From Dust to Life

From Dust to Life

The Origin and Evolution of Our Solar System by John Chambers and Jacqueline Mitton

By Janet Raloff, 12:42 PM January 23, 2014

In about 300 pages, this book sums up the history of all that matters — or at least everything made of matter — from the Big Bang to life on Earth.

This wild ride across the cosmos and through time covers a lot of territory, but isn’t merely a laundry list of observations. Instead, readers will find one lucid explanation piggybacked onto another. Chapters show how energetic particles first organized into atoms, then molecular clouds (the star factories), then protoplanetary disks and eventuall...

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