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What have Apollo, Voyager, Magellan and Galileo told us about the solar system? In Our Worlds, eight planetary scientists explain what we know about their favourite world and why they find it fascinating to explore with space age techniques. Writing from a personal point of view, the distinguished researchers give a unique insight into planetary science during today's golden age of discovery. With passion and punch, the authors describe the most enticing discoveries about their subject. In this voyage of exploration you meet Mars, Venus, and the Moon, take a trip with Comet Halley, visit the moons Io, Titan, and Triton, and see asteroids close up. This is an insider's perspective written for a general readership by scientists at the cutting edge.
Preface Alan Stern
Introduction Alan Stern
1. Exploring Mars Steve Squyres
2. Venus: the way we might have been Ellen Stofan
3. Moonlighting Carle Pieters
4. Small worlds, close up Clark Chapman
5. Cruisin' with Comet Halley Paul Weissman
6. Io and I John Spencer
7. Titan: a world seen but darkly Jonathan Lunine
8. Triton is doomed Bill McKinnon
"In Our Worlds, eight distinguished scientists specialising in the Solar System have bared all, finally letting us in on what it's really like to grapple with space. Each of the authors has a deep, career-long passion for a single class of celestial object – and it shows. Edited by Alan Stern, Our Worlds not only abounds with details about volcanoes on Io, seas on Titan, asteroid impacts, Martian life, Venusian craters, lunar spectroscopy, cometary nuclei and chaotic orbits, but also tells a gripping story of one of the wonders of our age: the transition of planets from fuzzy, indistinct, telescopic objects into the new worlds revealed by the expensive technological ingenuity of passing and orbiting spacecraft. [...] important text, which manages to be both erudite and highly readable"
- David Hughes, New Scientist
"Our Worlds is an eminently readable book."
- Modern Astronomer
"The most attractive feature of Our Worlds is that each author is obviously a genuine enthusiast. Moreover, there are personal touches not to be found in conventional books. Alan Stern has proved to be an expert editor, and the illustrations are excellent, particularly the colour section. Our Worlds is a book not to be missed by anyone who has even a massing interest in our neighbour worlds."
- Patrick Moore, The Times Higher Education Supplement
"This is a book likely to provide insight and inspiration to young people who may be on the point of making career choices [...] in 20 years time I look forward to hearing of someone for whom this book was a starting point."
- Margaret Penston, The Observatory
" [...] the essays in this book manage to be informative, fascinating and often exciting."
- Brian McMahon, Astronomy & Space