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An Exciting and Authoritative Account of the Second Golden Age of Solar System Exploration Award-winning author Peter Bond provides an up-to-date, in-depth account of the sun and its family in the 2nd edition of Exploring the Solar System. This new edition brings together the discoveries and advances in scientific understanding made during the last 60 years of solar and planetary exploration, using research conducted by the world's leading geoscientists, astronomers, and physicists. Exploring the Solar System, 2nd Edition is an ideal introduction for non-science undergraduates and anyone interested in learning about our small corner of the Milky Way galaxy.
For many years, planetary science has been taught as part of the astronomy curriculum, from a very physics-based perspective, and from the framework of a tour of the Solar System - body by body. Over the past decades, however, spacecraft exploration and related laboratory research on extraterrestrial materials have given us a new understanding of planets and how they are shaped by geological processes. Based on a course taught at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, this is the first textbook to focus on geologic processes, adopting a comparative approach that demonstrates the similarities and differences between planets, and the reasons for these. Profusely illustrated, and with a wealth of pedagogical features, this book provides an ideal capstone course for geoscience majors - bringing together aspects of mineralogy, petrology, geochemistry, volcanology, sedimentology, geomorphology, tectonics, geophysics and remote sensing.
Full of personal insights and accounts of the long journey to getting a man on the moon, Missions to the Moon is the perfect companion for anyone with a love of space travel, the moon landings, or NASA, CNSA, RFSA, and the rest of the world's space programs. With dozens of stunning photographs and fascinating memorabilia - such as Apollo 11 Mission Reports and Flight Director's Logs - track the birth of the space race and Yuri Gagarin's first space flight, to the many successes and failures of the Apollo mission, all the way to that boots-on-the-ground moment we have come to know so well. Uniquely complemented by ground-breaking digital technology you can become fully immersed in this interactive story of mankind's ongoing journey into the final frontier.
Are we alone in the universe, or are there other life forms 'out there'? This is one of the most scientifically and philosophically important questions that humanity can ask. Now, in the early 2020s, we are tantalizingly close to an answer. As this book shows, the answer will almost certainly be that life forms are to be found across the Milky Way and beyond. They will be thinly spread, to be sure. Yet the number of inhabited planets probably runs into the trillions. Some are close enough for us to detect evidence of life by analysing their atmospheres. This evidence may be found within a couple of decades. Its arrival will be momentous. But even before it arrives we can anticipate what life elsewhere will be like by examining the ecology and evolution of life on Earth. This book considers the current state of play in relation to these titanic issues.
Dr Carrie Nugent is an asteroid hunter - one of the select group of scientists working diligently to map our cosmic neighbourhood. For the first time ever we are reaching the point where we may be able to prevent a natural disaster resulting from an asteroid collision. Nugent will delve into the impact asteroids have had in the past: the extinction of the dinosaurs, the earth-sized hole Shoemaker-Levy 9 left in Jupiter just a few years ago, how the surprise hit on Chelyabinsk in Russia could have started a war and unlucky Ms Anne Hodges - the only person (that we know of) in modern history to be the victim of a direct hit. Nugent will also reveal the cutting-edge work that she is part of - using NASA's NEOWISE telescope to track down near-Earth asteroids. NEOWISE has seen over 158,000 asteroids and discovered over 30,000. We will also get a rare glimpse into the work of this band of asteroid hunters and their techniques. Asteroid orbits are chaotic which means a small early change has a big impact later on. The successful hunt and mapping of asteroids could mean nothing less than saving life on Earth.
The Sun, which is our own star at the center of the Solar System, gives rise to all life on Earth and is the driver of photosynthesis in plants and the source of all food and energy for living things. As seen with the naked eye, the Sun appears as a static and quiet yellow disk in the sky. However, it is a stormy and ever-changing star that contributes much more than light and heat. For example, it is the source of the beautiful northern lights and can affect our technology-based society in many ways. Our Explosive Sun: A Visual Feast of our Source of Light and Life is a great introduction to the Sun for general readers as well as scientists who are not solar physicists. The book presents the basic properties of the Sun, describes how it has fascinated humans throughout history, and shows how it influences our current technologies. The book includes a large number of illustrations and video materials for SpringerExtras, along with a PowerPoint presentation that provides a useful resource for teachers and lectures.
The Sunday Times Bestseller In Wonders of the Solar System - the book of the acclaimed BBC TV series - Professor Brian Cox will take us on a journey of discovery where alien worlds from your imagination become places we can see, feel and visit. The Wonders of the Solar System - from the giant ice fountains of Enceladus to the liquid methane seas of Titan and from storms twice the size of the Earth to the tortured moon of Io with its giant super-volcanoes - is the Solar System as you have never seen it before. In this series, Professor Brian Cox will introduce us to the planets and moons beyond our world, finding the biggest, most bizarre, most powerful natural phenomena. Using the latest scientific imagery along with cutting edge CGI and some of the most spectacular and extreme locations on Earth, Brian will show us Wonders never thought possible. Employing his trademark clear, authoritative, yet down-to-earth approach, Brian will explore how these previously unseen phenomena have dramatically expanded our horizons with new discoveries about the planets, their moons and how they came to be the way they are.
Integrating both scientific and philosophical perspectives, this book provides an informed analysis of the challenges of formulating a universal theory of life. Among the issues discussed are crucial differences between definitions and scientific theories and, in the context of examples from the history of science, how successful general theories develop. The central problem discussed is two-fold: first, our understanding of life is still tacitly wedded to an antiquated Aristotelian framework for biology; and second, there are compelling reasons for considering that familiar Earth life, which descends from a last universal common ancestor, is unrepresentative. What is needed are examples of life as we don't know it. Potential sources are evaluated, including artificial life, extraterrestrial life, and a shadow biosphere right here on Earth, and a novel strategy for searching for unfamiliar life in the absence of a definition or general theory is developed. The book is a valuable resource for graduate students and researchers studying the nature, origins, and extent of life in the universe.
Compiled by a team of experts, this textbook introduces the properties and evolution of the most immediately visible objects in the Universe - stars. Designed for elementary university courses in astronomy and astrophysics, it starts with a detailed discussion of our nearest star, the Sun, and describes how solar physicists have come to understand its internal workings. It then considers how we study the basic physical properties and life-cycles of more distant stars, culminating with a discussion of more 'exotic' objects, such as neutron stars and black holes. This second edition has a greater emphasis on the physical and spectral properties of stars, introducing stellar atmospheres, spectral line formation and the role of binary stars in the formation of compact objects. Avoiding complex mathematics, and generously illustrated in colour throughout, this accessible text is ideal for self-study and will appeal to both amateur astronomers and undergraduate students.
Where do asteroids come from and what are they made of? What clues do they hold about the evolution of the Solar System? Scientists have catalogued hundreds of thousands of asteroids, and many are thought to contain water and amino acids, the building blocks of life. Michael K. Shepard tells the fascinating story of their discovery, and what they can tell us about the history of our own planet. He describes how we find and study asteroids, what they look like through the eyes of powerful telescopes and spacecraft, and plans for future sample return missions. This timely book interweaves accessible scientific explanations with historical background and personal narrative, providing an engaging read for anyone curious about asteroids and what they may mean for our future - both as threats and opportunities.
This text expounds in a logical and scientific manner the idea that life did not originate on earth, but was added to it from the comets. When Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe first made this proposal in the 1970s, they had few takers - because the theory flew in the face of established beliefs. This text argues that in recent years, evidence to support this theory has accumulated from many different directions and grown to the point of being compelling. This work should be of value to readers interested in general science, the origin of man and the meaning of life.
From deep ocean trenches and the geographical poles to outer space, organisms can be found living in remarkably extreme conditions. This book provides a captivating account of these systems and their extraordinary inhabitants, 'extremophiles'. A diverse, multidisciplinary group of experts discuss responses and adaptations to change; biodiversity, bioenergetic processes, and biotic and abiotic interactions; polar environments; and life and habitability, including searching for biosignatures in the extraterrestrial environment. The editors emphasize that understanding these systems is important for increasing our knowledge and utilizing their potential, but this remains an understudied area. Given the threat to these environments and their biota caused by climate change and human impact, this timely book also addresses the urgency to document these systems. It will help graduate students and researchers in conservation, marine biology, evolutionary biology, environmental change and astrobiology better understand how life exists in these environments and their susceptibility or resilience to change.
The chemical composition of any planetary atmosphere is of fundamental importance in determining its photochemistry and dynamics in addition to its thermal balance, climate, origin and evolution. Divided into two parts, this book begins with a set of introductory chapters, starting with a concise review of the Solar System and fundamental atmospheric physics. Chapters then describe the basic principles and methods of spectroscopy, the main tool for studying the chemical composition of planetary atmospheres, and of photochemical modeling and its use in the theoretical interpretation of observational data on chemical composition. The second part of the book provides a detailed review of the carbon dioxide atmospheres and ionospheres of Mars and Venus, and the nitrogen-methane atmospheres of Titan, Triton and Pluto. Written by an expert author, this comprehensive text will make a valuable reference for graduate students, researchers and professional scientists specializing in planetary atmospheres.
The Sun is an active and variable star. Instabilities and non-stationary processes connected to the solar magnetic field and its evolutionary mechanisms modify its radiative and particle output on different time scales, from seconds to the evolutionary scale of the star. The Sun's activity affects interplanetary space and planetary environments, through space weather due to short-term activity and space climate on longer timescales. Space weather processes and forecasts are therefore important for both Earth and space within the heliosphere. The multi-disciplinary IAU Symposium 335 on 'Space Weather of the Heliosphere: Processes and Forecasts' gave a balanced overview of the general advances in space weather. It linked various aspects of research in solar, heliospheric and planetary physics, emphasizing cross-disciplinary developments. These companion proceedings, covering interdisciplinary topics and attracting a wide variety of contributors, serves as a timely reference to the international space weather community.
This book focuses on the specific mission planning for lunar sample collection, the equipment used, and the analysis and findings concerning the samples at the Lunar Receiving Laboratory in Texas. Anthony Young documents the collection of Apollo samples for the first time for readers of all backgrounds, and includes interviews with many of those involved in planning and analyzing the samples. NASA contracted with the U.S. Geologic Survey to perform classroom and field training of the Apollo astronauts. NASA's Geology Group within the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, Texas, helped to establish the goals of sample collection, as well as the design of sample collection tools, bags, and storage containers. In this book, detailed descriptions are given on the design of the lunar sampling tools, the Modular Experiment Transporter used on Apollo 14, and the specific areas of the Lunar Rover vehicle used for the Apollo 15, 16, and 17 missions, which carried the sampling tools, bags, and other related equipment used in sample collection. The Lunar Receiving Laboratory, which was designed and built at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Texas for analysis and storage of the lunar samples returned from the Apollo lunar landing missions is also described in detail. There are also descriptions of astronaut mission training for sample collecting, with the focus on the specific portions of the mission EVAs devoted to this activity.
Join Bonnie J. Buratti, a leading planetary astronomer, on this personal tour of NASA's latest discoveries. Moving through the Solar System from Mercury, Venus, Mars, past comets and asteroids and the moons of the giant planets, to Pluto, and on to exoplanets, she gives vivid descriptions of landforms that are similar to those found on Earth but that are more fantastic. Sulfur-rich volcanoes and lakes on Io, active gullies on Mars, huge ice plumes and tar-like deposits on the moons of Saturn, hydrocarbon rivers and lakes on Titan, and nitrogen glaciers on Pluto are just some of the marvels that await readers. Discover what it is like to be involved in a major scientific enterprise, with all its pitfalls and excitement, from the perspective of a female scientist. This engaging account of modern space exploration is written for non-specialist readers, from students in high school to enthusiasts of all ages.
This encyclopedia provides a snapshot of our current geological knowledge on solid-surface Solar System bodies. Each entry contains information about the features' morphology, its interpretation, proposed formation models, distribution and occurrence, planetary or terrestrial analogs, and research history. The entries are fully referenced. All image captions include original image IDs. More than 600 named planetary feature types are discussed in the encyclopedia, covering a wide range of scales--from micrometers to global scale--and also include landform types (structural or topographic features), parts of landforms, terrain types or surface textures, surface patterns, and features identified at wavelengths extending from visible to radio waves (e.g., albedo, thermal infrared, and radar features). The book covers features formed by impact, aeolian, magmatic, volcanic, tectonic, fluvial, lacustrine, marine and coastal, mass movement, sedimentary, desiccation, liquefaction, periglacial, glacial, nival, sublimation, collapse, weathering, and selective erosion or other, including complex processes. Depending on the information and formation models available, the entries have different approaches. Some of them discuss their subject from the point of view of the inferred process or origin, others are morphology or description-based. As a default, entries focus on extraterrestrial landforms, while also mentioning their proposed terrestrial analogs. Most planetary landforms are not body-specific, but some have no known terrestrial counterparts. Named historic (obsolete) landform types are also included to provide reference for previous key research papers. To make it easier to find features with related origins, the encyclopedia contains entries that list landforms based on their formative processes. It also lists body-specific features on Mercury (5 feature types), Venus (40), the Earth (13), the Moon (15), Mars (87), Io (7), Europa (17), Callisto (7), Titan (9), Triton (2), mid-sized satellites (8), and small bodies (3). Also included are entries on the 51 planetary feature descriptor terms approved by IAU.
Throughout the ages, comets, enigmatic and beautiful wandering objects that appear for weeks or months, have alternately fascinated and terrified humankind. The result of five years of careful research, Atlas of Great Comets is a generously illustrated reference on thirty of the greatest comets that have been witnessed and documented since the Middle Ages. Special attention is given to the cultural and scientific impact of each appearance, supported by a wealth of images, from woodcuts, engravings, historical paintings and artifacts, to a showcase of the best astronomical photos and images. Following the introduction, giving the broad historical context and a modern scientific interpretation, the Great Comets feature in chronological order. For each, there is a contemporary description of its appearance along with its scientific, cultural and historical significance. Whether you are an armchair astronomer or a seasoned comet-chaser, this spectacular reference deserves a place on your shelf.
Planetary scientist and educator Ken Coles has teamed up with Ken Tanaka from the United States Geological Survey's Astrogeology team, and Phil Christensen, Principal Investigator of the Mars Odyssey orbiter's THEMIS science team, to produce this all-purpose reference atlas, The Atlas of Mars. Each of the thirty standard charts includes: a full-page color topographic map at 1:10,000,000 scale, a THEMIS daytime infrared map at the same scale with features labeled, a simplified geologic map of the corresponding area, and a section describing prominent features of interest. The Atlas is rounded out with extensive material on Mars' global characteristics, regional geography and geology, a glossary of terms, and an indexed gazetteer of up-to-date Martian feature names and nomenclature. This is an essential guide for a broad readership of academics, students, amateur astronomers, and space enthusiasts, replacing the NASA atlas from the 1970s.
Philosophers and poets in times past tried to figure out why the stainless moon "smoothly polished, like a diamond" in Dante's words, had stains. The agreed solution was that, like a mirror, it reflected the imperfect Earth. Today we smile, but it was a clever way to understand the Moon in a manner that was consistent with the beliefs of their age. The Moon is no longer the "in" thing. We see it as often as the Sun and give it little thought - we've become indifferent. However, the Moon does reflect more than just sunlight. The Moon, or more precisely the nomenclature of lunar craters, still holds up a mirror to an important aspect of human history. Of the 1586 craters that have been named honoring philosophers and scientists, only 28 honor a woman. These 28 women of the Moon present us with an opportunity to meditate on this gap, but perhaps more significantly, they offer us an opportunity to talk about their lives, mostly unknown today.
Dwarf planets (which were formerly called asteroids except for the planet Pluto), and the smaller Solar System bodies still called asteroids today, are making front page news, particularly those that are newly discovered and those that might present a hazard to life on Earth by impacting our planet. In this age of giant telescopes and space probes, these small Solar System bodies have advanced from being tiny points of light to bodies worthy of widespread study. This book describes the dwarf planets and asteroids themselves, their origins, orbits, and composition, and at how amateur astronomers can play a part in their detection, tracking, and imaging. The book is divided into two parts. Part I describes physical properties (including taxonomic types) of dwarf planets and asteroids, how they formed in the early life of the Solar System, and how they evolved to their present positions, groups, and families. It also covers the properties used to define these small Solar System bodies: magnitude, rotation rates (described by their light-curves), and orbital characteristics. Part II opens with a description of the hardware and software an amateur or practical astronomer needs to observe and also to image asteroids. Then numerous observing techniques are covered in depth. Finally, there are lists of relevant amateur and professional organizations and how to submit your own observations to them.
In this volume of essays, the top experts and major players behind
the United States's recently renewed push to the moon fuel a
growing debate over lunar exploration. The announcement in 2004
that the U.S. would be revamping its moon program inspired both
excitement about the possibilities and concern over cost and safety
issues. This book takes the controversy out of the realm of pure
science and into the mainstream of national debate. Lunar experts
Alan Binder, Andy Chaikin, Yoji Kondo, Courtney Stadd, Frank White,
and many others weigh in on the case for a return, point out the
best way to do it, and speculate on what could be done with this
newly obtained real estate. The essays are accompanied by
illustrations of what life on the moon might look like.
Contributions come from different perspectives and styles, offering
a broad take on the very real possibility that humans will again
walk-- and work, live, and play-- on the lunar landscape. From
telescopes and tourism, to training for Mars, to building a new
branch of humanity and saving the Earth, this compendium makes the
case for sending people back to the moon.
Chondrules are spherical silicate grains which formed from protoplanetary disk material, and as such provide an important record of the conditions of the Solar System in pre-planetary times. Chondrules are a major constituent in chondritic meteorites, however despite being recognised for over 200 years, their origins remain enigmatic. This comprehensive review describes state-of-the-art research into chondrules, bringing together leading cosmochemists and astrophysicists to review the properties of chondrules and their possible formation mechanisms based on careful observations of their chemistry, mineralogy, petrology and isotopic composition. Current and upcoming space missions returning material from chondritic asteroids and cometary bodies has invigorated research in this field, leading to new models and observations, and providing new insight into the conditions and timescales of the solar protoplanetary disk. Presenting the most recent advances, this book is an invaluable reference for researchers and graduate students interested in meteorites, asteroids, planetary accretion and solar system dynamics.
Since its first publication more than twenty-five years ago, How to Build a Habitable Planet has established a legendary reputation as an accessible yet scientifically impeccable introduction to the origin and evolution of Earth, from the Big Bang through the rise of human civilization. This classic account of how our habitable planet was assembled from the stuff of stars introduced readers to planetary, Earth, and climate science by way of a fascinating narrative. Now this great book has been made even better. Harvard geochemist Charles Langmuir has worked closely with the original author, Wally Broecker, one of the world's leading Earth scientists, to revise and expand the book for a new generation of readers for whom active planetary stewardship is becoming imperative. Interweaving physics, astronomy, chemistry, geology, and biology, this sweeping account tells Earth's complete story, from the synthesis of chemical elements in stars, to the formation of the Solar System, to the evolution of a habitable climate on Earth, to the origin of life and humankind. The book also addresses the search for other habitable worlds in the Milky Way and contemplates whether Earth will remain habitable as our influence on global climate grows. It concludes by considering the ways in which humankind can sustain Earth's habitability and perhaps even participate in further planetary evolution. Like no other book, How to Build a Habitable Planet provides an understanding of Earth in its broadest context, as well as a greater appreciation of its possibly rare ability to sustain life over geologic time. Leading schools that have ordered, recommended for reading, or adopted this book for course use: * Arizona State University * Brooklyn College CUNY * Columbia University * Cornell University * ETH Zurich * Georgia Institute of Technology * Harvard University * Johns Hopkins University * Luther College * Northwestern University * Ohio State University * Oxford Brookes University * Pan American University * Rutgers University * State University of New York at Binghamton * Texas A&M University * Trinity College Dublin * University of Bristol * University of California-Los Angeles * University of Cambridge * University Of Chicago * University of Colorado at Boulder * University of Glasgow * University of Leicester * University of Maine, Farmington * University of Michigan * University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill * University of North Georgia * University of Nottingham * University of Oregon * University of Oxford * University of Portsmouth * University of Southampton * University of Ulster * University of Victoria * University of Wyoming * Western Kentucky University * Yale University
On July 21, 1969, the first man set foot on The Moon. When Neil Armstrong was asked if this made him feel big, he answered: "No, it made me feel really, really small." 50 years later, this publication celebrates that special moment that put life on earth into a totally different perspective. It collects pictures of the world's best photographers from the 1840s until today. Next to historical photographs and imagery printed in media, the publication features many artists that each in their own way reflect on this mystical celestial body, we call 'moon'. The book shows the diversity of meanings of The Moon, it's relation to mankind and to nature. The Moon has always both attracted and scared people around the world. It is our everyday connection to the unfathomable universe. Since time immemorial it is revered for its beauty, its stillness and mysterious appearance and yet also feared for its supernatural-seeming qualities. In mythology The Moon has always been given a central place. With its magnetic forces it changes the tides and has a direct and uncontrollable impact on mankind from above. In 1840, barely three years after the invention of photography, J.W. Draper makes the first picture ever made of The Moon and since that day photographers have never stopped following his example. The paradoxical aspects of the moon continue to fascinate and inspire. Like a photograph The Moon depends on sunlight to be visible. It has no light of its own and no apparent strength to resist our nightly city lights either. Photographers feel this close connection to The Moon's characteristics and find the perfect object in its aesthetics. The landing on The Moon was a culmination point of the1960's Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union, which quickly became a symbol of the Cold War. The images of the landing became the bearer of values and symbols of the United States and were widely spread through various media. In 1973 NASA abolished its moon program. The Moon had been conquered and the public seemed to have had lost interest. However, today people still find The Moon fascinating, and humanity continues to dream about setting foot on the sun's shadow.
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