar system tardigrades could happily live You can extrapolate that but I just wanted water bears okay?In terms of the writing there are two especially irritating habits one is a constant grammar failing where the start of the sentence doesn’t agree in number with the end and the other is an unfortunate habit of italicising key words in a way which gives the sentences really weird emphases Sometimes names are randomly italicised sometimes not It’s not consistent and at the same time it’s so pervasive as to be distractingEg in the sentence above Preston would have written “There is two especially irritating habits” No That’s not No I can’t remember if she ever actually did it while stating a number as in that sentence admittedly but she would use “is” when there were two or things being stated NoThe actual content is fine if you weren’t hoping too much for info on tardigrades It’s a pretty workmanlike exploration of the concept of the Goldilocks zone and how it might help us identify suitable planets that are not our ownReviewed for The Bibliophibian

  3. Elentarri Elentarri says:

    No rating Did not finishI got about halfway through this book and couldn't keep going I got the impression the author thinks her readers are all living under a rock and are too stupid to understand anything that hasn't been written in overly simplistic language She also doesn't care enough about her readers to be bothered to check the information she includes in her book There were numerous errors including not knowing the correct atomic structure of deuterium and stating that Democritus developed the heliocentric model that was Aristarchus Democritus dealt with atomic theory That left me wondering how much other information is wrong with the book The author also does not include references so I have no idea where she is getting her information I found the writing style to be rather tedious and somewhat repetitive and didn't really learn anything new in the half of the book I read This might be an interesting book for a young teenager who doesn't know much about science in general

  4. Andrea Andrea says:

    Really well written a great example of how to write sci comm Looking forward to finishing had to return to library as I took too long to get to it note to myself pick back up at page 124

  5. Julia Julia says:

    Another book with a really interesting title and one that holds a promise of being a great read but unfortunately doesn't uite hit the mark Dry in its presentation and uite repetitive it only seems to lead the reader on while also helping the reader to find other distractions to take their mind away from the contents of the book The author did have her moments though within the pages There is the fact that she does acknowledge and sadly enough uite repetitively that the other life we are looking for within our universe may not be what we had hoped for Although it captivates the mind that we may have similar beings out there could it really be replicated especially with the variables of the chemistries that may have been used instead of ours? And I also enjoyed that fact that she found some humor in Pluto paybacking scientists for their demotion of the planet's status although she did the same in her writing for with the discussion of the other planets she called them by the nature of their divine names like Mars was god of war but with Pluto she just relegated it as the underdog The part that I was most interested in though was the waters bears but it took forever for the author to reach them and even then they had just the merest mention before she was off again All in all I was uite disappointed with the book although I did learn some possible new things if the information was correct otherwise it could be possible food for thought in the sci fi realm All in all decent but for those into science especially for the universe and what may be hiding in it I would say keep on looking for better reading material

  6. Rama Rama says:

    Searching for habitable worlds Earth has a uniue spot in the solar system; it is just at the right distance from the Sun so that water stays in liuid form so that life could be born and evolve A protective shielding of the atmosphere from harmful ionizing radiation from the parent star would be essential for sustained evolution The planet must also have a stable atmosphere for life The habitable worlds could be rocky planets or rocky moons as we have been learning from recent discoveries that Europa and Ganymede two Jovian moons and Enceladus moon of Saturn have oceans of water beneath then surface and likely to have some primitive form of marine species Plume of ice particles and liuid water are detected from Europa and Enceladus NASA hopes catch the water from hundreds of miles long geysers and look for marine species Author Luisa Preston systematically explores various aspects of habitable worlds including the origin of life; the planets that can support and sustain life; looking for habitable worlds beyond solar system and how we can colonize Mars Developments in technology advanced telescopes and new methods to identify and evaluate the habitable worlds have made significant strides in astrobiology A number of habitable worlds have been reported since this book has been writtenA brief discussion of the current state of discoveries of exoplanets is as follows It is progressively becoming evident that we have to treat life as a cosmic phenomenon whose emergence and driving forces should be viewed independently from the natural history of Earth We are learning that life may be born and thrive in the harshest environments such as severe droughts in presence of toxic compounds extreme cold temperatures and even certain amount of ionizing radiation from the harshest environments It has already been detected and identified as Tardigrades water bears on earth They are microscopic animals that survive exposure to space and survives over sub zero temperatures unrelenting solar winds and an oxygen deprived space vacuumPlanets come in a huge variety of sizes and orbits Some are gas giants hugging close to their parent star; others are icy some rocky NASA and other agencies are looking for a special kind of planet one that’s the same size as Earth orbiting a sun like star in the habitable zone As of now according to NASA there are 3394 confirmed exoplanets; 1250 are ice giants; 1006 gas giants; 777 super earths 348 terrestrial and 13 exoplanets are of unknown nature Among these the most earth like planets are; Kepler 181f 111 times Earth radius; Kepler 442b 134 times Earth; Kepler 438b 11 times Earth; Kepler 62f 141 times Earth; GJ 667C c 15 times Earth and Wolf 1061c 164 times Earth In August 2016 a planet orbiting Proxima Centauri known as Proxima b 13 times earth was discovered It is a rocky world residing in the star's habitable zone just 47 million miles from its host star Earth is 93 million miles from Sun and completes one orbit every 112 Earth days The exoplanet is tidally locked which means it does not spin on its own axis like Earth Moon is also tidally locked to Earth and shows only one face to EarthMars exploration by three NASA rovers have yielded a wealth of information; Life forms existed on Mars billions of years ago But when the planet lost its magnetic field it had nothing to block the solar wind which slowly bled off the planet's atmosphere This complicated the evolution of a biosphere The ionizing radiation broke up organic molecules If life was on Mars in the past when the planet was wetter with a thicker atmosphere Then organisms could have gotten a foothold life could have then adapted to a higher radiation environment over time and retreated deeper underground for protectionAnother star that is currently drawing enormous interest in the news is the Tabby's Star also known as KIC 8462852 found by the NASA's planet hunting Kepler space telescope This shows dramatic dips in brightness this brightness change has been attributed to orbiting comets around the star or alien mega structure built by an advanced civilization

  7. D.L. Morrese D.L. Morrese says:

    An astrobiologist from the University of London provides an overview of life—what it is what it reuires how it may have emerged on Earth and how it could exist elsewhere The focus is on the planets of the Solar system but it makes some speculations for places beyond The clever title and causal prose makes this a fine introduction to the subject for students and casual readers

  8. DFZ DFZ says:

    Fun pop science book about tardigrades science space and other cool topics A little simplistic than I'd prefer but enjoyable nonetheless I got through the audiobook version and the narrator did a great job Not sure what it is about British narrators that just make books sound amazing but it's uite well done

  9. Jeanne Mixon Jeanne Mixon says:

    I took college astronomy and nearly failed it because all of the gas giants and their friends the dwarf suns were confusing to me plus all of the star colors that meant various things and we were promised there would be no math and there was for me a lot of math Also my boyfriend decided to date someone shorter he met in the class and so I was left alone to try to make sense of it I only didn't fail because I guess the professor took pity on me or had seen other students like me and had a policy of not failing themThis book reviews all of that in great detail the origins of the universe and the variously colored and variously sized planets and stars and what all of that means Then she reviews what we know about the origins of life I learned a lot from all of this I read some reviews that said she got some things wrong and I discovered in doing some research on the internets that she got something about tardigrades wrong they cannot in fact be boiled indefinitely and survive But all of that said I think the book was mostly scientific accurateIt makes the best point you can make for seeking out other life in the universe I am not completely sold on the value of spending billions on this or on hunting around for another liveable planet Unbounded scientific curiosity about space is expensive and I'm not convinced we can't find better ways to use the money like trying to preserve the one planet we already know we can live on if we don't mistreat it beyond repairThere was also a lot of teleological language that got on my nerves because it is a pet peeve of mine The Earth did not choose to evolve this way or that way evolution is a scientific process that does not involve choice I was kind of surprised at the number of ways she used the language of choice to describe evolutionary adaptions But that's a uibbleSo if like me you nearly failed astronomy and would like a primer about the origins of the universe and the origins of us or if you are genuinely curious about the reasoning behind the space missions and projects your tax dollars are funding and some private efforts then this is the book for you I got a little bored with the chapters with the science behind science fiction but as I said I'm not invested in finding alien life But the final chapters where she discusses in detail what it would be like to try to live on various planets was interesting She pulls apart what would be needed to fulfill stated missions like colonizing Mars or space or the moon and since these are stated missions it is interesting and important to know what it would take and what it would cost It's not so farfetched or science fictiony if your actual tax dollars are paying for the actual missions

  10. Steven Bennett Steven Bennett says:

    Early in the book there are a number a dubious or confusing statements but these are generally excusable On page 69 the author starts speaking about Sagittarius A as a black hole which is about 22530816 km 14 million miles across Firstly if it is simply a black hole the term across has no meaning but that was not what made my eyeballs nearly pop out of their sockets It was the metric conversionYes if you put 14 million into a calculator and perform the conversion from miles to kilometres the result given will match her number exactly Nevertheless any scientist whatsoever as well as any high school student hopeful of a passing grade in a science or mathematics class will know better than to convert two significant digits into eightUpon seeing this I simply could no longer take the author or the book seriously and abandoned it

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *