Envisioning Exoplanets traces the journey of astronomers and researchers on their quest to explore the universe for a planet like Earth. Exoplanets – worlds beyond our solar system – were once dismissed as science fiction. But now, with more than 4,000 confirmed exoplanets, countless possibilities exist for what remains to be uncovered in the universe. This book follows the exhilarating progression of exoplanet research from its earliest stages operating on the fringes of scientific research to the newest developments of renowned agencies around the world searching for planets capable of hosting life. Featuring provocative questions about the universe and more than 200 remarkable illustrations from Michael Caroll, Ron Miller, and other key members of the International Association of Astronomical Artists, Envisioning Exoplanets is an intergalactic visual voyage.
Michael Carroll is an award-winning space artist and science writer with thirty books in print. A recipient of the AAS Department of Planetary Science's Jonathan Eberhart Award for best planetary science article of the year, Carroll is also a member of the NASA Arts Program and the recipient of the Lucien Rudaux award for lifetime achievement in the astronomical arts.
"Starred Review. The most outstanding feature of this book is its high-quality, full-color pictures that include artistic renderings of scientifically accurate exoplanets. Envisioning Exoplanets coherently weaves together several themes in a coffee-table-style book that is likely to draw in and captivate readers for hours. Recommended for general readers, including those in middle school and high school."
"This timely treatment of extrasolar planets features splendid reproductions of paintings whose fusion of fact and imagination immerses the viewer in alien landscapes. Dramatic lighting and panoramic vistas are the norm. The text spells out various methods by which astronomers discover exoplanets, explores the surface conditions of so-called Super-Earths and Hot Jupiters, and poses arguments for and against the existence of lifeforms beyond Earth."
– Wall Street Journal
"The real draw of the book, though, is the art. [The illustrations] stir the imagination, showing both how strange the universe is but also, potentially, how familiar some exoplanets may be. And, they let one wonder what else is out there, yet to be discovered."
– The Space Review
"In the end, the book's real value is for its unique illustrations. So often the general public is bombarded with facts about the sizes and chemical makeup of these far-flung worlds but with little understanding of how these bodies actually look from ground level. [...] Envisioning Exoplanets offers a convincing artistic preview from this burgeoning field of exoplanetary science."
– Bruce Dorminey, Forbes
"This captivating, coffee-table-style book is absorbing and chock-full of sidebar features that propel the book to an exceptional echelon contrasted to other books on this topic. If you don't have a coffee-table, get one to showcase this volume to friends and family! The text is written in a wonderful style, drawing upon Carroll's own wit and open-ended speculative mind, such as how hard is it to make life?; the search for biosignatures; and life in the extreme."
– Leonard David's Inside Outer Space