How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming
Paperback ISBN: 0385531109
The solar system most of us grew up with included nine planets, with Mercury closest to the sun and Pluto at the outer edge. Then, in 2005, astronomer Mike Brown made the discovery of a lifetime: a tenth planet, Eris, slightly bigger than Pluto. But instead of adding one more planet to our solar system, Brown’s find ignited a firestorm of controversy that culminated in the demotion of Pluto from real planet to the newly coined category of “dwarf” planet. Suddenly Brown was receiving hate mail from schoolchildren and being bombarded by TV reporters—all because of the discovery he had spent years searching for and a lifetime dreaming about. A heartfelt and personal journey filled with both humor and drama, How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming is the book for anyone, young or old, who has ever imagined exploring the universe—and who among us hasn’t?
The Physics of Star Wars
The Science Behind a Galaxy Far, Far Away
Paperback ISBN: 1507203306
Explore the physics behind the world of Star Wars, with engaging topics and accessible information that shows how we’re closer than ever before to creating technology from the galaxy far, far away—perfect for every Star Wars fan! Ever wish you could have your very own lightsaber like Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi? Or that you could fly through space at the speed of light like Han Solo and Poe Dameron? Well, those ideas aren’t as outlandish as you think. In The Physics of Star Wars, you’ll explore the mystical power of the Force using quantum mechanics, find out how much energy it would take for the Death Star or Starkiller Base to destroy a planet, and discover how we can potentially create our very own lightsabers. The fantastical world of Star Wars may become a reality!
The People and Places of Space Exploration
Hardcover ISBN: 1476738327
A collection of photographs and essays celebrate the people and places involved in American space exploration, including the astronauts, technicians, administrators, engineers, and ground crews at three NASA flight centers.
Here Be Dragons
The Scientific Quest for Extraterrestrial Life
Paperback ISBN: 019514600x
In Here Be Dragons, astronomer David Koerner and neurobiologist Simon LeVay offer a scientifically compelling and colorful account of the search for life beyond Earth. The authors survey the work of biologists, cosmologists, computer theorists, NASA engineers, SETI researchers, roboticists, and UFO enthusiasts and debunkers as they attempt to answer the greatest remaining question facing humankind: Are we alone? From their "safe haven of skepticism" the authors venture into the "rough seas of speculation," where theory and evidence run the gamut from hard science to hocus pocus. Arguing that the universe is spectacularly suited for the evolution of living creatures, Koerner and LeVay give us ringside seats at the great debates of Big Science. The contentious arguments about what really happens in evolution, the acrimonious UFO controversy, and the debate over intelligence versus artificial intelligence shed new light on the wildly divergent claims about the universe and life's place in it.
Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs
The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe
Paperback ISBN: 0062328506
In this brilliant exploration of our cosmic environment, the renowned particle physicist andNew York Times bestselling author of Warped Passages and Knocking on Heaven’s Dooruses her research into dark matter to illuminate the startling connections between the furthest reaches of space and life here on Earth. Sixty-six million years ago, an object the size of a city descended from space to crash into Earth, creating a devastating cataclysm that killed off the dinosaurs, along with three-quarters of the other species on the planet. What was its origin? InDark Matter and the Dinosaurs, Lisa Randall proposes it was a comet that was dislodged from its orbit as the Solar System passed through a disk of dark matter embedded in the Milky Way. In a sense, it might have been dark matter that killed the dinosaurs. Working through the background and consequences of this proposal, Randall shares with us the latest findings—established and speculative—regarding the nature and role of dark matter and the origin of the Universe, our galaxy, our Solar System, and life, along with the process by which scientists explore new concepts. In Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, Randall tells a breathtaking story that weaves together the cosmos’ history and our own, illuminating the deep relationships that are critical to our world and the astonishing beauty inherent in the most familiar things.
Packing for Mars
The Curious Science of Life in the Void
Paperback ISBN: 0393339912
The author of Stiff and Bonk describes the weirdness of space exploration and answers questions about the long-term effects of zero gravity on the human body and what happens if you vomit in your helmet during a space walk. Reprint. A best-selling book. 75,000 first printing. A BOMC selection.
A Ball, a Dog, and a Monkey
1957--the Space Race Begins
Paperback ISBN: 0743294327
A Ball, a Dog, and a Monkey tells the remarkable story of America's first efforts to succeed in space, a time of exploding rockets, national space mania, Florida boomtowns, and interservice rivalries so fierce that President Dwight Eisenhower had to referee them. When the Soviet Union launched the first orbital satellite, Sputnik I, Americans panicked. The Soviets had nuclear weapons, the Cold War was underway, and now the USSR had taken the lead in the space race. Members of Congress and the press called for an all-out effort to launch a satellite into orbit. With dire warnings about national security in the news almost every day, the armed services saw space as the new military frontier. But President Eisenhower insisted that the space effort, which relied on military technology, be supervised by civilians so that the space race would be peaceful. The Navy's Vanguard program flopped, and the Army, led by ex-Nazi rocket scientist Wernher von Braun and a martinet general named J. Bruce Medaris (whom Eisenhower disliked), took over. Meanwhile, the Soviets put a dog inside the next Sputnik, and Americans grew more worried as the first animal in space whirled around the Earth. Throughout 1958 America went space crazy. UFO sightings spiked. Boys from Brooklyn to Burbank shot model rockets into the air. Space-themed beauty pageants became a national phenomenon. The news media flocked to the launchpads on the swampy Florida coast, and reporters reinvented themselves as space correspondents. And finally the Army's rocket program succeeded. Determined not to be outdone by the Russians, America's space scientists launched the first primate into space, a small monkey they nicknamed Old Reliable for his calm demeanor. And then at Christmastime, Eisenhower authorized the launch of a secret satellite with a surprise aboard. A Ball, a Dog, and a Monkey memorably recalls the infancy of the space race, a time when new technologies brought ominous danger but also gave us the ability to realize our dreams and reach for the stars.
The Quantum Universe
And Why Anything That Can Happen, Does
Paperback ISBN: 0306821443
The Quantum Universe brings together two authors on a brilliantly ambitious mission to show that everyone can understand the deepest questions of science. But just what is quantum physics? How does it help us understand the universe? Where does it leave Newton and Einstein? And how - for all its apparently counter-intuitive ideas - can we be sure that the theory is good? The bizarre behaviour of the atoms and energy that make up the universe has lead to some woolly pronouncements on the nature of all interconnectedness - but Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw reveal the simple and understandable theories that allow for concrete, yet astonishing, predictions about the world around us. From entangled twins to the incredible double-slit experiment, The Quantum Universe will give every reader the most up-to-date picture of that amazing subatomic world, where thousands of years of physics must be rewritten completely.