an introduction

(no longer brief)


Third edition out now

Kevin W. Plaxco and Michael Gross:
Astrobiology. An Introduction - Third edition
Johns Hopkins University Press 3.8.2021,
Hardback: ISBN 978-1-4214-4128-3, $ 75.00, pp. 416
Paperback: ISBN 978-1-4214-4129-0, $ 34.95, pp. 416
E-book: ISBN 978-1-4214-4130-6, $34.95

astrobiology - 3rd edition

news and events

table of contents


reviews and comments

books and links


Astrobiology is the study of the intimate relationship between life and the cosmos. While this fast-growing field touches on aspects of cosmology, astrophysics, geology, chemistry and life sciences, many of its key issues are profoundly biochemical in nature. Told from the perspective of the contemporary biochemist, this book tells the story of life from the Big Bang to the present. It is the story of the many events that were necessary to make life possible, from the formation of a universe rich in diverse chemical elements, through the origins and evolution of life on Earth, to the feedback regulation of Earth's climate and resources that keeps us alive. General lessons learned from this story apply to the life forms that may inhabit other planets anywhere in the Universe.

By putting life on Earth in this context, astrobiology offers the opportunity to extend our understanding of our own biology, revealing which aspects of current biological systems are products of chance, and which of necessity. Thus astrobiology provides insight into both the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe and the nature of life on Earth. It shows us where we come from and who we are.

This third edition has been substantially revised, expanded and updated throughout the text, and many new images have been added. At just over 400 pages it is no longer brief ...


You can pre-order the book from the publishers. As for retailers, I'll have a think before I add new links below:

(library edition):





other editions and translations:

German edition

astrobiologie für Einsteiger

Astrobiologie für Einsteiger
Wiley-VCH Verlag, 19.12.2012
ISBN-10: 3527411453
ISBN-13: 978-3527411450
€ 24.90

Auszug aus dem Vorwort

First edition


Astrobiology. A Brief Introduction
Johns Hopkins University Press June 2006,
Hardback: ISBN 0-801-88366-0, $ 65.00, pp. 259
Paperback: ISBN 0-801-88367-9, $ 26.00, pp. 259
E-book for Kindle: ASIN B001TREIH4, $ 9.99

Second edition

astrobiology - 2nd edition

Astrobiology. A Brief Introduction
Johns Hopkins University Press 25.8.2011,
Hardback: ISBN 978-1-4214-0095-2, $ 75.00, pp. 345
Paperback: ISBN 978-1-4214-0096-9, $ 30.00, pp. 345
E-book for Kindle: ASIN: B003OBY69S, $14.85



Of related interest:

Michael Gross:
Life on the Edge. Amazing Creatures Thriving in Extreme Environments
Paperback (with a new afterword): Perseus Books January 2001, ISBN 0-738-20445-5, $ 15.00, 210 + xiii pp.

Life on the Edge paperback



All my books






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