|Title:||Worlds unnumbered : the search for extrasolar planets|
|Publisher:||[S.l.] : University Science Books, 1997|
|ISBN / ISSN / EAN :||978-0-935702-97-2|
|Bibliography note:||Includes bibliographical references and index|
For centuries, humans have speculated about the planets that may orbit the stars that spangle the night sky, worlds that might resemble our own Earth. Through four decades of space exploration and everbetter telescopes, astronomers have searched in vain, unable to find even a single planet orbiting any of the myriad of sunlike stars strewn through the Milky Way. The apparent absence of these extrasolar planets led astronomers to think that our own solar system might be unique -a rogue world in a galaxy otherwise devoid of planets.
All of this changed in October 1995, when astronomers announced the first planet discovered orbiting another sunlike star. The next year raised the number of new worlds into double digits, providing firm evidence that planetary systems exist in abundance.
Rich with scientific and philosophical implications, some of these new worlds have distances from their parent stars suitable for the existence of liquid water and thus, according to current speculation, for life.
"Worlds unnumbered" captures the excitement and explains the significance of these new worlds, with an up-to-the-last-planet account that gives the general reader a vivid picture of the new planets -planets that have already amazed astronomers for their colossal size and orbits that seem impossibly close to their respective suns. Many of the new planets are more massive than Jupiter, yet orbit their stars at distances far less than the distance of the sun to its closest planet. With theories of planet formation, the immense difficulties of observing extrasolar planets, and the prospects for future discoveries of Earthlike planets, "Worlds unnumbered's" fast-paced narrative provides its readers with key insights into the question that has fascinated humanity for millennia: are we alone in the cosmos? And if not, how far must we look to find our closest neighbor?
Copies in the Library (1)
|Barcode||Call number||Media type||Location||Section||Status|
|009627||QB820.G25 1997||Book||ISU Central Campus library||Main collection||Available|