The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence: Listening for Life in the Cosmos

Thomas R. McDonough, Author John Wiley & Sons $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-471-84684-0
This fascinating book describes the scientific search for intelligent radio signals from outer space that has been under way worldwide since 1959. Writing in ""pop history'' stylecomplete with some very funny Gary Larson Far Side cartoons on outer spaceMcDonough argues that life is likely on another of the 40 billion earth-like planets estimated to exist in the universe and calculates that some 4000 of these planets could harbor beings intelligent enough to be transmitting radio signals that could be expected to reach us today. (Among the signals we're beaming to themwherever they areare I Love Lucy reruns and other TV classics, the author notes wryly.) He describes the 1967 discovery of pulsars and explains, deductive step by step, how scientists debunked the theory that intelligent beings were broadcasting them. A teacher of engineering at Cal Tech, McDonough is uniquely suited to write this history, since he is coordinator of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project with the Planetary Society, an association of eminent scientists in the field. 20,000 ad/promo; Macmillan Astronomy, Library of Science and Natural Science book club alternates. (December 9)
Reviewed on: 10/28/1986
Release date: 11/01/1986
Paperback - 244 pages - 978-0-471-84683-3
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