In the past two decades, scientists have found a previously-unthinkable number of planets orbiting other stars – thousands, and more all the time – but even as we learn of and identify more, we still have not identified life similar to our own. Five Billion Years of Solitude: the Search for Life Among the Stars, from Current/Penguin, Billings tells the inside tale of the search for life among the stars, profiling the leading astronomers and planetary scientists charging to find another Earth floating out there somewhere. In wonderful detail and with great insight, Billings weaves the astronomy, physics, chemistry and biology together into a story of scientific pursuit driven by very human hopes and fears that we are not alone.
Lee Billings is a journalist and author based in New York City. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Scientific American, Popular Mechanics and many other publications. From 2006 to 2011, he was an editor at Seed Magazine, where he covered science and technology topics including astrophysics, space exploration, paleontology and robotics. He graduated in 2003 from the University of Minnesota with a degree in journalism.