The Planets

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‘Absolutely beautiful’ BBC One Show

‘Really impressive’ Eamonn Holmes, ITV This Morning

A companion book to the critically acclaimed BBC series.

The bestselling authors of Wonders of the Universe are back with another blockbuster, a groundbreaking exploration of our Solar System as it has never been seen before.

Mercury, a lifeless victim of the Sun’s expanding power. Venus, once thought to be lush and fertile, now known to be trapped within a toxic and boiling atmosphere. Mars, the red planet, doomed by the loss of its atmosphere. Jupiter, twice the size of all the other planets combined, but insubstantial. Saturn, a stunning celestial beauty, the jewel of our Solar System. Uranus, the sideways planet and the first ice giant. Neptune, dark, cold and whipped by supersonic winds. Pluto, the dwarf planet, a frozen rock.

Andrew Cohen and Professor Brian Cox take readers on a voyage of discovery, from the fiery heart of our Solar System, to its mysterious outer reaches. They touch on the latest discoveries that have expanded our knowledge of the planets, their moons and how they come to be, alongside recent stunning and mind-boggling NASA photography.

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About the author

Professor Brian Cox, OBE is a particle physicist, a Royal Society research fellow, and a professor at the University of Manchester as well as researcher on one of the most ambitious experiments on Earth, the ATLAS experiment on the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. He is best known to the public as a science broadcaster and presenter of the popular BBC Wonders trilogy, Human Universe, Forces of Nature and Stargazing Live.

Andrew Cohen is Head of the BBC Science Unit and the Executive Producer of the BBC series Planets. He has been responsible for a wide range of science documentaries, including the Wonders trilogy, Human Universe, Forces of Nature and Stargazing Live. He lives in London with his wife and three children.

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Additional Information

Publisher
HarperCollins UK
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Published on
May 23, 2019
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9780008313470
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Science / Astronomy
Science / Cosmology
Science / General
Science / Physics / Astrophysics
Science / Space Science
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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The book begins with a historical review of four major theories for the origin of the Solar System in particular, or of planets in general, which highlight the major problems that need to be solved by any plausible theory. In many theories, including that which form the major theme of this book, the formation of planets and stars is intimately linked, so four chapters are devoted to the processes that can be described as the birth, life and death of stars.Recent observations that have revealed the existence of planets around many Sun-like stars are described in detail, followed by a clear exposition of the Capture Theory for the origin of planets. Many aspects of this theory are illustrated with sophisticated computer modelling that convincingly demonstrates the plausibility of the theory. The Capture Theory is in complete accord with all observations, including the estimate it gives for the proportion of Sun-like stars with planets. It is the only theory that sits comfortably with all present observational and theoretical constraints.The general theory of planet formation does not explain the detailed structure of the Solar System. An early postulated collision of two major planets is shown to explain many disparate features of the Solar System — the nature of the terrestrial planets, surface features of the Moon and its relationship with Earth, asteroids, comets and dwarf planets, the relationship between Neptune, Triton and Pluto and the characteristics of meteorites, including the isotopic anomalies found in them. The postulate of a planetary collision is given support by a 2009 NASA observation of the residue of such an event around a distant young star./a
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