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.
Ten years ago, all the superhumans vanished. No one knows what happened to them--until now. Thirteen-year-olds Danny and Colin are shocked to discover that they are in fact the beginning of a renewed superhuman race. As they rise to take the place of the lost generation, the unimaginable truth behind the explosive final battle that occurred ten years ago between the superheroes and the supervillains is exposed. And when the past resurfaces, Danny and his fellow superheroes must face the new challenges that threaten their survival. On the run from everyone, and not knowing who is friend or foe, the one ability the new heroes are going to need most is the power to distinguish good from evil.
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.
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.
Besides providing thrills, a science section covers the very latest in undersea robotics, discussing the assets future explorers may have available for exploring subsurface oceans on moons including Europa, Enceladus and Titan. The book explores the most recent results in Europa research, from safe radiation levels for human habitation, landing sites, subsurface ocean currents and makeup, possible plate tectonics, geyser activity on the surface, volcanic activity on the ocean floor, and Europa’s bizarre exosphere. The book also covers extremophiles and the various possible biomes on—and inside of—Europa.
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.
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.