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For twenty-five years following the Voyager mission, scientists speculated about Saturn's largest moon, a mysterious orb clouded in orange haze. Finally, in 2005, the Cassini-Huygens probe successfully parachuted down through Titan's atmosphere, all the while transmitting images and data. In the early 1980s, when the two Voyager spacecraft skimmed past Titan, Saturn's largest moon, they transmitted back enticing images of a mysterious world concealed in a seemingly impenetrable orange haze. Titan Unveiled is one of the first general interest books to reveal the startling new discoveries that have been made since the arrival of the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and Titan. Ralph Lorenz and Jacqueline Mitton take readers behind the scenes of this mission. Launched in 1997, Cassini entered orbit around Saturn in summer 2004. Its formidable payload included the Huygens probe, which successfully parachuted down through Titan's atmosphere in early 2005, all the while transmitting images and data--and scientists were startled by what they saw. One of those researchers was Lorenz, who gives an insider's account of the scientific community's first close encounter with an alien landscape of liquid methane seas and turbulent orange skies. Amid the challenges and frayed nerves, new discoveries are made, including methane monsoons, equatorial sand seas, and Titan's polar hood. Lorenz and Mitton describe Titan as a world strikingly like Earth and tell how Titan may hold clues to the origins of life on our own planet and possibly to its presence on others. Generously illustrated with many stunning images, Titan Unveiled is essential reading for anyone interested in space exploration, planetary science, or astronomy. A new afterword brings readers up to date on Cassini's ongoing exploration of Titan, describing the many new discoveries made since 2006.
Reveals the startling new discoveries that have been made since the arrival of the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and Titan and offers readers a close-up look at a world that could hold clues to the origins of life on Earth.
The birth and evolution of our solar system is a tantalizing mystery that may one day provide answers to the question of human origins. From Dust to Life tells the remarkable story of how the celestial objects that make up the solar system arose from common beginnings billions of years ago, and how scientists and philosophers have sought to unravel this mystery down through the centuries, piecing together the clues that enabled them to deduce the solar system's layout, its age, and the most likely way it formed. Drawing on the history of astronomy and the latest findings in astrophysics and the planetary sciences, John Chambers and Jacqueline Mitton offer the most up-to-date and authoritative treatment of the subject available. They examine how the evolving universe set the stage for the appearance of our Sun, and how the nebulous cloud of gas and dust that accompanied the young Sun eventually became the planets, comets, moons, and asteroids that exist today. They explore how each of the planets acquired its unique characteristics, why some are rocky and others gaseous, and why one planet in particular--our Earth--provided an almost perfect haven for the emergence of life. From Dust to Life is a must-read for anyone who desires to know more about how the solar system came to be. This enticing book takes readers to the very frontiers of modern research, engaging with the latest controversies and debates. It reveals how ongoing discoveries of far-distant extrasolar planets and planetary systems are transforming our understanding of our own solar system's astonishing history and its possible fate.
The authors use information gathered over nearly four centuries to describe Saturn's moon Titan, the second largest moon in the solar system, and what we know about it based on observations from astronomers, results from the Voyager missions, and other sources.
A Close Look at Europa . . . And How Big Science Gets Done . . . The second-outward of Jupiter's four major moons, Europa is covered with ice, as confirmed in views from modern telescopes and the thousands of images returned by NASA's Voyager and Galileo missions. But these higher-resolution views also showed that the ice is anything but smooth. In fact, Europa's surface is covered with vast criss-crossing systems of mountain-sized ridges, jumbled regions of seemingly chaotic terrain, and patches that suggest upwellings of new surface materials from below. How scientists think about the underlying forces that shaped this incredibly complex, bizarre, and beautiful surface is the subject of this book. In Unmasking Europa, Richard Greenberg tells the story of how he and his team of researchers came to believe that the surface of Europa is in fact a crust so thin that it can barely hide an ocean of liquid water below. He shows how the ocean is warmed by the friction of tidal movements in this small moon as it orbits around immense Jupiter. The implications of this interpretation- which includes the idea that there are active intermittent openings from the liquid ocean to the frozen surface- are immense. The warmth, the chemistry, and the connections from ocean to surface provide the conditions necessary for the existence of life, even at this relatively remote locale in our solar system, far beyond what's normally thought of as its 'habitable zone.' Unmasking Europa describes in clear but technically sophisticated terms- and with extensive illustrations (including more than 100 NASA images)- the remarkable history of research on Europa over the last four decades. The book also provides unique insights into how "big science" gets done today, and it is not always a pretty picture. From his perspective as professor of Planetary Science at the University of Arizona, and a quarter century-long membership on the Imaging Team for NASA's Galileo mission, Greenberg describes how personal agendas (including his own) and political maneuvering (in which he received an education by fire) determined a lot about the funding, staffing, and even the direction of the research about Europa. While he is satisfied that his team's work is now, finally, receiving fair consideration and even respect, Greenberg comes away from his experience feeling that something is fundamentally wrong with the scientific enterprise as a whole because it routinely punishes innovation, risk-taking thought, and willingness to simply let the evidence lead where it may. In today's scientific environment with its careerist pressures and peer-reviewed propriety, Greenberg believes, astute scientists (and sadly many of our youngest and brightest) quickly realize that it is more rewarding in very practical ways to stay within the mainstream- a tendency that by its very nature is at odds with the ideals of scientific research and thought.
The subject of climate change has become an important issue over the past few years. Encyclopedia of Global Warming is designed to help the student or patron understand the environmental science, social issues and controversies surrounding this important issue. Essays explore a wide variety of topics, including fossil fuels, glaciology, conservation, human rights, pollution, society, science and water resources.

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