Italian astronomer Paolo Maffei invites us on a journey through time. The itinerary follows time’s arrow from the fireball of the Big Bang some 15 billion years ago to the present to various conceivable futures, some extending the world indefinitely through time, others bringing the world to an end.
The Universe in Time is structured as a series of embedded voyages – first through the life cycle of the stars, then through that of planetary systems, and finally through both geological/ecological evolution and the origin and development of life on earth. Maffei explores the possibilities of extraterrestrial life before he steps back to take a broader time perspective and to discuss alternative theories of the origin, development, and fate of the universe as a whole.
Paolo Maffei is Professor of Astronomy at the University of Perugia and author of Beyond the Moon and Monsters in the Sky.