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Light of the Stars

Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth


Adam Frank (Author)

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Astrophysicist and NPR commentator Adam Frank reveals what the latest research on alien civilisations may tell us about our own.

Light of the Stars tells a radically new story about what we are: one world in a universe awash in planets. Building on his widely discussed scientific papers and The New York Times op-eds, astrophysicist Adam Frank shows that not only is it likely that alien civilisations have existed many times before but that many of them have driven their own worlds into dangerous eras of change. He explains how dust storms on Mars, the greenhouse effect on Venus, Gaia Theory, the threat of nuclear winter, and efforts to prove or disprove the plurality of worlds from Aristotle to Copernicus to Carl Sagan have contributed to our understanding of our place in the universe and the growing challenge of climate change. And he explores what may be the largest question of all: if there has been life on other worlds, what its presence can tell us about our own fate.


“In this provocative new book, Adam Frank makes the case that one good way to think about life on Earth is to think about the prospect of life on other planets—and what it might have to teach us about how to be good Earthlings.” — Sean Carroll

“Pleasingly, the findings here are more hopeful and proactive than has been the case elsewhere, encouraging us to take charge and create a better future. As far as messages go, it's not a bad one.” — How It Works

“We may have no proof that aliens exist, but US astrophysicist Adam Frank is pretty convinced.” — Best Holiday Reading, New Scientist

“With an easy-to follow writing style, Frank has thoughtfully tackled the concept of life beyond Earth, without resorting to fantasies of' little green men'. Light of the Stars is a concise and insightful read, which, aside from being very difficult to put down, will leave you wanting to learn more about the potential for life amongst the stars. So sit down and get comfortable, as you may be glued to this book for some time.” — BBC Sky at Night

“The author makes the case that as the exploration of Venus and Mars helped humanity properly formulate the theory of the greenhouse effect, so can exoplanets and the search for exo-civilizations inform how we deal with the growing pains of a maturing civilization at odds with its own host planet.” — On our Bookshelf, Nature

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