A stunning, personal memoir from the astronaut and modern-day hero who spent a record-breaking year aboard the International Space Station—a message of hope for the future that will inspire for generations to come.
The veteran of four spaceflights and the American record holder for consecutive days spent in space, Scott Kelly has experienced things very few have. Now, he takes us inside a sphere utterly hostile to human life. He describes navigating the extreme challenge of long-term spaceflight, both life-threatening and mundane: the devastating effects on the body; the isolation from everyone he loves and the comforts of Earth; the catastrophic risks of colliding with space junk; and the still more haunting threat of being unable to help should tragedy strike at home--an agonizing situation Kelly faced when, on a previous mission, his twin brother's wife, American Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, was shot while he still had two months in space.
Kelly's humanity, compassion, humor, and determination resonate throughout, as he recalls his rough-and-tumble New Jersey childhood and the youthful inspiration that sparked his astounding career, and as he makes clear his belief that Mars will be the next, ultimately challenging, step in spaceflight.
In Endurance, we see the triumph of the human imagination, the strength of the human will, and the infinite wonder of the galaxy.
Experience the cosmos as never before with Brian Cox’s Wonders of the Universe, a gorgeously illustrated, full-color companion to his wildly popular miniseries on the Discovery Channel and BBC. Breathtaking images brighten Cox’s enthralling exploration of the fascinating science and overwhelming majesty of natural phenomena from ocean currents to black holes. Cox, called “Carl Sagan with a Britpop haircut” by the Los Angeles Times, follows in the footsteps of Stephen Hawking and Brian Greene in this riveting and dynamic tour through the Wonders of the Universe.
America’s space program is at a turning point. After decades of global primacy, NASA has ended the space-shuttle program, cutting off its access to space. No astronauts will be launched in an American craft, from American soil, until the 2020s, and NASA may soon find itself eclipsed by other countries’ space programs.
With his signature wit and thought-provoking insights, Neil deGrasse Tyson—one of our foremost thinkers on all things space—illuminates the past, present, and future of space exploration and brilliantly reminds us why NASA matters now as much as ever. As Tyson reveals, exploring the space frontier can profoundly enrich many aspects of our daily lives, from education systems and the economy to national security and morale. For America to maintain its status as a global leader and a technological innovator, he explains, we must regain our enthusiasm and curiosity about what lies beyond our world.
Provocative, humorous, and wonderfully readable, Space Chronicles represents the best of Tyson’s recent commentary, including a must-read prologue on NASA and partisan politics. Reflecting on topics that range from scientific literacy to space-travel missteps, Tyson gives us an urgent, clear-eyed, and ultimately inspiring vision for the future.
The authors outline how their positions have further diverged on a number of key issues, including the spatial geometry of the universe, inflationary versus cyclic theories of the cosmos, and the black-hole information-loss paradox. Though much progress has been made, Hawking and Penrose stress that physicists still have further to go in their quest for a quantum theory of gravity.
There's no better short book that explains just what Einstein did than Einstein's Cosmos. Keying Einstein's crucial discoveries to the simple mental images that inspired them, Michio Kaku finds a revealing new way to discuss his ideas, and delivers an appealing and always accessible introduction to Einstein's work.
Statistics, Data Mining, and Machine Learning in Astronomy presents a wealth of practical analysis problems, evaluates techniques for solving them, and explains how to use various approaches for different types and sizes of data sets. For all applications described in the book, Python code and example data sets are provided. The supporting data sets have been carefully selected from contemporary astronomical surveys (for example, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey) and are easy to download and use. The accompanying Python code is publicly available, well documented, and follows uniform coding standards. Together, the data sets and code enable readers to reproduce all the figures and examples, evaluate the methods, and adapt them to their own fields of interest.
Describes the most useful statistical and data-mining methods for extracting knowledge from huge and complex astronomical data sets
Features real-world data sets from contemporary astronomical surveys
Uses a freely available Python codebase throughout
Ideal for students and working astronomers
From the Trade Paperback edition.
‘Engaging, ambitious and creative’ Guardian
Where are we? Are we alone? Who are we? Why are we here? What is our future?
Human Universe tackles some of the greatest questions that humans have asked to try and understand the very nature of ourselves and the Universe in which we live.
Through the endless leaps of human minds, it explores the extraordinary depth of our knowledge today and where our curiosity may lead us in the future. With groundbreaking insight it reveals how time, physics and chemistry came together to create a creature that can wonder at its own existence, blessed with an unquenchable thirst to discover not just where it came from, but how it can think, where it is going and if it is alone.
Accompanies the acclaimed BBC TV series.
In Neil de Grasse Tyson's delightful tour of the galaxies, his fictional character Merlin responds to popular astronomy questions asked by adults and children alike. Merlin, a visitor from Planet Omniscia in the Andromeda Galaxy, has been friends with many of the most important scientific figures of the past, including da Vinci, Magellan, Doppler, Einstein, and Hubble—and he often recounts his conversations with these historical figures in his explanations. Merlin's illuminating answers feature a unique combination of wit and poetry along with serious science explained in refreshingly clear, reader-friendly language.
Dear Merlin: Can a person cross our galaxy in a spaceship during one human lifespan?
Merlin: In 1905, Merlin's good friend Albert Einstein introduced the "Special Theory of Relativity," which predicts that time will tick slower and slower the faster you travel. Were you to embark on such an adventure you could conceivably age as little as you wish, depending of course, on your exact speed. The problem arises when you return to Earth, which will have moved several hundred thousand years into the future and everyone will have forgotten about you.
A timeless book for lovers of the universe by one of its greatest lights.
"Bad Astronomy is just plain good! Philip Plait clears up everymisconception on astronomy and space you never knew you sufferedfrom." --Stephen Maran, Author of Astronomy for Dummies and editorof The Astronomy and Astrophysics Encyclopedia
"Thank the cosmos for the bundle of star stuff named Philip Plait,who is the world s leading consumer advocate for quality science inspace and on Earth. This important contribution to science willrest firmly on my reference library shelf, ready for easy accessthe next time an astrologer calls." --Dr. Michael Shermer,Publisher of Skeptic magazine, monthly columnist for ScientificAmerican, and author of The Borderlands of Science
"Philip Plait has given us a readable, erudite, informative,useful, and entertaining book. Bad Astronomy is Good Science. Verygood science..." --James "The Amazing" Randi, President, JamesRandi Educational Foundation, and author of An Encyclopedia ofClaims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural
"Bad Astronomy is a fun read. Plait is wonderfully witty andeducational as he debunks the myths, legends, and 'conspiraciesthat abound in our society. 'The Truth Is Out There' and it's inthis book. I loved it!" --Mike Mullane, Space Shuttle astronaut andauthor of Do Your Ears Pop in Space?
In The Universe, today's most influential science writers explain the science behind our evolving understanding of the universe and everything in it, including the cutting edge research and discoveries that are shaping our knowledge.
Lee Smolin reveals how math and cosmology are helping us create a theory of the whole universe. Benoit Mandelbrot looks back on a career devoted to fractal geometry. Neil Turok analyzes the fundamental laws of nature, what came before the big bang, and the possibility of a unified theory.
Seth Lloyd investigates the impact of computational revolutions and the informational revolution. Lawrence Krauss provides fresh insight into gravity, dark matter, and the energy of empty space. Brian Greene and Walter Isaacson illuminate the genius who revolutionized modern science: Albert Einstein. And much more.
Explore the universe with some of today's greatest minds: what it is, how it came into being, and what may happen next.
A heartfelt and personal journey filled with both humor and drama, How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming is the book for anyone, young or old, who has ever imagined exploring the universe—and who among us hasn’t?
In what will surely become one of the most provocative books ever written on the possibilities of life elsewhere in the universe, the incomparable Isaac Asimov provides chilling, hopeful, and exciting new insights. Here is astounding speculation about where the next giant step for mankind will take us. . . .
Praise for Extraterrestrial Civilizations
“[Isaac] Asimov holds our attention as he builds a meticulous case. We are not alone. It’s just a matter of time until we know for sure.”—Miami Herald
A brilliant book about modern physics, quantum mechanics, the fate of stars and the deep mysteries of black holes, Leonard Susskind's account of the Black Hole War is mind-bending and exhilarating reading.
Lisle designed Stargazer's Guide to the Night Sky for everyone from young students to amateur astronomers. In it you will:Learn the best ways and optimal times to observe planets and stars Discover how to choose the best telescope for you Find 150 stunning, full-color star-charts and other easy to use illustrations for success
“How do phases of the moon work? When will the next solar eclipse take place? What is that bright star setting in the west? How do I find Saturn? What sorts of objects can be seen with binoculars?” These questions and many more are easily answered with the helpful tips and basic understanding of astronomy presented in this book.
Create or expand the hobby of stargazing; an outdoor, educational hobby to enjoy with friends or family. Regardless of your circumstances and the economy, you will always be able to marvel at the beauty of our night sky.
For the first time, a former member of MI6 reveals her conversation with Neil Armstrong at a NASA conference, when she confirmed that there were “other” spacecraft on the moon when Apollo 11 landed in 1969. Armstrong also confirmed that the CIA was behind the cover-up.
In a further admission in December 2012, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev revealed “the president of Russia is given a special top secret folder [that] in its entirety contains information about aliens who have visited our planet. Along with this, the president is given a report of the Special Service that exercises control over aliens in our country. I will not tell you how many of them are among us because it may cause panic.”
In this companion volume to Merlin's Tour of the Universe, Neil de Grasse Tyson presents a completely new collection of questions and answers about the cosmos for stargazers of all ages. Whether waxing about Earth and its environs, the Sun and its stellar siblings, the world of light, physical laws, or galaxies near and far, Merlin--a fictional visitor from Planet Omniscia and our guide to the universe--is easy to understand, often humorous, and always entertaining.
Merlin fields a wide range of questions from many curious mortals, and in so doing draws on his own vast knowledge as well as the expertise of many close friends, including Archimedes, Galileo, Einstein, and Santa. Merlin hasn't been stumped yet, responding to questions including:
If aliens exploded our moon, what effect would it have on us?
What are your thoughts on the theory that a star named Nemesis is circling our solar system and was responsible for killing off the dinosaurs?
Is it true that if I leave a container on my roof for a period of time, I can actually collect space particles from outer space?
Delightfully illustrated throughout, Just Visiting This Planet is a timeless book for lovers of the universe by one of its brightest lights.
The shattering report that stunned the world's top leaders now available to the public!
Are UFOs in our midst? The evidence mounts....
1952. UFO squadrons over Washington, D.C. Tracked on radar. Visual sightings by military. Verdict: "Unexplainable."
1976. UFO dogfight with F-4 Phantom II jets over Tehran. Weapons "jammed." Radar/visual confirmation. Verdict: "Unavailable: Top Secret."
1981. UFO lands in Trans-en-Provence. Investigated by French police. Soil samples analyzed. Verdict: "UFO. No hoax."
Compiled here are the most compelling and authenticated UFO cases ever recorded. Fresh from the government's secret files, spanning over a half century of eyewitness testimony, documented sightings, and unexplained phenomena, this groundbreaking compilation presents the chilling evidence that UFOs are real--and that a government cover-up has long suppressed the stunning truth.
Complete with excerpts from official transcripts, diagrams, and photos, UFO Briefing Document, funded by Laurance Rockefeller and presented to Congress, contains critical information the public has a right to know....now, before it is too late.
From the Paperback edition.
It sounds like science fiction, but Stephen Petranek considers it fact: Within twenty years, humans will live on Mars. We’ll need to. In this sweeping, provocative book that mixes business, science, and human reporting, Petranek makes the case that living on Mars is an essential back-up plan for humanity and explains in fascinating detail just how it will happen.
The race is on. Private companies, driven by iconoclastic entrepreneurs, such as Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Paul Allen, and Sir Richard Branson; Dutch reality show and space mission Mars One; NASA; and the Chinese government are among the many groups competing to plant the first stake on Mars and open the door for human habitation. Why go to Mars? Life on Mars has potential life-saving possibilities for everyone on earth. Depleting water supplies, overwhelming climate change, and a host of other disasters—from terrorist attacks to meteor strikes—all loom large. We must become a space-faring species to survive. We have the technology not only to get humans to Mars, but to convert Mars into another habitable planet. It will likely take 300 years to “terraform” Mars, as the jargon goes, but we can turn it into a veritable second Garden of Eden. And we can live there, in specially designed habitations, within the next twenty years.
In this exciting chronicle, Petranek introduces the circus of lively characters all engaged in a dramatic effort to be the first to settle the Red Planet. How We’ll Live on Mars brings firsthand reporting, interviews with key participants, and extensive research to bear on the question of how we can expect to see life on Mars within the next twenty years.
Regarded as a masterpiece today, 2001: A Space Odyssey received mixed reviews on its 1968 release. Despite the success of Dr. Strangelove, director Stanley Kubrick wasn’t yet recognized as a great filmmaker, and 2001 was radically innovative, with little dialogue and no strong central character. Although some leading critics slammed the film as incomprehensible and self-indulgent, the public lined up to see it. 2001’s resounding commercial success launched the genre of big-budget science fiction spectaculars. Such directors as George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Ridley Scott, and James Cameron have acknowledged its profound influence.
Author Michael Benson explains how 2001 was made, telling the story primarily through the two people most responsible for the film, Kubrick and science fiction legend Arthur C. Clarke. Benson interviewed Clarke many times, and has also spoken at length with Kubrick’s widow, Christiane; with visual effects supervisor Doug Trumbull; with Dan Richter, who played 2001’s leading man-ape; and many others.
A colorful nonfiction narrative packed with memorable characters and remarkable incidents, Space Odyssey provides a 360-degree view of this extraordinary work, tracking the film from Kubrick and Clarke’s first meeting in New York in 1964 through its UK production from 1965-1968, during which some of the most complex sets ever made were merged with visual effects so innovative that they scarcely seem dated today. A concluding chapter examines the film’s legacy as it grew into it current justifiably exalted status.
Universe provides a tour of the cosmos, covering our solar system, the Milky Way, and galaxies beyond our own. With information on the nature of the universe, the study of cosmology, Earth's motion, modern telescopes, and astrophotography, this groundbreaking encyclopedia is a must-have for both students and astronomy enthusiasts.
Includes a comprehensive star atlas with entries on each of the 88 constellations and notable celestial objects that lie within them, and a monthly sky guide showing the night sky as it appears throughout the year.
Richard Preston's name became a household word with The Hot Zone, which sold nearly 800,000 copies in hardcover, was on The New York Times's bestseller list for 42 weeks, and was the subject of countless magazine and newspaper articles. Preston has become a sought-after commentator on popular science subjects.
A breathtaking and beautiful exploration of our planet, this groundbreaking book accompanies the BBC One TV series, providing the deepest answers to the simplest questions.
Recommended for viewing on a colour tablet.
‘What is motion?’
‘Why is every snowflake different?’
‘Why is life symmetrical?’
To answer these and many other questions, Professor Brian Cox uncovers some of the most extraordinary natural events on Earth and in the Universe and beyond.
From the immensity of the Universe and the roundness of Earth to the form of every single snowflake, the forces of nature shape everything we see. Pushed to extremes, the results are astonishing. In seeking to understand the everyday world, the colours, structure, behaviour and history of our home, we develop the knowledge and techniques necessary to step beyond the everyday and approach the Universe beyond.
Forces of Nature takes you to the great plains of the Serengeti, the volcanoes of Indonesia and the precipitous cliffs in Nepal, to the humpback whales of the Caribbean and the northern lights of the Arctic. Brian will answer questions on Earth that will illuminate our understanding of the Universe.
Think you know our planet?
On July 14, 2015, something amazing happened. More than 3 billion miles from Earth, a small NASA spacecraft called New Horizons screamed past Pluto at more than 32,000 miles per hour, focusing its instruments on the long mysterious icy worlds of the Pluto system, and then, just as quickly, continued on its journey out into the beyond.
Nothing like this has occurred in a generation—a raw exploration of new worlds unparalleled since NASA’s Voyager missions to Uranus and Neptune—and nothing quite like it is planned to happen ever again. The photos that New Horizons sent back to Earth graced the front pages of newspapers on all 7 continents, and NASA’s website for the mission received more than 2 billion hits in the days surrounding the flyby. At a time when so many think that our most historic achievements are in the past, the most distant planetary exploration ever attempted not only succeeded in 2015 but made history and captured the world’s imagination.
How did this happen? Chasing New Horizons is the story of the men and women behind this amazing mission: of their decades-long commitment and persistence; of the political fights within and outside of NASA; of the sheer human ingenuity it took to design, build, and fly the mission; and of the plans for New Horizons’ next encounter, 1 billion miles past Pluto in 2019. Told from the insider’s perspective of mission leader Dr. Alan Stern and others on New Horizons, and including two stunning 16-page full-color inserts of images, Chasing New Horizons is a riveting account of scientific discovery, and of how much we humans can achieve when people focused on a dream work together toward their incredible goal.
In Belgium, an Air Force colonel investigates a series of widespread sightings of unidentified triangular objects, and he sends F-16s to attempt a closer look. Many hundreds of eyewitnesses, including on-duty police officers, file reports, and a spectacular photograph of an unidentifiable craft is retrieved and analyzed.
Here at home, a retired chief of the FAA’s Accidents and Investigations Division reveals the agency’s response to a thirty-minute encounter between an aircraft and a gigantic UFO over Alaska, which occurred during his watch and is documented on radar.
Now all three of these distinguished men have written breathtaking, firsthand accounts about these extraordinary incidents. They are joined by Air Force generals and a host of high-level sources—including Fife Symington III, former governor of Arizona, and Nick Pope, former head of the British Defence Ministry’s UFO Investigative Unit—who have agreed to write their own detailed, personal stories about UFO encounters and investigations for the first time.
They are coming forward now because of Leslie Kean, an investigative reporter who has spent the last ten years studying the still unexplained UFO phenomenon. Kean reviewed hundreds of government documents, aviation reports, radar data, and case studies with corroborating physical evidence. She carefully examined scientifically analyzed photographs and interviewed dozens of high-level officials and aviation witnesses from around the world. With the support of former White House chief of staff John Podesta, Kean draws on her research to separate fact from fiction and to lift the veil on decades of U.S. government misinformation. Throughout, she presents irrefutable evidence that unknown flying objects—metallic, luminous, and seemingly able to maneuver in ways that defy the laws of physics—actually exist.
No one yet knows what these objects are, even though they affect aviation safety and possibly national security. The phenomenon has been officially acknowledged by numerous foreign governments. For these reasons and many others, Kean concludes that the UFO problem must be more widely recognized and ultimately solved through an unbiased scientific investigation. The material presented throughout this landmark book is sobering, unflinching, and undeniably awe-inspiring, and moves us toward a goal of properly addressing this worldwide mystery.
From the Hardcover edition.
On New Years Day in 1925, a young Edwin Hubble released his finding that our Universe was far bigger, eventually measured as a thousand trillion times larger than previously believed. Hubble’s proclamation sent shock waves through the scientific community. Six years later, in a series of meetings at Mount Wilson Observatory, Hubble and others convinced Albert Einstein that the Universe was not static but in fact expanding. Here Marcia Bartusiak reveals the key players, battles of will, clever insights, incredible technology, ground-breaking research, and wrong turns made by the early investigators of the heavens as they raced to uncover what many consider one of most significant discoveries in scientific history.
From planets and stars to black holes and the Big Bang, take a journey through the wonders of the universe. Featuring topics from the Copernican Revolution to the mind-boggling theories of recent science, The Astronomy Book uses flowcharts, graphics, and illustrations to help clarify hard-to-grasp concepts and explain almost 100 big astronomical ideas. Covering the biographies of key astronomers through the ages such as Ptolemy, Galileo, Newton, Hubble, and Hawking, The Astronomy Book details their theories and discoveries in a user-friendly format to make the information accessible and easy to follow.
Light of the Stars tells the story of humanity’s coming of age as we awaken to the possibilities of life on other worlds and their sudden relevance to our fate on Earth. Astrophysicist Adam Frank traces the question of alien life and intelligence from the ancient Greeks to the leading thinkers of our own time, and shows how we as a civilization can only hope to survive climate change if we recognize what science has recently discovered: that we are just one of ten billion trillion planets in the Universe, and it’s highly likely that many of those planets hosted technologically advanced alien civilizations. What’s more, each of those civilizations must have faced the same challenge of civilization-driven climate change.
Written with great clarity and conviction, Light of the Stars builds on the inspiring work of pioneering scientists such as Frank Drake and Carl Sagan, whose work at the dawn of the space age began building the new science of astrobiology; Jack James, the Texas-born engineer who drove NASA’s first planetary missions to success; Vladimir Vernadsky, the Russian geochemist who first envisioned the Earth’s biosphere; and James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis, who invented Gaia theory. Frank recounts the perilous journey NASA undertook across millions of miles of deep space to get its probes to Venus and Mars, yielding our first view of the cosmic laws of planets and climate that changed our understanding of our place in the universe.
Thrilling science at the grandest of scales, Light of the Stars explores what may be the largest question of all: What can the likely presence of life on other worlds tell us about our own fate?
Voyager 1 left the solar system in 2012; its sister craft, Voyager 2, did so in 2015. The fantastic journey began in 1977, before the first episode of Cosmos aired. The mission was planned as a grand tour beyond the moon; beyond Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune; and maybe even into interstellar space. The fact that it actually happened makes this humanity’s greatest space mission.
In The Interstellar Age, award-winning planetary scientist Jim Bell reveals what drove and continues to drive the members of this extraordinary team, including Ed Stone, Voyager’s chief scientist and the one-time head of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab; Charley Kohlhase, an orbital dynamics engineer who helped to design many of the critical slingshot maneuvers around planets that enabled the Voyagers to travel so far; and the geologist whose Earth-bound experience would prove of little help in interpreting the strange new landscapes revealed in the Voyagers’ astoundingly clear images of moons and planets.
Speeding through space at a mind-bending eleven miles a second, Voyager 1 is now beyond our solar system's planets. It carries with it artifacts of human civilization. By the time Voyager passes its first star in about 40,000 years, the gold record on the spacecraft, containing various music and images including Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode,” will still be playable.
*An ALA Notable Book of 2015*
The Lost Ark of the Covenant is one of the great historical mysteries of all time. To believers, the Ark is the legendary vessel holding the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments. The Bible contains hundreds of references to the Ark's power to level mountains, destroy armies, and lay waste to cities. The Ark itself, however, mysteriously disappears from recorded history sometime after the building of the Temple of Solomon.
After ten years of searching through the dusty archives of Europe and the Middle East, as well as braving the real-life dangers of a bloody civil war in Ethiopia, Graham Hancock has succeeded where scores of others have failed. This intrepid journalist tracked down the true story behind the myths and legends--revealing where the Ark is today, how it got there, and why it remains hidden.
Part fascinating scholarship and part entertaining adventure yarn, tying together some of the most intriguing tales of all time--from the Knights Templar and Prester John to Parsival and the Holy Grail--this book will appeal to anyone fascinated by the revelation of hidden truths, the discovery of secret mysteries.
In this vibrant, eye-opening tour of milestones in the history of our universe, Chris Impey guides us through space and time, leading us from the familiar sights of the night sky to the dazzlingly strange aftermath of the Big Bang.
What if we could look into space and see not only our place in the universe but also how we came to be here? As it happens, we can. Because it takes time for light to travel, we see more and more distant regions of the universe as they were in the successively greater past. Impey uses this concept—"look-back time"—to take us on an intergalactic tour that is simultaneously out in space and back in time. Performing a type of cosmic archaeology, Impey brilliantly describes the astronomical clues that scientists have used to solve fascinating mysteries about the origins and development of our universe.
The milestones on this journey range from the nearby to the remote: we travel from the Moon, Jupiter, and the black hole at the heart of our galaxy all the way to the first star, the first ray of light, and even the strange, roiling conditions of the infant universe, an intense and volatile environment in which matter was created from pure energy. Impey gives us breathtaking visual descriptions and also explains what each landmark can reveal about the universe and its history. His lucid, wonderfully engaging scientific discussions bring us to the brink of modern cosmology and physics, illuminating such mind-bending concepts as invisible dimensions, timelessness, and multiple universes.
A dynamic and unforgettable portrait of the cosmos, How It Began will reward its readers with a deeper understanding of the universe we inhabit as well as a renewed sense of wonder at its beauty and mystery.