Astrobiology is a cross-disciplinary field – encompassing biology, geology, chemistry and planetary sciences - which studies the origin and development of life in the universe and includes the search for both extinct and extant organisms beyond the Earth.
This volume, aimed primarily at research scientists, advanced students and other professionals, includes contributions from several leading international astrobiologists, providing an overview of the respective fields and highlighting current and emerging topics. This includes an overview of astrobiology, biosignatures and planetary protection, as well as chapters on microbial life in impact craters, low-pressure environments and terrestrial analogue sites from the ocean depths to the stratosphere.
This is undeniably an academic volume with its copious references, dense tables and relative lack of illustrations, but given the current interest in space missions to Mars and the icy moons of the outer solar system, it is timely. As with other such edited compilations of papers, it would be greatly improved by the addition of a subject index.