The Sirens of Mars

The Sirens of Mars
Author: Sarah Stewart Johnson
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781101904824
Available:
Release: 2020-07-07
Editor: Crown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

“Sarah Stewart Johnson interweaves her own coming-of-age story as a planetary scientist with a vivid history of the exploration of Mars in this celebration of human curiosity, passion, and perseverance.”—Alan Lightman, author of Einstein’s Dreams NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • Times (UK) • Library Journal “Lovely . . . Johnson’s prose swirls with lyrical wonder, as varied and multihued as the apricot deserts, butterscotch skies and blue sunsets of Mars.”—Anthony Doerr, The New York Times Book Review Mars was once similar to Earth, but today there are no rivers, no lakes, no oceans. Coated in red dust, the terrain is bewilderingly empty. And yet multiple spacecraft are circling Mars, sweeping over Terra Sabaea, Syrtis Major, the dunes of Elysium, and Mare Sirenum—on the brink, perhaps, of a staggering find, one that would inspire humankind as much as any discovery in the history of modern science. In this beautifully observed, deeply personal book, Georgetown scientist Sarah Stewart Johnson tells the story of how she and other researchers have scoured Mars for signs of life, transforming the planet from a distant point of light into a world of its own. Johnson’s fascination with Mars began as a child in Kentucky, turning over rocks with her father and looking at planets in the night sky. She now conducts fieldwork in some of Earth’s most hostile environments, such as the Dry Valleys of Antarctica and the salt flats of Western Australia, developing methods for detecting life on other worlds. Here, with poetic precision, she interlaces her own personal journey—as a female scientist and a mother—with tales of other seekers, from Percival Lowell, who was convinced that a utopian society existed on Mars, to Audouin Dollfus, who tried to carry out astronomical observations from a stratospheric balloon. In the process, she shows how the story of Mars is also a story about Earth: This other world has been our mirror, our foil, a telltale reflection of our own anxieties and yearnings. Empathetic and evocative, The Sirens of Mars offers an unlikely natural history of a place where no human has ever set foot, while providing a vivid portrait of our quest to defy our isolation in the cosmos.

The Sirens of Mars

The Sirens of Mars
Author: Sarah Stewart Johnson
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9780241216019
Available:
Release: 2020-07-16
Editor: Penguin UK
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

As a new wave of interplanetary exploration unfolds, a talented young planetary scientist charts our centuries-old obsession with Mars. 'Beautifully written, emotive - a love letter to a planet' DERMOT O'LEARY, BBC Radio 2 Mars - bewilderingly empty, coated in red dust - is an unlikely place to pin our hopes of finding life elsewhere. And yet, right now multiple spacecraft are circling, sweeping over Terra Sabaea, Syrtis Major, the dunes of Elysium and Mare Sirenum - on the brink, perhaps, of a discovery that would inspire humankind as much as any in our history. With poetic precision and grace, Sarah Stewart Johnson traces the evocative history of our explorations of Mars. She interlaces her personal journey as a scientist with tales of other seekers - from Galileo to William Herschel to Carl Sagan - who have scoured this enigmatic planet for signs of life and transformed it in our understanding from a distant point of light into a complex world. Ultimately, she shows how its story is also a story about Earth: it is a foil, a mirror, a tell-tale reflection of our own anxieties and yearnings to find - if we're lucky - that we're not alone. 'Elegantly written and boundlessly entertaining' Sunday Telegraph 'Beguiling' The Times 'Johnson's prose swirls with lyrical wonder, as varied and multi-hued as the apricot deserts, butterscotch skies and blue sunsets of Mars' Anthony Doerr, New York Times Book Review 'Elegantly crafted' Lord Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal

The Sirens of Mars

The Sirens of Mars
Author: Sarah Stewart Johnson
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781101904831
Available:
Release: 2021-07-20
Editor: Crown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Mars was once similar to Earth, but today there are no rivers, no lakes, no oceans. Yet multiple spacecraft are circling Mars, sweeping over Terra Sabaea, Syrtis Major, the dunes of Elysium, and Mare Sirenum-- on the brink, perhaps, of a staggering find. Johnson tells the story of how she and other researchers have scoured Mars for signs of life. She interlaces her journey as a female scientist with tales of other seekers, to offer an unlikely natural history of a place where no human has ever set foot, while providing a vivid portrait of our quest to defy our isolation in the cosmos. -- adapted from jacket

The Sirens of Titan

The Sirens of Titan
Author: Kurt Vonnegut
Pages: 249
ISBN: 0575079029
Available:
Release: 2006
Editor: Unknown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

When Winston Niles Rumfoord flies his spaceship into a chrono-synclastic infundibulum he is converted into pure energy and only materializes when his waveforms intercept Earth or some other planet. As a result, he only gets home to Newport, Rhode Island, once every fifty-nine days and then only for an hour. But at least, as a consolation, he now knows everything that has ever happened and everything that ever will be. He knows, for instance, that his wife is going to Mars to mate with Malachi Constant, the richest man in the world. He also knows that on Titan -- one of Saturn's moons -- is an alien from the planet Tralfamadore, who has been waiting 200,000 years for a spare part for his grounded spacecraft...

Once Upon a Time I Lived on Mars

Once Upon a Time I Lived on Mars
Author: Kate Greene
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781250159489
Available:
Release: 2020-07-14
Editor: St. Martin's Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

When it comes to Mars, the focus is often on how to get there: the rockets, the engines, the fuel. But upon arrival, what will it actually be like? In 2013, Kate Greene moved to Mars. That is, along with five fellow crew members, she embarked on NASA’s first HI-SEAS mission, a simulated Martian environment located on the slopes of Mauna Loa in Hawai'i. For four months she lived, worked, and slept in an isolated geodesic dome, conducting a sleep study on her crew mates and gaining incredible insight into human behavior in tight quarters, as well as the nature of boredom, dreams, and isolation that arise amidst the promise of scientific progress and glory. In Once Upon a Time I Lived on Mars, Greene draws on her experience to contemplate humanity’s broader impulse to explore. The result is a twined story of space and life, of the standard, able-bodied astronaut and Greene’s brother’s disability, of the lag time of interplanetary correspondences and the challenges of a long-distance marriage, of freeze-dried egg powder and fresh pineapple, of departure and return. By asking what kind of wisdom humanity might take to Mars and elsewhere in the Universe, Greene has written a remarkable, wide-ranging examination of our time in space right now, as a pre-Mars species, poised on the edge, readying for launch.

The Smallest Lights in the Universe

The Smallest Lights in the Universe
Author: Sara Seager
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780385692809
Available:
Release: 2020-08-18
Editor: Doubleday Canada
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Canadian MIT astrophysicist Sara Seager interweaves the story of her search for meaning and solace after losing her first husband to cancer, her unflagging search for an Earth-like exoplanet and her unexpected discovery of new love. Sara Seager has made it her life's work to peer into the spaces around stars--looking for exoplanets outside our solar system, hoping to find the one-in-a-billion world enough like ours to sustain life. But with the unexpected death of her husband, her life became an empty, lightless space. Suddenly, she was the single mother of two young boys, a widow at forty, clinging to three crumpled pages of instructions her husband had written for things like grocery shopping--things he had done while she did pioneering work as a planetary scientist at MIT. She became painfully conscious of her Asperger's, which before losing her husband had felt more like background noise. She felt, for the first time, alone in the universe. In this probing, invigoratingly honest memoir, Seager tells the story of how, as she stumblingly navigated the world of grief, she also kept looking for other worlds. She continues to develop groundbreaking projects, such as the Starshade, a sunflower-shaped instrument that, when launched into space, unfurls itself so as to block planet-obscuring starlight, and she takes solace in the alien beauty of exoplanets. At the same time, she discovers what feels every bit as wondrous: other people, reaching out across the space of her grief. Among them are the Widows of Concord, a group of women offering consolation and advice, and her beloved sons, Max and Alex. Most unexpected of all, there is another kind of one-in-a-billion match with an amateur astronomer. Equally attuned to the wonders of deep space and human connection, The Smallest Lights in the Universe is its own light in the dark.

How We ll Live on Mars

How We ll Live on Mars
Author: Stephen Petranek
Pages: 96
ISBN: 9781476784779
Available:
Release: 2015-07-07
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Award-winning journalist Stephen Petranek says humans will live on Mars by 2027. Now he makes the case that living on Mars is not just plausible, but inevitable. It sounds like science fiction, but Stephen Petranek considers it fact: Within twenty years, humans will live on Mars. We’ll need to. In this sweeping, provocative book that mixes business, science, and human reporting, Petranek makes the case that living on Mars is an essential back-up plan for humanity and explains in fascinating detail just how it will happen. The race is on. Private companies, driven by iconoclastic entrepreneurs, such as Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Paul Allen, and Sir Richard Branson; Dutch reality show and space mission Mars One; NASA; and the Chinese government are among the many groups competing to plant the first stake on Mars and open the door for human habitation. Why go to Mars? Life on Mars has potential life-saving possibilities for everyone on earth. Depleting water supplies, overwhelming climate change, and a host of other disasters—from terrorist attacks to meteor strikes—all loom large. We must become a space-faring species to survive. We have the technology not only to get humans to Mars, but to convert Mars into another habitable planet. It will likely take 300 years to “terraform” Mars, as the jargon goes, but we can turn it into a veritable second Garden of Eden. And we can live there, in specially designed habitations, within the next twenty years. In this exciting chronicle, Petranek introduces the circus of lively characters all engaged in a dramatic effort to be the first to settle the Red Planet. How We’ll Live on Mars brings firsthand reporting, interviews with key participants, and extensive research to bear on the question of how we can expect to see life on Mars within the next twenty years.

The Search for Life on Mars

The Search for Life on Mars
Author: Elizabeth Howell,Nicholas Booth
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9781950691661
Available:
Release: 2020-06-23
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Published to coincide with the launch of NASA’s Perseverance rover mission this summer, the definitive account of our quest to find life on the Red Planet. From The War of the Worlds to The Martian and to the amazing photographs sent back by the robotic rovers Curiosity and Opportunity, Mars has excited our imaginations as the most likely other habitat for life in the solar system. Now the Red Planet is coming under scrutiny as never before. As new missions are scheduled to launch this year from the United States and China, and with the European Space Agency's ExoMars mission now scheduled for 2022, this book recounts in full the greatest scientific detective story ever. For the first time in forty years, the missions heading to Mars will look for signs of ancient life on the world next door. It is the latest chapter in an age‑old quest that encompasses myth, false starts, red herrings, and bizarre coincidences—as well as triumphs and heartbreaking failures. This book, by two journalists with deep experience covering space exploration, is the definitive story of how life's discovery has eluded us to date, and how it will be found somewhere and sometime this century. The Search for Life on Mars is based on more than a hundred interviews with experts at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and elsewhere, who share their insights and stories. While it looks back to the early Mars missions such as Viking 1 and 2, the book's focus is on the experiments and revelations from the most recent ones—including Curiosity, which continues to explore potentially habitable sites where water was once present, and the Mars Insight lander, which has recorded more than 450 marsquakes since its deployment in late 2018—as well as on the Perseverance and ExoMars rover missions ahead. And the book looks forward to the newest, most exciting frontier of all: the day, not too far away, when humans will land, make the Red Planet their home, and look for life directly.

Mars

Mars
Author: Percival Lowell
Pages: 228
ISBN: NYPL:33433069087785
Available:
Release: 1895
Editor: Unknown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The Big Book of Mars

The Big Book of Mars
Author: Marc Hartzman
Pages: 236
ISBN: 9781683692102
Available:
Release: 2020-07-07
Editor: Quirk Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Filled with entertaining history, archival images, pop culture ephemera, and interviews with NASA scientists, The Big Book of Mars is the most comprehensive look at our relationship with Mars—yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Mars has been a source of fascination and speculation ever since the Ancient Sumerians observed its blood-red hue and named it for their god of war and plague. But it wasn't until 1877, when "canals" were observed on the surface of the Red Planet, suggesting the presence of water, that scientists, novelists, filmmakers, and entrepreneurs became obsessed with the question of whether there's life on Mars. In The War of the Worlds, H.G. Wells suggested that we wouldn't need to make contact with Martians—they'd come for us—while, many years later, Nikola Tesla claimed that he did make contact. Since then, Mars has fully invaded pop culture. It has its own day of the week (Tuesday, or martis in Latin), candy bar, and iconic Looney Tunes character. It has been the subject of novels and movies, from Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles to Mars Attacks! to The Martian. And it has sparked a space-race feud between Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, who both hope to send a manned mission to Mars in the near future.

Beyond Earth

Beyond Earth
Author: Charles Wohlforth,Amanda R. Hendrix
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9780804172424
Available:
Release: 2017-10-17
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Presents a chronicle of the developments and initiatives that have transformed the idea of space colonization into an achievable goal, sharing arguments in favor of targeting Saturn's moon, Titan.

Spacefarers

Spacefarers
Author: Christopher Wanjek
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9780674984486
Available:
Release: 2020
Editor: Unknown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

What will it take to make humanity a spacefaring species? The usual: good reasons and good planning. Christopher Wanjek explores the practical motivations for striking out into the far reaches of the solar system and the realities of the challenge. And he introduces us to the scientists and entrepreneurs who are already tackling that challenge.

Stranger in a Strange Land

Stranger in a Strange Land
Author: Robert A. Heinlein
Pages: 448
ISBN: 1101208961
Available:
Release: 1987-05-15
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Robert Heinlein's Hugo Award-winning all-time masterpiece, the brilliant novel that grew from a cult favorite to a bestseller to a science fiction classic. Raised by Martians on Mars, Valentine Michael Smith is a human who has never seen another member of his species. Sent to Earth, he is a stranger who must learn what it is to be a man. But his own beliefs and his powers far exceed the limits of humankind, and as he teaches them about grokking and water-sharing, he also inspires a transformation that will alter Earth’s inhabitants forever...

Discovering Mars

Discovering Mars
Author: William Sheehan,Jim Bell
Pages: 744
ISBN: 9780816532100
Available:
Release: 2021
Editor: University of Arizona Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A leading historian of astronomy and a leading planetary scientist who works at the forefront of space exploration provide a comprehensive history of the solar system's most alluring planet beyond Earth. William Sheehan and Jim Bell chronicle how ancient watchers of the skies attended to Mars's red color and baffling movements, how three and a half centuries of telescopic observations added vistas and controversies around possible seas and continents and canals, and how the current era of exploration by flyby, orbiter, lander, and rover spacecraft have conjured for us the reality of a world of towering shield volcanoes, vast canyons, ancient dry riverbeds--and even possible evidence of past life. A unique collaboration between two authors on the forefront of Mars explorations, past and future, Discovering Mars provides an ambitious, detailed, and evocative account of humanity's enduring fascination with the Red Planet.

The Girls of Atomic City

The Girls of Atomic City
Author: Denise Kiernan
Pages: 373
ISBN: 9781451617535
Available:
Release: 2014-03-11
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Looks at the contributions of the thousands of women who worked at a secret uranium-enriching facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee during World War II.

Spaceman

Spaceman
Author: Mike Massimino
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9781101903551
Available:
Release: 2016-10-04
Editor: Crown Archetype
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Have you ever wondered what it would be like to find yourself strapped to a giant rocket that’s about to go from zero to 17,500 miles per hour? Or to look back on Earth from outer space and see the surprisingly precise line between day and night? Or to stand in front of the Hubble Space Telescope, wondering if the emergency repair you’re about to make will inadvertently ruin humankind’s chance to unlock the universe’s secrets? Mike Massimino has been there, and in Spaceman he puts you inside the suit, with all the zip and buoyancy of life in microgravity. Massimino’s childhood space dreams were born the day Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. Growing up in a working-class Long Island family, he catapulted himself to Columbia and then MIT, only to flunk his first doctoral exam and be rejected three times by NASA before making it through the final round of astronaut selection. Taking us through the surreal wonder and beauty of his first spacewalk, the tragedy of losing friends in the Columbia shuttle accident, and the development of his enduring love for the Hubble Telescope—which he and his fellow astronauts were tasked with saving on his final mission—Massimino has written an ode to never giving up and the power of teamwork to make anything possible. Spaceman invites us into a rare, wonderful world where science meets the most thrilling adventure, revealing just what having “the right stuff” really means.

A Song Below Water

A Song Below Water
Author: Bethany C. Morrow
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9781250315311
Available:
Release: 2020-06-02
Editor: Tor Teen
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Bethany C. Morrow's A Song Below Water is the story for today’s readers — a captivating modern fantasy about Black sirens, friendship, and self-discovery set against the challenges of today's racism and sexism. In a society determined to keep her under lock and key, Tavia must hide her siren powers. Meanwhile, Effie is fighting her own family struggles, pitted against literal demons from her past. Together, these best friends must navigate through the perils of high school’s junior year. But everything changes in the aftermath of a siren murder trial that rocks the nation, and Tavia accidentally lets out her magical voice at the worst possible moment. Soon, nothing in Portland, Oregon, seems safe. To save themselves from drowning, it’s only Tavia and Effie’s unbreakable sisterhood that proves to be the strongest magic of all. "It's beautiful and it's brilliant.”--Jason Reynolds, #1 New York Times bestselling author and National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature “An enthralling tale of Black girl magic and searing social commentary ready to rattle the bones.” — Dhonielle Clayton, New York Times bestselling author of The Belles At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

Alien Oceans

Alien Oceans
Author: Kevin Hand
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9780691227283
Available:
Release: 2021-09-21
Editor: Princeton University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Inside the epic quest to find life on the water-rich moons at the outer reaches of the solar system Where is the best place to find life beyond Earth? We often look to Mars as the most promising site in our solar system, but recent scientific missions have revealed that some of the most habitable real estate may actually lie farther away. Beneath the frozen crusts of several of the small, ice-covered moons of Jupiter and Saturn lurk vast oceans that may have existed for as long as Earth, and together may contain more than fifty times its total volume of liquid water. Could there be organisms living in their depths? Alien Oceans reveals the science behind the thrilling quest to find out. Kevin Peter Hand is one of today's leading NASA scientists, and his pioneering research has taken him on expeditions around the world. In this captivating account of scientific discovery, he brings together insights from planetary science, biology, and the adventures of scientists like himself to explain how we know that oceans exist within moons of the outer solar system, like Europa, Titan, and Enceladus. He shows how the exploration of Earth's oceans is informing our understanding of the potential habitability of these icy moons, and draws lessons from what we have learned about the origins of life on our own planet to consider how life could arise on these distant worlds. Alien Oceans describes what lies ahead in our search for life in our solar system and beyond, setting the stage for the transformative discoveries that may await us.

The Interstellar Age

The Interstellar Age
Author: Jim Bell
Pages: 324
ISBN: 9781101983898
Available:
Release: 2016
Editor: Dutton
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Voyager 1 left the solar system in 2012; its sister craft, Voyager 2, will do so in 2015. The fantastic journey began in 1977, before the first episode of Cosmos aired. The mission was planned as a grand tour beyond the moon; beyond Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn; and maybe even into interstellar space. The fact that it actually happened makes this humanity's greatest space mission. In The Interstellar Age, award-winning planetary scientist Jim Bell reveals what drove and continues to drive the members of this extraordinary team.

Brave New Words

Brave New Words
Author: Jeff Prucher
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9780199885527
Available:
Release: 2007-05-07
Editor: Oxford University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Winner of a 2008 Hugo Award, this new paperback takes readers on spectacular tour of the language created by science fiction. From "Stargate" to "Force Field," this dictionary opens a fascinating window into an entire genre, through the words invented by science fiction's most talented writers, critics, and fans. Each entry includes numerous citations of the word's usage, from the earliest known appearance forward. Drawn not only from science fiction novels and stories, citations also come from fanzines, screenplays, comics, songs, and the Internet.