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» » Planet Quest: The Epic Discovery of Alien Solar Systems
Planet Quest: The Epic Discovery of Alien Solar Systems e-book

Author:

Ken Croswell

Language:

English

Category:

Math

Subcategory:

Astronomy & Space Science

ePub size:

1383 kb

Other formats:

doc txt lit mobi

Rating:

4.8

Publisher:

Harvest Books; 1st Harvest ed edition (September 30, 1998)

Pages:

336

ISBN:

015600612X

Planet Quest: The Epic Discovery of Alien Solar Systems e-book

by Ken Croswell


I found this book to be both informative and enjoyable to read

I found this book to be both informative and enjoyable to read. It also details the theories and theorists that made predictions long before observations of these small bodies was possible.

Originally published: New York : Free Press, 1997. Includes bibliographical references (pages 292-312) and index. Astronomers confirmed the existence of planets outside our own solar system relatively recently-in 1992. Their long-anticipated discovery was hardly a surprise, but was quite a while in coming. Nobody has found an Earth-like world that is able to sustain life as we know it, but it seems only a matter of time before that happens.

The discovery of this planet was quickly followed by another, found quietly wending its way around the star 47 Ursae Majoris, and within two years we reached a grand total of seven known alien solar systems in the universe. Another system, yet to be confirmed, lies a mere eight light years from Earth.

Anybody with an interest in the possibilities of life elsewhere must read this book.

In 1995, after decades of intense scientific investigation. Every day seems to bring us closer to finding an Earthlike planet, perhaps harbouring life, and the resolution to the grandest human mystery of all: are we alone? Now astronomer and internationally acclaimed author Ken Croswell has written the definitive guide tothe culmination of the scientific revolution that began with Copernicus.

Ken Croswell is an astronomer and author living in Berkeley, California. New York: Anchor Books. Planet quest : the epic discovery of alien solar systems. Oxford University Press. Essays and reporting. His first degree, from Washington University in St. Louis, mixed science and wider interests, majoring in physics and minoring in English literature. He also got a PhD in astronomy from Harvard University for studying the Milky Way's halo. He is also the author of six books on astronomy, including The Alchemy of the Heavens and Planet Quest, and often reports on the radio program the John Batchelor Show. Croswell, Ken (April 2013).

A new era in the exploration of the universe has begun.

PDF On Jan 1, 1998, Ken Croswell and others published Planet Quest: The Epic Discovery of. .

Given constraints from these observations, we describe a scenario for the formation of our own solar system.

By: Ken Croswell(Author). 336 pages, 8pp b/w plates, line illus, tabs. 1. A good planet is hard to find; 2. A living solar system; 3. The Sun's distant outpost; 4. Planet X; 5. A shaky start; 6. Vega: Reflections of starlight; 7. Brown dwarfs; 8. Impossible planets; 9. Thanks, Jupiter; 10. Publisher: Oxford University Press.

Is Pluto a Planet? A Historical Journey Through the Solar System. Matthew Shindell - 2008 - Isis: A Journal of the History of Science 99:389-391.

Jan M. Zytkow & Herbert A. Simon - 1988 - Synthese 74 (1):65 - 90. Kepler's Path to the Construction and Rejection of His First Oval Orbit for Mars. E. J. Aiton - 1978 - Annals of Science 35 (2):173-190. Is Pluto a Planet? A Historical Journey Through the Solar System. System-Problems in Kant. Zelko Loparic - 1988 - Synthese 74 (1):107 - 140. Prelude to Solar Energy: Pouillet, Herschel, Forbes and the Solar Constant. Peggy Aldrich Kidwell - 1981.

A leading astronomer provides an “excellent introduction” (New York Times Book Review) to the search for faraway planets and extraterrestrial life-a “fascinating” guide (Astronomy) that is “everything a good science-for-the-public book should be” (Cleveland Plain Dealer). Black-and-white photographs.
YSOP
A great book about exoplanets written when this was a fairly new topic (back when the number of planets discovered outside of our solar system was still in the double-digits).

It does a good job of explaining the science behind the detection/discovery techniques (e.g., using multiple telescopes to see further than a single telescope can; detecting the wobble of a star by its largest close-orbit planet). Not exactly for the average person, but an amateur astronomy fan (i.e., someone who already knows what they are talking about on History/Science Channel shows) will enjoy this book, even though it is a little dated now that discovered exoplanets number in the many hundreds.
Venemarr
There are a number of things that did annoy me about this book. For one, most of the scientists are shown as bickering children. That certainly does happen a lot in science, but not as exclusively as this account of the history of the search for other planets might want to make you believe.
The second point that I take offense with is the book's focus on the search for other civilizations. It doesn't seem to count if you can't come up with little green men. But to me even the most primitive extraterrestrial bacterium would be incredible news.
Third, Croswell seems rather narrow-minded as to what would be a suitable environment for life. Right now Jupiter's moon Europa seems like an interesting bet for life similar what we find here on Earth along the oceanic ridges. But Croswell pretty much rules out that there could be life on moons that orbit gas giants.
Still, with all these reservations, this book has captured my imagination like few other non-fiction books have this year. To learn what is already known about planets outside of our solar system makes up look up into the night sky a very different experience, one that makes my heart beat faster. And then there is the outlook as to what is already possible with the technology we have now. Really a very inspiring book; it made me feel just like the old SF novels did when I was 13.
mr.Mine
Before reading "Planet Quest", I was completely ignorant on this subject; I just assumed that someone found the planets sometime ago and that'd be good enough for me. That is no longer the case after going through the pages of "Planet Quest". With a clear, simple style of writing, the author offered readers like me wonderful insights into the thrilling process of hunting for a new planet. This is a non-fiction work, but I felt captivated as if reading Jules Verne novels! When following the stories of planet hunters with their glories and their defeats, I could conclude that life is much better than fiction. Good analogies were offered throughout to explain complicated details, especially to illustrate those infinite statistics on the immense universe. I do appreciate this eye-opening experience, which definitely enriched my knowledge in many ways.
Landarn
Before reading "Planet Quest", I was completely ignorant on this subject; I just assumed that someone found the planets sometime ago and that'd be good enough for me. That is no longer the case after going through the pages of "Planet Quest". With a clear, simple style of writing, the author offered readers like me wonderful insights into the thrilling process of hunting for a new planet. This is a non-fiction work, but I felt captivated as if reading Jules Verne novels! When following the stories of planet hunters with their glories and their defeats, I could conclude that life is much better than fiction. Good analogies were offered throughout to explain complicated details, especially to illustrate those infinite statistics on the immense universe. I do appreciate this eye-opening experience, which definitely enriched my knowledge in many ways.
Ximinon
This is an excellent book on the given subject, covering the history of the search for other planets in a technically proficient but accessible way. Croswell frequently brings in the scientists involved and lets us hear what they have to say. Since the search for planets has often been controversial, this makes for exciting reading sometimes, as two leaders in the field take turns taking potshots at each other.
Mostly, though, it brings more of a human face to this arcane endeavor. Croswell also takes pains to explain how the search is progressing and how so many false alarms have managed to take place over the years.
Again, an excellent book.
MeGa_NunC
This is one of the most enjoyable and most readable books I've read on any aspect of astronomy. It does show that some planetary astronomers are a bit more human than they ought to be, putting fame ahead of knowledge, but at least they're fussing about something that might conceivably be useful (but hardly, right?) and not about how old Time is, or how to convince me that there is no center to the universe although 'it did so start with an explosion!'. Much of astronomy, and all of cosmology, is just a big boondoggle for smart graduate students and their mentors, but at least the ones Ken Croswell writes about are almost 'down to earth'.

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