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Smithsonian Books Releases "Exoplanets" March 14

Burgeoning Field of Planetary Study Includes Discoveries Such As Rogue Planets and Planets Made of Diamond

March 14, 2017

Smithsonian Books will release Exoplanets: Diamond Worlds, Super Earths, Pulsar Planets, and the New Search for Life beyond Our Solar System March 14. The book presents a radical new way of looking at the universe and people’s place in it based on the latest scientific discoveries. It examines the profusion of exoplanets, or planets beyond the solar system.

The past few years have seen an explosion in humankind’s knowledge of the universe. Since its 2009 launch, the Kepler satellite has discovered more than 2,000 exoplanets. More are being discovered all the time, and even more remarkable than the sheer number of exoplanets is their variety. In Exoplanets, astronomer Michael Summers and physicist James Trefil explore some of the most 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 book reveals the latest discoveries and argues that the incredible richness and complexity that have been found necessitate a change in people’s questions and mental paradigms; they have to change how they think about the universe and their place in it because it is stranger and more interesting than they can imagine.

About the Authors

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. Trefil is the 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.

About the Book

Title: Exoplanets: Diamond Worlds, Super Earths, Pulsar Planets, and the New Search for Life beyond Our Solar System

Authors: Michael Summers and James Trefil

On-Sale Date: 3/14/17

Price: $29.95 / Pages: 224

ISBN: 978-1-58834-594-3

Smithsonian Books

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