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Recent Issues and Advances in Astronomy explores the most important developments in astronomy over the last decade, including the results of recent investigations on extrasolar planetary systems, black holes, and the existence of water in space. Besides exploring the societal implications of recent developments, the book also addresses the philosophical questions raised by recent advances, such as whether or not we are alone in the universe. Other chapters offer biographies of prominent astronomers, discussions of important current investigations, summaries of astronomical funding and career statistics, and a glossary of terms. The book also provides an annotated listing of relevant organizations and bibliographies of print and nonprint information resources. The book is illustrated and extensively cross-referenced, and includes a detailed subject index. A special chapter comprises narratives written by four trained astronomers, each of whom describes the particular career path he or she has chosen, both inside and outside the field of astronomy itself.