EXPLOREMY LIBRARY
Science
All About Space Book of the Solar System

All About Space Book of the Solar System

All About Space Book Of The Solar System 4th Edition

The more we know about the planetary system we live in, the closer we are to answering the conundrum of whether Earth – and humankind – are unique. The newly revised Book of the Solar System tours the essentials, with in-depth guides accompanied by amazing images and illustrations. You will soon feel at home with even our most hostile planetary neighbours! Featuring: Birth of the Solar System - Learn about the theories behind origins of our planetary system Life in the Solar System - Understand the conditions required to support life and whether Mars could be habitable The Earth & Moon - Take a closer look at our home planet and its only satellite, the Moon Beyond Earth - Tour our nearest neighbours in the Solar System, planet-by-planet

Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
Future Publishing Ltd
Frequency:
One-off
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in this issue

3 min.
astronomer royal

INTERVIEW BIO Martin Rees Renowned Astronomer Royal Martin Rees is best known for his work on some of the most exotic and extreme objects in the cosmos: black holes, quasars, gamma ray bursts and the early universe. He’s written several books, has received numerous prestigious academic awards, he was the president of the Royal Astronomical Society and even has a seat in the UK's House of Lords, as Baron Rees of Ludlow What, in your mind, is the greatest unanswered question of the solar system? Whether there is life somewhere away from the Earth. There may be simple life on Mars, but the most interesting place to search would be the oceans under the ice of Europa and Enceladus. Do you think Pluto's demotion to a dwarf planet was an important distinction to make? No, I…

18 min.
birth of the solar system

Around 4.5 billion years ago, our Sun and all the other objects that orbit around it were born from an enormous cloud of interstellar gas and dust, similar to the glowing emission nebulae we see scattered across today’s night sky. Astronomers have understood this basic picture of the birth of the Solar System for a long time, but the details of just how the process happened have only become clear much more recently – and now new theories, discoveries and computer models are showing that the story is still far from complete. Today, it seems that not only did the planets form in a far more sudden and dynamic way than previously suspected, but also that the young Solar System was rather different from that we know now. The so-called ‘nebular…

18 min.
life in the solar system

On the north-eastern border of the vast Vatnajökull glacier, Iceland, lies the Kverkfjöll mountain range, where a string of active volcanoes pepper the bleak, Icelandic landscape. Deep under the mountains, searing-hot magma gathers in cavernous chambers. Heat escaping from the chambers warms the glacial ice overhead, sculpting it into a spectacular ice cave some 2.8 kilometres (1.7 miles) long. The melted water crafts lakes that would freeze were it not for the hydrothermal energy escaping from the seething molten rock below. These hot, acidic lakes may not seem like the most hospitable of places, but bacteria have made a home here. Ian Crawford, professor of planetary science and astrobiology at Birbeck, University of London, studies these hardy organisms. “Part of my work is sampling the water from these boiling, acidic lakes,”…

1 min.
planetary habitats

Mars The Red Planet is very dry, has a thin atmosphere and once had running water on its surface. At the very least, it could have been a viable habitat for extremophile life Venus We probably don’t need to look as far as the crushing pressure and heat of Venus’ surface: its clouds could be a perfect environment for acid-loving organisms Pluto The dwarf planet is probably one of the most unlikely candidates for life in the Solar System and yet, scientists won't rule out the potential of its icy oceans…

5 min.
all about… the sun

At about 150 million kilometres (93 million miles) from Earth lies a giant incandescent ball of gas weighing in at almost 2,000 trillion trillion kilograms and emitting power equivalent to 1 million times the annual power consumption of the United States in a single second. Since the dawn of Earth, 4.6 billion years ago, it has been the one ever-present object in the sky, basking our world and those around us in energy and light – and providing the means through which environments, and ultimately life, can flourish. We see it every day and rely on its energy to keep our planet ticking, but what exactly is this giant nuclear reactor at the centre of the Solar System that we call the Sun? Over 5 billion years ago, a vast cloud…

4 min.
solar storms

Solar wind and the Earth Solar storms are violent outbursts of activity on the Sun that interfere with the Earth’s magnetic field and inundate our planet with particles. They are the result of outpourings of energy from the Sun, either in the form of a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) or a solar flare. The former is a release of a large amount of material, mostly plasma, from the Sun, while the latter is a sudden release of electromagnetic radiation commonly associated with a sunspot. While no direct connection has been found between CMEs and solar flares, both are responsible for causing solar storms on Earth. The reason why these two events occur is due to the Sun’s atmosphere and its turbulent interior, with all of its components playing a part in…