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This concise and highly illustrated textbook traces the evolution of the Cosmos from the Big Bang to the development of intelligent life on Earth, conveying clear science in an engaging narrative. By mapping the history of the Universe for introductory science and astrobiology courses for non-science majors, this book allows many of the most fascinating questions in science to be explored. What is the origin of the Universe? How do stars and planets form? How does life begin? How did intelligence arise? Are we alone in the Cosmos? Physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy and geology are combined to create a chronicle of events in which the swirling vapors in the primordial cloud of the Universe evolved over billions of years into conscious life. Outlining, the latest discoveries in astrobiology, this textbook is suffused with the excitement of this fast-moving field. Instructor and student support is provided at www.cambridge.org/jastrow.