Friday, February 7, 2014
The Planets by Dava Sobel (2005)
This highly readable survey by the author of Longitude and Galileo's Daughter, presents the fascinating characteristics of all the bodies of our solar system. Some of the facts are staggering, such as the sun transforms 700 million tons of hydrogen into helium every second. Despite a greater understanding of our planetary neighbors in recent years from remote spacecraft and landing modules, there is still much to discover. For example, the Jovian moon Europa's ice crust may conceal an ocean larger than the Pacific and Atlantic combined. The book concludes with the many unknown possibilities lying beyond Pluto where new findings are being made by astronomers at a surprising rate.