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Publisher Description

THE PLANETS is Dava Sobel's sweeping look at our heavenly galaxy. In the spirit of Longitude and Galileo's Daughter, Sobel once again brings science and history deftly to life as she explores the origins of the planets and reveals the exotic environments that exist in each of these fascinating alien worlds.

After the huge national and international success of Longitude and Galileo's Daughter, Dava Sobel tells the human story of the nine planets of our solar system. THE PLANETS tells the story of each member of our solar family, from their discovery, both mythic and historic, to the latest data from the modern era's robotic space probes and images from the Hubble Space Telescope. Whether revealing what hides behind Venus' cocoon of acid clouds, describing Jupiter's 'Technicolor lightning bolts and shimmering sheets of auroras,' or capturing first-hand the excitement at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory when the first pictures from Voyager were beamed to earth, Dava Sobel's unique tour of the solar family is filled with fascination and poetry.

In lyrical prose THE PLANETS gives a breathtaking, close-up perspective on those heavenly bodies that have captured the imagination of humanity since that first glimpse at the glittering night skies. This is an extraordinary book of science, history, biography and storytelling. Timely and timeless, THE PLANETS will engage and delight as it unravels the mysteries of the cosmos.

Science & Nature
Lorna Raver
hr min
October 4
Random House Audio

Customer Reviews

DharmaLogos ,

An amazing book.

I really love this book that manages to combine science, history, and humanities. There is certainly a lot of science here, with both facts and interepretations that added a lot that I never knew before. But this book also covers the history of humankind's understanding of the planets, incorporating mythology, philosophy, and poetry.

When you were a child were you easily excited by the planets? Are you ready to be excited again by a more adult understanding? Then you will love this book.

Lorna Raver is such a great reader that I really want to hear other books read by her because I like her voice and passionate inflection so much. I would want to listen to a book that I've never heard of and have no interest in, just because I like hearing Ms. Raver's voice.

jcgonzal2 ,

The planets

This book is truly amazing. This is a detailed guide to our sun's family of planets; from the poisonous atmosphere of Venus, to the windy cloud tops of Neptune, and beyond, to the realms of Pluto and the small icy bodies in the Kuiper belt. This amazing book tells the story from interesting angles and perspectives. A must-read for all with an interest in astronomy.

Slipher ,

More appropriate under humanities

This is more of a history of human understanding of the planets through the arts, then a book based in science. The copious references to literary works and quotations of philosophers are not exactly what I would expect from a book filed under science. It is a good cross-category diversion for those wishing to briefly gloss over the various planets and their human histories.

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