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The 50 Most Extreme Places in Our Solar System

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Overview

The extreme events that we hear about daily—hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions—are extreme in purely human terms, in the devastation they do. But this book moves our understanding of the extreme into extraterrestrial dimensions and gives us an awe-inspiring sense of what our solar system at its utmost can do. Martian dust devils taller than Mount Everest. A hurricane that lasts over 340 years. Volcanoes with “lava” colder than Antarctica. Hail made of diamonds. Here, as the authors say, the “WOW” factor is restored to our understanding of scientific discovery, as we witness the grandeur and the weirdness that inspire researchers to dig deeper and go ever farther into the mysteries of the universe.

The 50 Most Extreme Places in Our Solar System combines a fascination with natural disasters and the mesmerizing allure of outer space to take readers on a journey that will forever change the way they view our solar system. Full of dazzling photographs from NASA’s most recent observations, this book explores extreme regions on Earth and beyond—giant turbulent storms, explosive volcanoes, and the possibility of life surviving in harsh conditions.

More than a collection of facts, the book conveys the dynamism of science as a process of exploration and discovery. As they amuse and entertain, David Baker and Todd Ratcliff, two experts in planetary science, highlight recent developments and unresolved mysteries and strive, at every turn, to answer that important scientific question: “Why?”

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Editorial Reviews

Paul W. Hodge
This is a cool book. Spectacularly illustrated, it conveys some of astronomy's heaviest facts in a light and airy way. Readers should have fun reading it.
Times Higher Education - Jim Wild
Laid out in 50 brief but beautifully illustrated chapters, The 50 Most Extreme Places in Our Solar System is hugely enjoyable.
Dallas Morning News - Michael Merschel
Just from a casual look, I can tell that this is the sort of book I would have pored over for hours at a certain phase in my life; if you have a young or young-at-heart stargazer in your home, I would encourage you to check it out.
Astronomy Now - David Powell
As may be deduced from the title, this book would be of immediate interest to younger readers and their attention would easily be maintained by the tone and clarity of the writing. That said, more seasoned readers will also find it an enjoyable and fascinating look at the Solar System around us and will no doubt broaden their knowledge. I fully recommend this book to anyone of any age with an interest in the Solar System and how much of a hostile, humbling and amazing place it is to exist.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674049987
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 7.04 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Meet the Author

David Baker is the Chairman of the Physics Department at Austin College.

Todd Ratcliff is a planetary geophysicist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A beginner's guide to planetary sciences

    This is great leisure reading for someone who enjoys science and has either a bachelor's degree or is a high school honors student. Read one of these a day during lunchtime and have something interesting to talk to your friends and colleagues about, while learning about the solar system in just seven weeks. You may want to have Wikipedia on your computer while reading this to find out more about something that stimulates your curiosity.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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