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Popular Astronomy

The New Worlds

Extrasolar Planets

Authors: Casoli, Fabienne, Encrenaz, Therese

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  • Presents the whole story of the hunt for planets outside the Solar System
  • Describes clearly the various techniques used by astronomers to detect extrasolar planets
  • Provides a complete picture of the wide range of extrasolar planets discovered to date
  • Demonstrates how life might evolve on an extrasolar planet and how such life might be detected
  • Explains concepts in such a way that no prior understanding of science is needed
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About this book

Exoplanet, extrasolar planet, exoEarth, exojupiter: neologisms still absent from many dictionaries. These terms are, however, current among astronomers, and are heard in their answers to a question already two millennia old: are there planets like ours elsewhere in the Universe? Greek atomists such as Epicurus were convinced of the existence of an infinite number of solar systems like our own, but it was only in 1995 that a real answer began to emerge. An extrasolar planet had been detected... a planet orbiting another star... a star like the Sun. So, the solar system was not unique! By mid- 2006 more than 200 giant exoplanets had been discovered. At this rate of discovery it seems that Earth-like planets may be found within a decade. The discovery of exoplanets held some surprises, in that they exhibited very different characteristics from what might have been expected. Although most of them are gas giants of masses comparable to Jupiter's mass, as a result of the rather insensitive nature of current detection methods, why are they from ten to fifty times closer to their stars than is Jupiter? How were these 'hot Jupiters' formed? Another surprise about exoplanets is that many of them have very elliptical orbits, while the planets of the solar system have much more circular orbits.

Reviews

From the reviews:

"The story … told in this translation of a French book in vivid language and with plenty of colour illustrations, with careful, explanations of terms to make the account accessible to non-specialists. … this book is a great introduction to the exciting topic of planetary systems beyond our own." (Fred Taylor, BBC Sky at Night, August, 2007)

"New Worlds discusses theories of planetary system formation – what our own solar system tells us, and how that has been changed by the new systems being found today. … New Worlds asks questions about life in the universe – how we define it, how to search for it, and where we might find it in other star systems. … The book is recommended for astronomy and general science collections." (David White, ACADEMIA, December, 2007)


Table of contents (7 chapters)

Table of contents (7 chapters)
  • Extrasolar planets: the Holy Grail of astronomers

    Pages 1-11

  • In search of exoplanets

    Pages 13-36

  • Twelve years of discovery

    Pages 39-63

  • What do we learn from our own solar system?

    Pages 65-88

  • The formation of planetary systems

    Pages 91-118

Buy this book

eBook  
  • ISBN 978-0-387-44907-4
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
Softcover $34.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-0-387-44906-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Immediate ebook access, if available*, with your print order
  • Online orders shipping within 2-3 days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The New Worlds
Book Subtitle
Extrasolar Planets
Authors
Series Title
Popular Astronomy
Copyright
2007
Publisher
Springer-Verlag New York
Copyright Holder
Springer-Verlag New York
eBook ISBN
978-0-387-44907-4
DOI
10.1007/978-0-387-44907-4
Softcover ISBN
978-0-387-44906-7
Series ISSN
2626-8760
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XII, 188
Additional Information
Original French edition published by Éditions Belin, 2005. Jointly published with Praxis Publishing, UK
Topics

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