How It Works Book of Space

How It Works Book of Space

How It Works Book Of Space 8th Edition

Space is the great big unknown, with billions of lightyears still undiscovered. That doesn't stop humankind from trying though, as this book documents all the research man has poured into exploring our universe. Discover the wonders in our solar system, the technology being developed for space exploration, the strangest and most incredible celestial bodies in our universe, and the best way to observe it all with a telescope. Featuring: Solar System - Journey from the surface of the Sun, past planets, moons, asteroids and more, towards the edge of our Solar System Exploration - Be inspired by over half a century of space exploration, and take a look at the exciting possibilities the future holds Universe - Explore the furthest reaches of our amazing universe, from the secrets of the Big Bang to the mystery of dark matter Astronomy - How do telescopes work? What's the weather like in space? Discover the answers to these questions and more

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd


welcome to book of space

Space has fascinated mankind from the earliest days of civilization, and as we keep scratching the surface of the vast universe in which we live, our sense of awe and wonder continues to grow unabated. Now, with the technological advancements being made by the world’s space agencies, we understand more than ever about the things that are happening beyond our own planet. This new edition of the How It Works Book of Space has been updated with more of the latest astronomical advancements, stunning space photography from the most advanced telescopes on the planet, and glimpses at what the future of space exploration holds, such as the planned mission to Mars. Taking you from the heart of our Solar System and out into deep space. Get ready for lift off…


ESA’s Envisat The European Space Agency’s environmental satellite (Envisat) was launched into a polar orbit on 1 March 2002. Its instruments are used to study the ocean, agriculture, ice formations and atmospheric conditions of Earth. The crew of Apollo 8 were the first people to see and photograph our planet as a globe in its entirety. During the fourth orbit around the Moon, Lunar module commander William Anders took a series of photographs of the Earth that became known as ‘Earthrise’. They revealed the true splendour of our planet suspended in stark contrast with the barren lunar surface, and became an icon for showing that our home is a fertile and fragile dot of life in an immense and deadly universe. From the Sixties onwards an enormous number of Earth observation satellites have…

inside the sun

A celestial wonder, the Sun is a huge star formed from a massive gravitational collapse when space dust and gas from a nebula collided, It became an orb 100 times bigger and weighing over 300,000 times that of Earth. Made up of 70 per cent hydrogen and about 28 per cent helium (plus other gases), the Sun is the centre of our solar system and the largest celestial body anywhere near us. “The surface of the Sun is a dense layer of plasma at a temperature of 5,800 degrees kelvin that is continually moving due to the action of convective motions driven by heating from below,” says David Alexander, a professor of physics and astronomy at Rice University. “These convective motions show up as a distribution of what are called granulation…

solar eclipse

During a solar eclipse, the Moon casts shadows on the Earth known as umbra or penumbra. The umbra is the darkest part of the shadow, while the penumbra is the area where part of the Moon is blocking the Sun. Partial eclipses happen when the Sun and Moon are not in perfect alignment – only the penumbra of the Moon’s shadow passes over the surface of the Earth. In a total eclipse, the umbra touches the Earth’s surface. There are also annular eclipses, in which both the Sun and the Moon are in alignment but the Moon appears to be slightly smaller than the Sun. The Sun appears as a bright ring, or annulus, around the Moon’s profile. The umbra is still in line with a region on the Earth’s surface,…

all about the moon

One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind”, said the ghostly blackand-white shape of a man on live TV, broadcast to the whole world. This wasn’t any ordinary man, though, and this wasn’t an ordinary television broadcast, which had household upon household across the globe glued to their screens. This was the summer of 1969 and Neil Armstrong had put spacesuit boot to soft, powdery lunar soil in a feat that had never been achieved before by anyone: he was the very first man to walk on the Moon. You might remember the Apollo 11 mission when it happened, or maybe you weren’t even born, but you’ve managed to piece together what a momentous day it was for space exploration from newspaper cuttings, books or even from a…

the first moon landing

In the Sixties the ‘Space Race’ between the USA and USSR was heating up. Russia had struck the initial blow by launching the first man-made satellite – Sputnik 1 – in 1957, and four years later they sent the first human – Yuri Gagarin – into space. The Americans followed suit a few weeks later but it was readily apparent they were playing catch-up to the Russians. To reassure the American people, President Kennedy issued an impassioned speech to Congress in 1961 announcing the ambitious goal of placing a human on the Moon before the end of the decade. As a result Project Apollo was born, and with it NASA was tasked with fulfilling Kennedy’s lofty aim. An unprecedented technological marvel, the Apollo missions would come to define not only…