This book concentrates on the "odd and interesting" aspects of planetary bodies, including asteroids and moons, describing unusual features of these worlds and the ways in which they appear "weird" to us. Also discusses the possibility of methane-based organisms.
"Weird Worlds" is the third book in David Seargent's "Weird" series. This book assumes a basic level of astronomical understanding and concentrates on the "odd and interesting" aspects of planetary bodies, including asteroids and moons. From our viewpoint here on Earth, this work features the most unusual features of these worlds and the ways in which they appear "weird" to us. Within our own Solar System, odd facts such as the apparent reversal of the Sun in the skies of Mercury, CO2-driven fountains of dust on Mars, possible liquid water (and perhaps primitive life!) deep within the dwarf planet Ceres, and a variety of odd facts about the planetary moons are all discussed. A special chapter is devoted to Saturn's giant moon Titan, and its methane-based weather system and "hydrological" cycle. This chapter also includes recent speculation on the possibility of methane-based organisms and the form that these might take, if they really do exist. Beyond our Solar System, the book looks at the range of worlds discovered and hypothesized.
In "Weird Worlds," the author discusses planets where temperatures are so high that it rains molten iron, and others so cold that liquid methane floods across plains of ice! Worlds are described where the lightest element acts like a metal and where winds blow at thousands of miles per hour - as well as possible planets whose orbits are essentially parabolic.
In keeping with previous titles in David Seargent's "Weird" series, "Weird Worlds" contains several projects that astronomers of all levels can undertake.
Oddities of the Inner Worlds.- Strange Little Worlds - Asteroids and Their Kin.- The Many Moons of the Solar System.- Titan - Weirdest World of Them All?.- Oddities of the Outer Worlds.- Strange Worlds Afar.- Observational Projects._
From the reviews:
"David Seargent has the enviable ability to pick his way through an enormous amount of detail and to spice up our understanding of planets, moons, asteroids, and comets with the odd and interesting aspects of their physics and chemistry. He expertly balances the depth of our knowledge against the huge number of unknowns. ... this engagingly written, introductory-level, and extremely accessible book will do much to encourage more people to investigate planets." (David W. Hughes, The Observatory, Vol. 134 (1239), April, 2014)
"Seargent (Australian Sky and Telescope) begins with the most curious features of the major planets, and then leads readers to some of the innumerable minor bodies in the solar system, such as asteroids, comets, moons, Kuiper Belt objects, and dwarf planets like Pluto and Ceres. ... While Weird Worlds is certainly an excellent introduction to planetary science, it is really a tour guide of the solar system--and beyond. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries." (T. D. Oswalt, Choice, Vol. 51 (4), December, 2013)
Oddities of the Inner Worlds.- Strange Little Worlds - Asteroids and Their Kin.- The Many Moons of the Solar System.- Titan - Weirdest World of Them All?.- Oddities of the Outer Worlds.- Strange Worlds Afar.- Observational Projects.¿
Presents fascinating other worlds, including planets, moons, and asteroids, that seem extremely weird to us here on Earth
Contains "hands-on" projects in which readers may participate and which help readers to understand better what they are reading
Uses non-technical and non-mathematical language, making it accessible to all readers