By Kevin W. Plaxco,Michael Groß

Nach einem einführenden Kapitel über die Definition von Leben beginnt die Erkundung des Themas »Leben im Universum« mit der Geschichte des Universums, unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Umstände, die die Entwicklung von Leben ermöglicht haben. Es fokussiert dann in ähnlicher Weise auf die Geschichte unseres Sonnensystems und der Erde. Im mittleren Teil des Buchs geht es um das Leben auf der Erde: wie konnte es entstehen, sich ausbreiten, und mehr als drei Milliarden Jahre lang überleben? Welche seiner Eigenschaften sind Zufall, und welche Notwendigkeit? Im letzten Drittel des Buchs werden die Erkenntnisse aus der irdischen Biologie angewandt auf die Suche nach Leben im übrigen Sonnensystem (Mars, Monde des Jupiter und Saturn) und nach lebensfreundlichen Planeten im leisure des Universums.

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