Monday, March 21, 2011

Strange New Worlds

University of Toronto astronomy professor Ray Jayawardhana's first popular science book, Strange New Worlds: The Search for Alien Planets and Life Beyond Our Solar System is now in wide release. It's in its second week on the Canadian non-fiction best-seller list, according to Maclean's. Congratulations, Ray!

Ray's book describes some of the first concrete steps taken by astronomers to answer the age-old question, "Are we alone?" Canada enjoys a significant concentration of researchers who study exoplanets, which are planets orbiting stars other than the Sun. Although the study of solar systems other than our own has yet to turn up an alien civilization, recent results indicate that Earth-like planets are probably not extremely rare. They may even be common!

Interested in learning more about the search for exoplanets? Why not pick up a copy of Ray's book, or head to one of the many talks he'll be giving in libraries and other public places around Canada and the US over the next few months?

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