Outer Space

Collection by Cassandra Verhaegen (11 items)

Stars, cosmos, planets, and more...books that are out of this world.

Includes the following tags:

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Human Spaceflight
by Louis Friedman
University of Arizona Press, 2015
Mars, the red planet named for the god of war, a mysterious dust-ridden place, is most like Earth in its climate and seasons. Of all the possible destinations in space to travel, Mars is the most likely for humans to reach. According to esteemed scientist Louis Friedman, it may be the only destination outside the moon to ever see human footprints.

Far from diminishing our future in space, Human Spaceflight lays out a provocative future for human space travel. The noted aerospace engineer and scientist says that human space exploration will continue well into the future, but space travel by humans will stop at Mars. Instead, nanotechnology, space sails, robotics, biomolecular engineering, and artificial intelligence will provide the vehicles of the future for an exciting evolution not just of space travel but of humankind.

Friedman has worked with agencies around the globe on space exploration projects to extend human presence beyond Mars and beyond the solar system. He writes that once we accept Mars as the only viable destination for humans, our space program on planet Earth can become more exciting and more relevant. Mars, he writes, will take hundreds, even thousands, of years to settle. During that time, humans and all our supporting technologies will evolve, allowing our minds to be present throughout the universe while our bodies stay home on Earth and Mars.
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Exploring Mars
by Scott Hubbard
foreword by Bill Nye
University of Arizona Press, 2012
The Red Planet has been a subject of fascination for humanity for thousands of years, becoming part of our folklore and popular culture. The most Earthlike of the planets in our solar system, Mars may have harbored some form of life in the past and may still possess an ecosystem in some underground refuge. The mysteries of this fourth planet from our Sun make it of central importance to NASA and its science goals for the twenty-first century.  

In the wake of the very public failures of the Mars Polar Lander and the Mars Climate Orbiter in 1999, NASA embarked on a complete reassessment of the Mars Program. Scott Hubbard was asked to lead this restructuring in 2000, becoming known as the "Mars Czar." His team's efforts resulted in a very successful decade-long series of missions—each building on the accomplishments of those before it—that adhered to the science adage "follow the water" when debating how to proceed. Hubbard's work created the Mars Odyssey mission, the twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Phoenix mission, and most recently the planned launch of the Mars Science Laboratory

Now for the first time Scott Hubbard tells the complete story of how he fashioned this program, describing both the technical and political forces involved and bringing to life the national and international cast of characters engaged in this monumental endeavor.  Blending the exciting stories of the missions with the thrills of scientific discovery, Exploring Mars will intrigue anyone interested in the science, the engineering, or the policy of investigating other worlds.

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Neptune and Triton
edited by Dale P. Cruikshank
University of Arizona Press, 1995
The first reconnaissance of all the major planets of the Solar System culminated in the Voyager 2 encounter with Neptune in August 1989. Neptune itself was revealed as a planet with gigantic active storms in its atmosphere, and off-center magnetic field, and a system of tenuous, lumpy rings. Whereas only two satellites were known prior to the encounter, Voyager discovered six more. Triton, the largest satellite, was revealed as a frozen, icy world with clouds and layers of haze, and with vertical plumes of particles reaching five miles into the thin atmosphere.

This latest Space Science Series volume presents the current level of understanding of Neptune, its rings, and its satellites, derived from the data received from the Voyager. The book's chapters are written by the world's leading authorities on various aspects of the Neptune system and are based on papers presented at an international conference held in January 1992. Covering details of Neptune's interior, atmosphere, rings, magnetic fields, and near-space environment—as well as the small satellites and the remarkable moon Triton—this volume is a unique resource for planetary scientists and astronomers requiring a comprehensive analysis of Neptune viewed in the context of our knowledge of the other giant planets. Until another spacecraft is sent to Neptune, Neptune and Triton will stand as the basic reference on the planet.
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by James Geach
Reaktion Books, 2015
Each night, we are able to gaze up at the night sky and look at the thousands of stars that stretch to the end of our individual horizons. But the stars we see are only those that make up our own Milky Way galaxy—but one of hundreds of billions in the whole of the universe, each separated  by inconceivably huge tracts of empty space. In this book, astronomer James Geach tells the rich stories of both the evolution of galaxies and our ability to observe them, offering a fascinating history of how we’ve come to realize humanity’s tiny place in the vast universe.
Taking us on a compelling tour of the state-of-the-art science involved in mapping the infinite, Geach offers a first-hand account of both the science itself and how it is done, describing what we currently know as well as that which we still do not. He goes back one hundred years to when scientists first proved the existence of other galaxies, tracking our continued improvement in the ability to collect and interpret the light that stars in faraway galaxies have emitted through space and time. He discusses examples of this rapidly accelerating research, from the initial discovery that the faint “spiral nebulae” were actually separate star systems located far beyond the Milky Way to the latest observations of the nature of galaxies and how they have evolved. He also delves into the theoretical framework and simulations that describe our current “world model” of the universe.
With one hundred superb color illustrations, Galaxy is an illuminating guide to the choreography of the cosmos and how we came to know our place within it that will appeal to any stargazer who has wondered what was beyond their sight.  
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by Edgar Williams
Reaktion Books, 2014
Long before a rocket hit the Man in the Moon in the eye in Georges Méliès’s early film Le Voyage dans la Lune, the earth’s lone satellite had entranced humans. We have worshipped it as a deity, believed it to cause madness, used it as a means of organizing time, and we now know that it manipulates the tides—our understanding of the moon continues to evolve. Following the moon from its origins to its rich cultural resonance in literature, art, religion, and politics, Moon provides a comprehensive account of the significance of our lunar companion.
Edgar Williams explores the interdependence of the Earth and the moon, not only the possibility that life on Earth would not be viable without the moon, but also the way it has embedded itself in culture. In addition to delving into roles the moon has played in literature from science fiction and comics to poetry, he examines how Elizabeth I was worshipped as the moon goddess Diana, the moon’s place in folklore and astrology, and humanity’s long-standing dream of inhabiting its surface. Filled with entertaining anecdotes, this book is the kind of succinct, witty, and informative look at everything lunar that only comes around once in a blue moon.
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Hazards Due to Comets and Asteroids
edited by Tom Gehrels
University of Arizona Press, 1994
In 1993, the U.S. Department of Defense declassified information dealing with frequent explosions in the upper atmosphere caused by meteoric impact. It is estimated that impacts have occurred of a magnitude equivalent to the atomic bomb detonated at Hiroshima. Not all such space voyagers meet their end in the atmosphere, however; huge craters attest to the bombardment of earth over millions of years, and a major impact may have resulted in the extinction of dinosaurs. An impact in Siberia near the beginning of this century proves that such events are not confined to geologic time. Hazards Due to Comets and Asteroids marks a significant step in the attempt to come to grips with the threats posed by such phenomena. It brings together more than one hundred scientists from around the world, who draw on observational and theoretical research to focus on the technical problems related to all aspects of dealing with these hazards: searching for and identifying hazardous comets and asteroids; describing their statistics and characteristics; intercepting and altering the orbits of dangerous objects; and applying existent technologies—rocket boosters, rendezvous and soft-landing techniques, instrumentation—to such missions. The book considers defensive options for diverting or disrupting an approaching body, including solar sails, kinetic-energy impacts, nuclear explosives, robotic mass drivers, and various propulsion systems. A cataclysmic impact posing a threat to life on Earth is a possibility that tomorrow's technology is capable of averting. This book examines in depth the reality of the threat and proposes practical measures that can be initiated now should we ever need to deal with it.
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by John North
University of Chicago Press, 2008
For millennia humans have studied the skies to help them grow crops, navigate the seas, and earn favor from their gods. We still look to the stars today for answers to fundamental questions: How did the universe begin? Will it end, and if so, how? What is our place within it? John North has been examining such questions for decades. In Cosmos, he offers a sweeping historical survey of the two sciences that help define our place in the universe: astronomy and cosmology.
            Organizing his history chronologically, North begins by examining Paleolithic cave drawings that clearly chart the phases of the moon. He then investigates scientific practices in the early civilizations of Egypt, Greece, China, and the Americas (among others), whose inhabitants developed sophisticated methods to record the movements of the planets and stars. Trade routes and religious movements, North notes, brought these ancient styles of scientific thinking to the attention of later astronomers, whose own theories—such as Copernicus’ planetary theory—led to the Scientific Revolution.
            The work of master astronomers, including Ptolemy, Galileo, Kepler, and Newton, is described in detail, as are modern-day developments in astrophysics, such as the advent of radio astronomy, the brilliant innovations of Einstein, and the many recent discoveries brought about with the help of the Hubble telescope. This new edition brings North’s seminal book right up to the present day, as North takes a closer look at last year’s reclassification of Pluto as a “dwarf” planet and gives a thorough overview of current research.
            With more than two hundred illustrations and a comprehensive bibliography, Cosmos is the definitive history of astronomy and cosmology. It is sure to find an eager audience among historians of science and astronomers alike.
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Comparative Climatology of Terrestrial Planets
edited by Stephen J. Mackwell, Amy A. Simon-Miller, Jerald W. Harder and Mark A. Bullock
University of Arizona Press, 2014
The early development of life, a fundamental question for humankind, requires the presence of a suitable planetary climate. Our understanding of how habitable planets come to be begins with the worlds closest to home. Venus, Earth, and Mars differ only modestly in their mass and distance from the Sun, yet their current climates could scarcely be more divergent. Only Earth has abundant liquid water, Venus has a runaway greenhouse, and evidence for life-supporting conditions on Mars points to a bygone era. In addition, an Earth-like hydrologic cycle has been revealed in a surprising place: Saturn’s cloud-covered satellite Titan has liquid hydrocarbon rain, lakes, and river networks. 
Deducing the initial conditions for these diverse worlds and unraveling how and why they diverged to their current climates is a challenge at the forefront of planetary science. Through the contributions of more than sixty leading experts in the field, Comparative Climatology of Terrestrial Planets sets forth the foundations for this emerging new science and brings the reader to the forefront of our current understanding of atmospheric formation and climate evolution. Particular emphasis is given to surface-atmosphere interactions, evolving stellar flux, mantle processes, photochemistry, and interactions with the interplanetary environment, all of which influence the climatology of terrestrial planets. From this cornerstone, both current professionals and most especially new students are brought to the threshold, enabling the next generation of new advances in our own solar system and beyond.


Part I: Foundations
Jim Hansen
Mark Bullock
Scot Rafkin
Caitlin Griffith
Shawn Domagal-Goldman and Antigona Segura
Kevin Zahnle

Part II: The Greenhouse Effect and Atmospheric Dynamics
Curt Covey
G. Schubert and J. Mitchell
Tim Dowling
Francois Forget and Sebastien Lebonnois
Vladimir Krasnopolsky
Adam Showman

Part III: Clouds, Hazes, and Precipitation
Larry Esposito
A. Määttänen, K. Pérot, F. Montmessin, and A. Hauchecorne
Nilton Renno
Zibi Turtle
Mark Marley

Part IV: Surface-Atmosphere Interactions
Colin Goldblatt
Teresa Segura et al.
John Grotzinger
Adrian Lenardic
D. A. Brain, F. Leblanc, J. G. Luhmann, T. E. Moore, and F. Tian

Part V: Solar Influences on Planetary Climate
Aaron Zent
Jerry Harder
F. Tian, E. Chassefiere, F. Leblanc, and D. Brain
David Des Marais
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Planets and Perception
by William Sheehan
University of Arizona Press, 1988
Do we really know what we see through a telescope? How does the ocular system construct planetary images, and how does the brain interpret them? Drawing on both astronomical and psychological data, William Sheehan now offers the first systematic analysis of the perceptual and cognitive factors that go into the initial structuring of a planetary image and its subsequent elaboration. Sheehan details the development of lunar and planetary astronomy beginning with Galileo's study of the moon, and focuses particularly on the discover of "canals" on Mars. Through each episode he underscores a perceptual or psychological theme, such as the importance of differences in vision, tachistoscopic perceptual effects, the influence of expectation and suggestion on what one sees, and the social psychology of scientific discovery. Planets and Perception is a provocative book that will intrigue anyone who has ever looked through a telescope. In addition, it offers the psychologically-oriented reader a case history in the processes of perception unlike any other in the literature.
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Secrets of the Universe
by Paul Murdin
University of Chicago Press, 2009

Discoveries in astronomy challenge our fundamental ideas about the universe. Where the astronomers of antiquity once spoke of fixed stars, we now speak of whirling galaxies and giant supernovae. Where we once thought Earth was the center of the universe, we now see it as a small planet among millions of other planetary systems, any number of which could also hold life. These dramatic shifts in our perspective hinge on thousands of individual discoveries: moments when it became clear to someone that some part of the universe—whether a planet or a supermassive black hole—was not as it once seemed.

Secrets of the Universe invites us to participate in these moments of revelation and wonder as scientists first experienced them. Renowned astronomer Paul Murdin here provides an ambitious and exciting overview of astronomy, conveying for newcomers and aficionados alike the most important discoveries of this science and introducing the many people who made them. Lavishly illustrated with more than 400 color images, the book outlines in seventy episodes what humankind has learned about the cosmos—and what scientists around the world are poised to learn in the coming decades. Arranged by types of discovery, it also provides an overarching narrative throughout that explains how the earliest ideas of the cosmos evolved into the cutting-edge astronomy we know today. Along the way, Murdin never forgets that science is a human endeavor, and that every discovery was the result of inspiration, hard work, or luck—usually all three.

The first section of Secrets explores discoveries made before the advent of the telescope, from stars and constellations to the position of our own sun. The second considers discoveries made within our own solar system, from the phases of Venus and the moons of Jupiter to the comets and asteroids at its distant frontier. The next section delves into discoveries of the dynamic universe, like gravitation, relativity, pulsars, and black holes. A fourth examines discoveries made within our own galaxy, from interstellar nebulae and supernovae to Cepheid variable stars and extrasolar planets. Next Murdin turns to discoveries made within the deepest recesses of the universe, like quasars, supermassive black holes, and gamma ray bursters. In the end, Murdin unveils where astronomy still teeters on the edge of discovery, considering dark matter and alien life.

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Cauldrons in the Cosmos
by Claus E. Rolfs and William S. Rodney
University of Chicago Press, 1988
Nuclear astrophysics is, in essence, a science that attempts to understand and explain the physical universe beyond the Earth by studying its smallest particles. Cauldrons in the Cosmos, by Claus E. Rolfs and William S. Rodney, serves as a basic introduction to these endeavors. From the major discoveries in the field to a discussion of the makeup of stars to an explanation of standard lab techniques, this text provides students and scientists alike a thorough and fascinating survey of the accomplishments, goals, and methods of nuclear astrophysics. A classic in its field, Cauldrons in the Cosmos will surely remain an important reference in nuclear astrophysics for years to come.

"One could not wish for a better account of the current state of knowledge (and uncertainty) about nuclear reactions in stars."—B. E. J. Pagel, Nature

"Written in an informal style that those uninitiated into the jargon of nuclear astrophysics and astronomy will find readable and illuminating. . . . A useful and long-awaited introduction to nuclear astrophysics."—G. J. Mathews, Science

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