The most distant planets in our solar system, Uranus and Neptune were unknown by the ancients – Uranus was discovered in the 1780s and Neptune only in the 1840s. Our first sighting and subsequent investigation of both planets have been hampered by their sheer distance from Earth: there has only been one close encounter, Voyager 2 in the late 1980s. The Voyager mission revealed many enticing details about the planets and their moons but also left many more questions unanswered.
This book is an informative and accessible introduction to Uranus, Neptune and their moons. It takes readers on the extraordinary journey from the discovery of these celestial bodies to the most recent observations made from space- and ground-based telescopes.
Carolyn Kennett is a writer, researcher, historian and astronomer who lives in Cornwall. She is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, and her books include Celestial Stone Circles of West Cornwall (2018).
"Uranus and Neptune were just points of green blue light until modern times, as the secrets of these two ice giants, located in the cold outer regions of our solar system, have only recently been revealed. Well designed and lavishly illustrated, Carolyn Kennett's book will appeal to anyone wishing to discover more about these elusive, distant worlds. Its pages, packed with information, facts and historical stories, will make for a good read on many cloudy nights."
– Gerard Gilligan, Chairperson of the Society for the History of Astronomy
"A very concise yet detailed look at Uranus and Neptune. Carolyn Kennett incorporates the history of the outer planets' discoveries, details of modern observations from Earth and visiting spacecraft in the late 1970s, and rounds off the book with a practical introduction to how these planets can be observed by the amateur."
– Kevin Kilburn, founder member of the Society for the History of Astronomy and an honorary member of Manchester Astronomical Society