Extrasolar Planets 

Caleb A. Scharf
Columbia University

"the gold standard text"

"clear and engaging"

"truly excellent"

Winner of the Chambliss Astronomical Writing Award

"The arrival of [this book] makes available to our community what should be the gold standard text...I suspect this text will become a much-loved, dog-eared friend to every amateur, student, or professional astrobiologist."

"Scharf's coverage of exoplanets is quite wonderful and will be very valuable for classes."
-Geoff Marcy, University of California, Berkeley

"Caleb Scharf provides here a solid and mathematically-rich overview of astrobiology from a planetary perspective...suitable for both newcomers to the field and experienced researchers looking for a course textbook to recommend."
--The Astrobiology Society of Britain, Lewis Dartnell

"The book is truly excellent.  Scharf provides the quantitative background needed to understand topics such as albedo and the greenhouse effect...this is probably the best volume available for the physical sciences side of astrobiology. Summing up: Essential."

"I like this book very much.  The writing style is clear and engaging and it provides more physics than most texts on astrobiology."
-Debra Fischer, San Francisco State University

"If you’re getting serious about the study of astrobiology, you’ll want to know about this title."
-Centauri Dreams, December 8, 2008, http://www.centauri-dreams.org

This book offers an advanced introduction to the increasingly robust fields of extrasolar planets and astrobiology.  No other text currently available applies this level of mathematics and physics, while also providing an extensive grounding in key issues of chemistry, biology, and geophysics.  With extensive references to the literature and chapter-ending exercises, this book can be used as the core text for teaching undergraduate or introductory graduate level courses.  The text will also provide astrobiologists with an indispensable "User's Manual" when quick reference to key mathematical and physical techniques is needed.  A continually updated online component, fully cross referenced with the text, is also available.  Foreword by Geoff Marcy.

*Over 150 images and illustrations.
*Extensive bibliographies for each chapters.
*Exercises for each chapter, ranging from straightforward calculation problems to more far-ranging research-oriented exercises.
*An online component for users that includes new exercises and a continually updated blog of exciting scientific news items, fully cross-referenced with the book to allow course instructors to integrate the most recent developments into their course material.


Caleb Scharf was born and educated in England. He received his B.Sc. in Physics from Durham University, and his PhD in Astronomy from the University of Cambridge. Following postdoctoral work in X-ray astronomy and observational cosmology at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the Space Telescope Science Institute in Maryland, he has been a research scientist at Columbia University, New York. He is currently Director of the multidisciplinary Columbia Astrobiology Center. His research interests include the study of exoplanets, exomoons, and the nature of environments suitable for life.

Print Book
ISBN 978-1-891389-55-9, 470 pages, Copyright 2009, Casebound.
List Price US$92.75
Publisher's Discount Price US$78.84
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eISBN 978-1-938787-40-9, 470 pages, Copyright 2009.
List Price US$65 to own; US$40 to lease

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Author's Website for Extrasolar Planets and Astrobiology

Foreword by Geoffrey Marcy

Complete Frontmatter (PDF format)

Professor Resources