Free from a need to conform to scientific naming conventions, the names evidence hero-worship, sycophancy, avarice, vanity, whimsy, erudition and wit, revealing the human side of astronomers, especially where controversy has followed the christening. Murdin draws from extensive historical records to explore the debate over these names. Each age reveals its own biases and preferences in the naming process.
Originally regarded as “vermin of the skies,” asteroids are minor planets, rocky scraps left over from the formation of the larger planets, or broken fragments of worlds that have collided. Their scientific classification as “minor” planets makes them seem unimportant, but over the past decades asteroids have been acknowledged to be key players in the Solar System. This view of their starring role even alters the trajectories of spacecraft: NASA’s policy for new space missions en route to the outer planets is that they must divert to study passing asteroids whenever possible. This book provides for readers a complete tour of the fascinating world of asteroids.
And finally, Incoming Asteroid! considers the political implications - how governments across the world should best react to the threat with a view to minimizing loss of life, and in the weeks running up to the possible impact, preventing panic in the population.
Although other books provide surveys of the outer planets, Carroll approaches it from the perspective of potential future human exploration, exploitation and settlement, using insights from today’s leading scientists in the field. These experts take us to targets such as the moons Titan, Triton, Enceladus, Iapetus and Europa, and within the atmospheres of the gas and ice giants. In these pages you will experience the thrill of discovery awaiting those who journey through the giant worlds and their moons.
All the latest research is included, as are numerous illustrations, among them original paintings by the author, a renowned prize-winning space artist.
When Project Apollo brought back lunar rocks and soil samples, it opened a new chapter of understanding Earth's lone natural satellite, a process that continues to this day, as old results are revisited and new techniques are used on existing samples. Topics such as the origin, evolution, structure and composition of the Moon, however, are still under debate.
Lunar research is still an active field of study. New technologies make it possible to continue to learn. But even so, the Moon continues to hold tight to some of its oldest and most cherished secrets. Foster examines many of the most interesting puzzles and what has been revealed by exploring them – as well as what questions remain.
All of us are mesmerized by the possibility of other Earth-like worlds out there. Author Michael Carroll asks the tough questions of what the expected gain is from identifying these Earth analogs spread across the Universe and the reasons for studying them. Potentially, they could teach us about our own climate and Solar System. Also explored are the more remote options of communication between or even travel to these distant yet perhaps not so dissimilar worlds.
Until around ten years ago, the only planets that we knew about were within the Solar System. The first genuine planet beyond the confines of the Solar System was discovered only 1988. Since then another 350 or so exoplanets have been detected by various methods, and most of these haven been found in the last ten years. Although many more exoplanets discoveries may be expected to occur even as this book is being read, a large enough data set is now available to form the basis for an informed general account of exoplanets.
The topic hence is an extremely "hot" one - all the more so because the recently launched Kepler spacecraft should soon start uncovering many more exoplanets, some perhaps comparable with the Earth (and therefore possibly alternative homes for mankind, if we could ever reach them). Exoplanets: Finding, Exploring, and Understanding Alien Life gives a comprehensive, balances, and above all accurate account of exoplanets.
Louis Friedman of the Planetary Society and Jacques Blamont of CNES (both involved in Mars and Venus balloon projects) are both interviewed, along with Victor Kerzhanovich of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (planetary balloon systems), Julian Nott (balloonist adventurer and Titan balloon enthusiast), Ralph Lorenz (John Hopkins University's Applied Physics Lab, team member of the proposed Montgolfier balloon on NASA's flagship mission to Titan), Lockheed Martin's Ben Clark (early atmospheric probe designer), Joe Palaia (UAV tests to Devon Island, Canadian Arctic), Joel Levine, Langley Research Center's principal investigator for the Mars ARES (Aerial Regional Environmental Survey), and Andrew Ingersoll, planetary atmospheres expert at California Institute of Technology, among others.
There is much about Mercury that we still don’t understand. Accessible to the amateur, but also a handy state-of-the-art digest for students and researchers, the book shows how our knowledge of Mercury developed over the past century of ground-based, fly-by and orbital observations, and looks ahead at the mysteries remaining for future missions to explore.
The first section provides the background to sending a human mission to Mars. Analogies are made with early polar exploration and the expeditions of Shackleton, Amundsen, and Mawson. The interplanetary plans of the European Space Agency, NASA, and Russia are examined, including the possibility of one or more nations joining forces to send humans to Mars. Current mission architectures, such as NASA’s Constellation, ESA’s Aurora, and Ross Tierney’s DIRECT, are described and evaluated.
The next section looks at how humans will get to the Red Planet, beginning with the preparation of the crew. The author examines the various analogues to understand the problems Mars-bound astronauts will face. Additional chapters describe the transportation hardware necessary to launch 4-6 astronauts on an interplanetary trajectory to Mars, including the cutting edge engineering and design of life support systems required to protect crews for more than a year from the lethal radiation encountered in deep space. NASA’s current plan is to use standard chemical propulsion technology, but eventually Mars crews will take advantage of advanced propulsion concepts, such as the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket, ion drives and nuclear propulsion.
The interplanetary options for reaching Mars, as well as the major propulsive maneuvers required and the trajectories and energy requirements for manned and unmanned payloads, are reviewed . Another chapter addresses the daunting medical problems and available countermeasures for humans embarking on a mission to Mars: the insidious effects of radiation on the human body and the deleterious consequences of bone and muscle deconditioning. Crew selection will be considered, bearing in mind the strong possibility that they may not be able to return to Earth. Still another chapter describes the guidance, navigation, and control system architecture, as well as the lander design requirements and crew tasks and responsibilities required to touch down on the Red Planet.
Section 3 looks at the surface mission architectures. Seedhouse describes such problems as radiation, extreme temperatures, and construction challenges that will be encountered by colonists. He examines proposed concepts for transporting cargo and astronauts long distances across the Martian surface using magnetic levitation systems, permanent rail systems, and flying vehicles. In the penultimate chapter of the book, the author explains an adaptable and mobile exploration architecture that will enable long-term human exploration of Mars, perhaps making it the next space-based tourist location.
The author presents the observational methods needed to probe the spin-orbit angle, the relation between the stellar spin axis and planetary orbital axis. Measurements of the spin-orbit angle provide us a unique and valuable opportunity to understand the origin of close-in giant exoplanets, called "hot Jupiters".
The first method introduced involves observations of the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect (RM effect). The author points out the issues with the previous theoretical modeling of the RM effect and derives a new and improved theory. Applications of the new theory to observational data are also presented for a number of remarkable systems, and the author shows that the new theory minimizes the systematic errors by applying it to the observational data.
The author also describes another method for constraining the spin-orbit angle: by combining the measurements of stellar flux variations due to dark spots on the stellar surface, with the projected stellar rotational velocity measured via spectroscopy, the spin-orbit angles "along the line-of-sight" are constrained for the transiting exoplanetary systems reported by the Kepler space telescope.
The variety of extra-solar planets brings a wider angle to the issue: from scorching "hot jupiters'' to ocean worlds, exo-atmospheres explore many configurations unknown in the Solar System, such as iron clouds, silicate rains, extreme plate tectonics, and steam volcanoes. Exoplanetary atmospheres have recently become accessible to observations.
This book puts our own climate in the wider context of the trials and tribulations of planetary atmospheres. Based on cutting-edge research, it uses a grand tour of the atmospheres of other planets to shine a new light on our own atmosphere, and its relation with life.
Astronomy was a truly cosmopolitan field at the time, spanning across various disciplines, and the discovery of Pallas, a story completely told in these pages, exemplifies the excitement and drama of early 1800s astronomy. All the private correspondence about the study of Ceres and Pallas in 1802 is given here, which helps to contextualize and personalize the discovery.
The views from Titan’s Mayda Outpost are spectacular, but all is not well at the moon's remote science base. On the shore of a methane sea beneath glowering skies, atmospherics researcher Abigail Marco finds herself in the middle of murder, piracy and colleagues who seem to be seeing sea monsters and dead people from the past. On the Shores of Titan’s Farthest Sea provides thrills, excitement and mystery – couched in the latest science – on one of the Solar System’s most bizarre worlds, Saturn’s huge moon Titan.
"This riveting story, set against a plausibly well integrated interplanetary space, carries us along with its bright and interesting characters. We feel absolutely transported to a hauntingly beautiful and alien Titan through Carroll's masterful weaving of art and science." – Jani Radebaugh, Professor of Planetary Sciences, Titan dune expert, BYU
"It's a fun read! Really makes Titan come alive, literally..." – Astrophysicist and author Ralph Lorenz
"Michael Carroll's new novel "On the Shores of Titan's Farthest Sea" (Springer) is a gripping, good-vs-evil tale that sparkles with imagination. It's set on the shores of Kraken Mare, the vast methane sea found high in the northern latitudes of Saturn's moon, Titan, in a future when humanity has spread throughout the solar system. The villains are wicked, the heroes are scientists (Thanks, Mike!), the story is convincing, the dialogue snappy, and the scenery is right out of our catalog of findings on this cold, hazy and alien world.
If you fancy skipping forward 250 years and checking out how humankind might be navigating the very geography and landforms we have uncovered in our years touring Saturn, this book is for you!" --Carolyn Porco, leader of the Cassini Imaging Science team and the Director of the Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for Operations (CICLOPS) at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado
The goal was to better understand the survival of cometary materials (grains, molecules, free radicals, and atoms) from extrasolar sources (circumstellar shells and molecular clouds), their modifications in the solar nebula, and the effects of their properties on the formation and early physical and thermal evolution of the macroscopic bodies, the comet nuclei, in the various subnebulae. Closely associated is their transport into the outer solar system, the Kuiper belt and Oort cloud. The distinction between direct measurements, in situ or by remote sensing, of cometary material properties and properties derived from indirect means, deduced from laboratory studies and theoretical deductions, was emphasized with the aim to guide future investigations. The book is intended to serve as guide for researchers and graduate students working in the field of planetology and solar system exploration. It should also help to influence the planning of scientific strategies for the encounter of the Rosetta spacecraft with Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
Highlighted as a "Commemorative Edition" on the cover, this second edition will have a new Foreword by one of the original astronauts and a short extra section at the end previewing the prospect of a renewal of human exploration of the Moon. It will include new extra high quality graphics which are only now available and 32 pages of colour illustrations.
Space, whether we or our children live in it or on the Moon or Mars, will be important to all of us, not only to aerospace engineers and cosmologists, because of the new opportunities for freedom and limitless growth it offers. Our continued prosperity and survival as a species will in part depend upon space exploration and the resources it provides for our industrial societies and for the markets it will create. The expansion of Earth’s success in science and culture to the Moon, then Mars, and eventually the Solar System, can only strengthen mankind’s core positive achievements: democracy, individual rights and equal opportunities for all. The significant topic of returning to the Moon, this time to stay, is a central part of space exploration.
Concepts for lunar base structures have been proposed since long before the dawn of the space age. Suggestions made during the last 25 years are likely to form the pool from which eventual lunar base designs will evolve. Studies have intensified, both within NASA and outside national governments in industry and academe, since the days of the Apollo program, when it appeared likely that the Moon would become a second home to humans. Since then, science on the Moon, the economics of lunar development, and human physiology in space and on planetary bodies, as well as related policy issues have been studied as they are all needed to plant Man on the Moon in a sustainable and viable way.
Economics and politics will play a heavy if not deciding role in space and lunar settlement. The issues of pollution and related environmental matters, the question of ownership, and how these affect the investor communities, including governments, will be considered. Human exploration and colonization of the Moon and the planets appears far off but it is important to discuss the safeguarding of the integrity of these planetary bodies in advance of the economic development that will be explosive once it begins. For purposes of discussion, it will be assumed that by the year 2050 there will be a well-developed human colony of many hundreds of people on the Moon, created by several democratic Earth governments in partnership with numerous industrial concerns. Its purpose will be to learn survival on a non-terrestrial body naturally hostile to human life and to explore and use the resources of the Moon, leading eventually to self-sufficient large lunar cities that will survive economically by exporting lunar minerals and finished products to Earth, and by servicing transportation, both commercial and military, between Earth and emerging settlements on Mars, its moons, as well as early mining activity on the asteroids and the moons of the gas giants of the outer solar system.
And How Big Science Gets Done . . .
The second-outward of Jupiter's four major moons, Europa is covered with ice, as confirmed in views from modern telescopes and the thousands of images returned by NASA's Voyager and Galileo missions. But these higher-resolution views also showed that the ice is anything but smooth. In fact, Europa's surface is covered with vast criss-crossing systems of mountain-sized ridges, jumbled regions of seemingly chaotic terrain, and patches that suggest upwellings of new surface materials from below. How scientists think about the underlying forces that shaped this incredibly complex, bizarre, and beautiful surface is the subject of this book.
In Unmasking Europa, Richard Greenberg tells the story of how he and his team of researchers came to believe that the surface of Europa is in fact a crust so thin that it can barely hide an ocean of liquid water below. He shows how the ocean is warmed by the friction of tidal movements in this small moon as it orbits around immense Jupiter. The implications of this interpretation- which includes the idea that there are active intermittent openings from the liquid ocean to the frozen surface- are immense. The warmth, the chemistry, and the connections from ocean to surface provide the conditions necessary for the existence of life, even at this relatively remote locale in our solar system, far beyond what's normally thought of as its 'habitable zone.'
Unmasking Europa describes in clear but technically sophisticated terms- and with extensive illustrations (including more than 100 NASA images)- the remarkable history of research on Europa over the last four decades. The book also provides unique insights into how "big science" gets done today, and it is not always a pretty picture. From his perspective as professor of Planetary Science at the University of Arizona, and a quarter century-long membership on the Imaging Team for NASA's Galileo mission, Greenberg describes how personal agendas (including his own) and political maneuvering (in which he received an education by fire) determined a lot about the funding, staffing, and even the direction of the research about Europa.
While he is satisfied that his team's work is now, finally, receiving fair consideration and even respect, Greenberg comes away from his experience feeling that something is fundamentally wrong with the scientific enterprise as a whole because it routinely punishes innovation, risk-taking thought, and willingness to simply let the evidence lead where it may. In today's scientific environment with its careerist pressures and peer-reviewed propriety, Greenberg believes, astute scientists (and sadly many of our youngest and brightest) quickly realize that it is more rewarding in very practical ways to stay within the mainstream- a tendency that by its very nature is at odds with the ideals of scientific research and thought.
The author concentrates on planetary systems beyond our own but starts with life on Earth, which is the only life we know to exist, and which provides guidance on how best to search for life elsewhere. Planets are the most likely abode of life and so we start the quest with the search for planets beyond the Solar System – exoplanets. The methods of searching are outlined and the nature of hundreds of exoplanetary systems so far discovered described. In the near future we expect to discover habitable Earth-like planets. But are they actually inhabited? How could we tell? All will be revealed.
This full color book is written for everybody who wants to stay in close contact with the latest on possible life on other planets.
Dr. Kanas has presented talks on space psychology and on celestial mapping at several regional and Worldcon science fiction conventions. A Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society (London), he has been an amateur astronomer for over 50 years and is an avid reader of science fiction. He is also the author of two non-fiction books (Star Maps: History, Artistry, and Cartography and Solar System Maps: From Antiquity to the Space Age) and two science fiction novels (The New Martians andThe Protos Mandate), all published by Springer.
Jack is sent to investigate the voids in the Solar System and intercept the planetoid - which, as becomes increasingly clear, is inhabited by alien life forms. Jack and his crew will have little time to understand their alien biochemistry, abilities, behavior patterns, resilience, and technology, but also how these life forms relate to the voids.
Humankind's first encounter with these exotic life forms couldn't be more fateful, becoming a race against time to save life on Earth and to reveal the true nature of the voids, which seem to be intrinsically related to life and the universe itself. In this novel, the author combines many topics related to state-of-the-art research in the field of astrobiology with fictional elements to produce a thrilling page turner.
This new version significantly develops the astrobiological denouement of the plot and features an extensive non-technical appendix where the underlying science is presented and discussed.
From the reviews of the first edition (Voids of Eternity: Alien Encounter)
Here's a thrilling yarn in the best "hard SF" tradition of Asimov, James Hogan, and Ben Bova, written by a scientist who knows all about the possibilities of life in the solar system and beyond. Dirk Schulze-Makuch weaves into his book all the astrobiological themes he's worked on in recent years -- speculation about creatures in the atmosphere of Venus and on and under the surface of Mars and Titan -- together with some well-informed Eastern philosophy and a cracking good space battle. A great first novel from a rising talent. Highly recommended. David Darling, on amazon.com, 2009The research interests of Dr. Schulze-Makuch, currently a professor at Washington State University, focus on evolutionary adaptation strategies of organisms in their natural environment, particularly extreme environments such as found on other planetary bodies. Dirk Schulze-Makuch is best known for his publications on extraterrestrial life, being coauthor of three books on the topic: We Are Not Alone: Why We Have Already Found Extraterrestrial Life (2010), Cosmic Biology: How Life could Evolve on Other Worlds (2010), and Life in the Universe: Expectations and Constraints (2004). In 2011 he published with Paul Davies A One Way Mission to Mars: Colonizing the Red Planet and in 2012 with David Darling Megacatastrophes! Nine Strange Ways the World Could End.
The Huygens craft, released by Cassini, parachuted through the clouds of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, in January 2005. David Harland tells the exciting story of the this craft’s journey to the surface of one of the most enigmatic bodies on the Solar System, the only moon to have a dense atmosphere and possibly lakes of liquid gas at -190oC on its surface. Titan is considered to be an early Earth in deep freeze, possibly with the building blocks of life in its atmosphere. There will undoubtedly be enormous interest in the first results and images of Titan’s surface, and this book is the first incisive summary of this groundbreaking material.
Vesta was a lightning rod for controversy throughout the nineteenth century with observers arguing over its size and color, and the astounding notion that it was self-luminous. It was also a major force for change, as new methods in the field of celestial mechanics were developed to study the orbital perturbations it is subject to. A large selection of private correspondence and scientific papers complete the first comprehensive historical study of Vesta ever published.
With a synoptic look at the four asteroids, Ceres, Pallas, Juno and Vesta, Cunningham provides a valuable resource on asteroid origins and explains how they were integrated into the newly revealed solar system of the early nineteenth century.