Five Billion Years of Solitude

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Five Billion Years of Solitude: The Search for Life Among the Stars
Five Billion Years of Solitude - bookcover.jpg
First edition cover
AuthorLee Billings
CountryUnited States
SubjectScience, Astronomy
PublisherCurrent, a member of Penguin Group
Publication date
October 3, 2013
Media typePrint, e-book, audiobook
Pages304 pp.

Five Billion Years of Solitude: The Search for Life Among the Stars is a nonfiction work by the science author Lee Billings. The text was initially published on October 3, 2013 by Current. The paperback version was published on October 28, 2014.


In this book, Billings explores the scientists and science behind the ever-expanding universe of exoplanets. Since the first detection of a planet orbiting another Sun-like star in 1995,[1] scientists have discovered an increasing number of worlds beyond our solar system through detections by telescopes and spacecraft. Billings reveals the scientists behind these discoveries and their thoughts on not only exoplanets, but also their triumphs and frustrations in their quest to solve one of the greatest mysteries of humankind: Are we alone? Billings includes interviews with Frank Drake, Geoffrey Marcy, Greg Laughlin, James Kasting, Matt Mountain, Wesley Traub, Sara Seager, and many other prominent researchers.

Topics covered[edit]

The book has 10 chapters:

  • Looking for Longevity
  • Drake's Orchids
  • A Fractured Empire
  • The Worth of a World
  • After the Gold Rush
  • The Big Picture
  • Out of Equilibrium
  • Aberrations of the Light
  • The Order of the Null
  • Into the Barren Lands


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