Weird Worlds: Bizarre Bodies of the Solar System and Beyond

Springer Science & Business Media
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“Weird Worlds” is the third book in David Seargent’s “Weird” series. This book assumes a basic level of astronomical understanding and concentrates on the “odd and interesting” aspects of planetary bodies, including asteroids and moons. From our viewpoint here on Earth, this work features the most unusual features of these worlds and the ways in which they appear “weird” to us. Within our own Solar System, odd facts such as the apparent reversal of the Sun in the skies of Mercury, CO2-driven fountains of dust on Mars, possible liquid water (and perhaps primitive life!) deep within the dwarf planet Ceres, and a variety of odd facts about the planetary moons are all discussed. A special chapter is devoted to Saturn’s giant moon Titan, and its methane-based weather system and “hydrological” cycle. This chapter also includes recent speculation on the possibility of methane-based organisms and the form that these might take, if they really do exist. Beyond our Solar System, the book looks at the range of worlds discovered and hypothesized.

In “Weird Worlds,” the author discusses planets where temperatures are so high that it rains molten iron, and others so cold that liquid methane floods across plains of ice! Worlds are described where the lightest element acts like a metal and where winds blow at thousands of miles per hour – as well as possible planets whose orbits are essentially parabolic.

In keeping with previous titles in David Seargent’s “Weird” series, “Weird Worlds” contains several projects that astronomers of all levels can undertake.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Springer Science & Business Media
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Published on
Apr 18, 2013
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Pages
309
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ISBN
9781461470649
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Language
English
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Genres
Nature / Sky Observation
Science / Astronomy
Science / Earth Sciences / Geology
Science / Physics / Astrophysics
Technology & Engineering / Aeronautics & Astronautics
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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This book is, in a sense, a sequel to David Seargent's first Springer book Weird Astronomy (2010). Whereas Weird Astronomy extended over a broad range of purely astronomical topics, the present work concentrates on phenomena closer to home; the atmospheric and "shallow space" events as opposed to deep space events. The line between astronomy and meteorology is blurred - a fact that is discussed in Weird Weather. It is not primarily a book of "wonders" or of the unexplained, although some of the topics covered remain mysteries. It is primarily directed toward those who are fascinated by climate and weather, and who are open-minded when considering Earth's climate, what drives it, and what are the causes of climate change. The author, David A. J. Seargent, presents the facts with a balanced and scientific approach.

Weird Weather: Tales of Astronomical and Atmospheric Anomalies is about strange, unusual, and apparently inexplicable observations of the air and sky. Primarily these are in the Earth's atmosphere, but there are corresponding phenomena in the atmospheres of other planets of the Solar System - lightning on Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn, whirlwinds and dust storms of Mars, and auroras on Jupiter. Topics include anomalous lights, anomalous sounds, spectacular effects of cloud illumination by the Sun or Moon, lightning phenomena, electrophonic sounds of lightning, aurora and meteors, tornado and whirlwind phenomena on Earth and Mars, usual atmospheric effects, mirages, and the possible astronomical influences on cloud and climate.

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