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Cover image of What's Hidden Inside Planets?
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What's Hidden Inside Planets?

Sabine Stanley, PhD
with John Wenz

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A guided journey through the inner workings of Earth, the cloaked mysteries of other planets in our solar system, and beyond.

Extreme heat. Extreme cold. Extreme pressure. Toxic gases. Scorching magma flows, and ice volcanoes. Interior tides. Asteroids filled with gold. In What's Hidden Inside Planets? planetary scientist Dr. Sabine Stanley cracks the surface to reveal the beating heart of planets and what created them—from the building blocks of swirling cosmic dust, pebbles, and gas to coalesced planetesimal beginnings to the worlds we see today. We're only beginning to explore the secretive...

A guided journey through the inner workings of Earth, the cloaked mysteries of other planets in our solar system, and beyond.

Extreme heat. Extreme cold. Extreme pressure. Toxic gases. Scorching magma flows, and ice volcanoes. Interior tides. Asteroids filled with gold. In What's Hidden Inside Planets? planetary scientist Dr. Sabine Stanley cracks the surface to reveal the beating heart of planets and what created them—from the building blocks of swirling cosmic dust, pebbles, and gas to coalesced planetesimal beginnings to the worlds we see today. We're only beginning to explore the secretive interiors of planets, where awe-inspiring wonders await.

Our home planet is no exception. Earth, from space, looks like a shimmering gem suspended in an inky, infinite expanse. But this serene image masks the magnificent and volatile interior forces that make life possible for millions of species on the surface. The placid appearances of our neighboring planets similarly belie their powers—and science fiction-worthy features, like diamond rain. The daily machinations of Earth's deep interior make the planet a habitable, yet sometimes treacherous, place to live. Drill down thousands of miles through our built environments and soil, sand, water, rock, and minerals to the outer (mainly liquid iron with nickel) and inner core, encountering intense convection, roiling metals, hidden continents, and shifting tectonic plates. Discover the effects of magnetism, rotation, and seismic activity seen and sensed in the forms of auroras, hurricanes, volcanoes, and earthquakes, among other manifestations. Our neighboring planets boast their own fierce forces, along with moons covered by frozen oceans that might someday reveal extraterrestrial life.

Join this exciting journey to far-flung interstellar locations and the center of the Earth to learn what lies beneath our feet, and why it's the best real estate in our solar system.

Reviews

Reviews

Stanley, a planetary scientist at Johns Hopkins University, approaches her topic with the generous enthusiasm of a nature guide taking visitors on a field trip....'I hope I've been able to portray how wondrous the inner worlds of planets are,' Stanley writes modestly near the end of her book. Hope achieved.

Engrossing and lively....A great introduction to the subject, with enough up-to-date detail to ensure that even readers with some background in the subject will find something new.

Next time you look up at a colourful auroral display in the ionosphere, give a thought to the Earth's molten iron core that makes the shimmering light show possible. As Sabine Stanley explains in What's Hidden Inside Planets?, there is quite a lot going on beneath the surface—from the processes controlling the carbon cycle to those responsible for earthquakes and volcanoes. The book is written in an entertaining and accessible way, with plenty of food metaphors and quirky facts.

[A] sparkling book....The strength of Stanley's work lies in her engaging, conversational, almost conspiratorial writing style.

Sabine Stanley serves up a sumptuous smörgåsbord of science, diving into the deep puzzles of planets and moons. A slathering of kitchen analogies, and a sprinkling of delicious tidbits about the author's evolution, make the physics easy to digest. A treat!

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
5
x
7
Pages
272
ISBN
9781421448169
Illustration Description
1 halftone, 5 line drawings
Table of Contents

Preface
1. Gazing Inward
2. Gazing Outward
3. Telltale Planetary Parcels
4. Fierce and Formative Forces
5. How We Peer Inside Planets
6. Curious Planetary Elements
7. The Future of Planetary Exploration
Ackn

Preface
1. Gazing Inward
2. Gazing Outward
3. Telltale Planetary Parcels
4. Fierce and Formative Forces
5. How We Peer Inside Planets
6. Curious Planetary Elements
7. The Future of Planetary Exploration
Acknowledgments
Notes
Index

Author Bios
Sabine Stanley
Featured Contributor

Sabine Stanley

Sabine Stanley, PhD, is a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Planetary Physics at Johns Hopkins University focusing on magnetic fields and other geophysical elements as a means of studying the interiors of planets, moons, asteroids, and exoplanets. She is a 2011 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow, received the William Gilbert Award of the American Geophysical Union in 2010, and held a Canada...
Featured Contributor

John Wenz

John Wenz is a science writer and editor whose works have appeared in Scientific American, Discover Magazine, Popular Science, Smithsonian Magazine, New Scientist, and many other publications. He is the science editor at Inverse.