The New Story of Our Origin in the Stars
by Jacob Berkowitz
Prometheus Books, 2012 (($27))

Our ancestors are stars in this “extreme genealogy,” which follows the history of discoveries that blossomed into a new field: astrobiology. Science journalist Berkowitz gracefully chronicles the work and passion of physicists, chemists and other “stardust scientists” who probe the universe for signs of life. These researchers' eureka moments include the realization that stars forge elements, the detection of organic molecules drifting in the void of space and the discovery of the first planet beyond our solar system. —Marissa Fessenden

COMMENT AT ScientificAmerican.com/sep2012