Exoplanets: Diamond Worlds, Super Earths, Pulsar Planets, and the New Search for Life Beyond Our Solar System
Astronomer Michael Summers and physicist James Trefil explore remarkable recent discoveries.
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Since its 2009 launch, the Kepler satellite has discovered more than two thousand exoplanets, or planets outside our solar system. More exoplanets are being discovered all the time, remarkable in their variety. Astronomer Michael Summers and physicist James Trefil explore these remarkable recent discoveries: planets revolving around pulsars, planets made of diamond, planets that are mostly water, and numerous rogue planets wandering through the emptiness of space. This captivating book reveals the latest discoveries and argues that the incredible richness and complexity we are finding necessitates a change in our questions and mental paradigms. In short, we have to change how we think about the universe and our place in it, because it is stranger and more interesting than we could have imagined.
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Michael Summers is a planetary scientist and professor of physics and astronomy at George Mason University. Since 1989, he has served on the mission teams of several NASA space probes in the role of science planning and interpretation of spacecraft observations. He is currently a coinvestigator on the NASA New Horizons mission to the Pluto-Charon double planet, where he serves as the deputy lead of the Atmospheres Theme Team. James Trefil is Clarence J. Robinson Professor of Physics at George Mason University. He has written more than 50 books on science for a general audience. His writing has won the American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award, the American Association for the Advancement of Science Westinghouse Science Journalism Award, and other honors. Jon Bennett has been an actor for 30 years now. He has appeared in numerous commercials, films and television shows as well as dozens of plays throughout the country.