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Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

  • Living reference work
  • © 2020


  • Constitutes The reference resource of the remarkably interdisciplinary field Astrobiology
  • Serves as the key to understanding technical terms from the different areas of astrobiology: astronomy, biology, chemistry, geosciences and space sciences
  • Comprehensively treats the important topics from a global perspective and each subfield
  • Assembles and organizes the key citations to the literature for this nascent but high-profile field

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About this book

The interdisciplinary field of Astrobiology constitutes a joint arena where provocative discoveries are coalescing concerning, e.g. the prevalence of exoplanets, the diversity and hardiness of life, and its increasingly likely chances for its emergence. Biologists, astrophysicists, biochemists, geoscientists and space scientists share this exciting mission of revealing the origin and commonality of life in the Universe. The members of the different disciplines are used to their own terminology and technical language. In the interdisciplinary environment many terms either have redundant meanings or are completely unfamiliar to members of other disciplines.

The Encyclopedia of Astrobiology serves as the key to a common understanding. Each new or experienced researcher and graduate student in adjacent fields of astrobiology will appreciate this reference work in the quest to understand the big picture. The carefully selected group of active researchers contributing to this work andthe expert field editors intend for their contributions, from an internationally comprehensive perspective, to accelerate the interdisciplinary advance of astrobiology.

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Table of contents (2232 entries)


From the reviews:

“Stretching to three thick hardback volumes, the Encyclopedia of Astrobiology is certainly comprehensive. Many entries are pretty substantial and constitute a mini-review article on a particular topic. … cover all the main points, and are well-supported with carefully chosen graphs and figures. … is well worth requesting your academic library to order a set. … Highly recommended.” (Lewis Dartnell, Astrobiology Society of Britain, September, 2011)

Editors and Affiliations

  • Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Bordeaux, University of Bordeaux, Pessac CX, France

    Muriel Gargaud

  • Department of Astronomy, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA

    William M. Irvine

  • Centro Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa, Univ. Autónoma de Madrid Cantoblanco, Madrid, Spain

    Ricardo Amils

  • Analytical-, Environm., Geo-Chemistry, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, VUB, Brussels, Belgium

    Philippe Claeys

  • Earth-Life Science Institute, Tokyo Institute of Technology, WASHINGTON, USA

    Henderson James Cleaves

  • Radio Astronomy, Paris Observatory, Paris, France

    Maryvonne Gerin

  • Observatoire de Paris-Meudon, Meudon, France

    Daniel Rouan

  • International Space Science Institute, Bern, Switzerland

    Tilman Spohn

  • Centre Francois Viète, Universite de Nantes, Nantes, France

    Stéphane Tirard

  • Innovaxiom, Paris CX, France

    Michel Viso

About the editors

The Editor in Chief, Muriel Gargaud, is an enthusiastic and experienced editor who has proven in various projects that she can manage a large number of editors and authors and deliver an excellent publication.

William Irvine was President of the Commission on Bioastronomy of the International Astronomical Union. His research activity is concentrated in two areas: the chemistry of dense interstellar clouds; and the physics and chemistry of comets. He collaborated with various NASA astrobiology working groups and is author of more than 200 scientific articles.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

  • Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Philippe Claeys, Henderson James Cleaves, Maryvonne Gerin, Daniel Rouan, Tilman Spohn, Stéphane Tirard, Michel Viso

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Berlin, Heidelberg

  • eBook Packages: Springer Reference Physics and Astronomy, Reference Module Physical and Materials Science, Reference Module Chemistry, Materials and Physics

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-642-27833-4Due: 05 June 2023

  • Number of Pages: XLIV, 1853

  • Number of Illustrations: 204 b/w illustrations, 385 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Astrobiology, Bioorganic Chemistry, Biochemistry, general, Planetology, Astrophysics and Astroparticles, Biogeosciences

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