Planet hunters

Are we alone in the universe? That question has preoccupied mankind for thousands of years. For a long time, finding the answer was left to the imagination of philosophers, village idiots and science fiction writers. Over the last twenty years this has changed with the discovery of planets existing around other stars than the sun. Our attention is now centered on the search for extraterrestial life. Now astronomers from the best universities in the world say, with sincerity, that they will find a second earth-like planet within the next few years.

At first, the planet hunters were ridiculed as searchers for ‘little green men’. Today, they lead one of the most flourishing branches of science. All of them have a say in the book: An astronomer who finds a planet from a parking lot with a telescope he built himself; A stubborn engineer who was rejected for twenty-five years; A depressed student who grew into one of the most succesful planet hunters in the world.

They began in obscurity as dreamers and now the spotlight is on them. Maybe they will never find little green men, but the hunt itself is guaranteed to yield spectacular stories.

Original title:

Ellerbroek - Planetenjagers

November 2014
320 pages
3000 copies sold

Astronomer Lucas Ellerbroek (1984) was fascinated by planets, even as a child. During his PhD research he closely followed the hunt for aliens. In Planet Hunters he describes the birth of a new area of science and the human struggles that go with it. Ellerbroek is already known from “The World Continues to Learn” and TEDx. He writes for the science section of the NRC Handelsblad and is also an organizer and presentor for Nerd Nite.

English sample available

Rights: Columbia Spanish rights (under offer), World English rights (under offer)

Press comments:
‘Thousands of earth-like planets within a distance of hundreds of light years are awaiting discovery. This exciting adventure has now reached a new and important phase, described in a colorful way in this book.’ Professor Gerard ’t Hooft, Nobel Prize winner in Physics, professor of Theoretical Physics at Utrecht University and author of ‘Building Blocks of Creation

‘An engrossing adventure full of surprising detail that shows why astronomy research is so fascinating.’ Professor Robbert Dijkgraaf, professor in Mathematical Physics at the University of Amsterdam and Leon Levy Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University