Jacket Image

Enlarge Image

216 × 138 mm
208 pages
31 illustrations, 27 in colour
10 Aug 2020
  • £15.95

  • This edition is not yet available

Twenty Worlds The Extraordinary Story of Planets Around Other Stars Niall Deacon

Thirty years ago the only planets we knew were the ones orbiting our own Sun; we now know of thousands of other worlds orbiting distant stars. In this book astronomer Niall Deacon journeys to twenty of these globes: from giant, blisteringly hot planets orbiting close to their parent stars to planets that float through the cold wilderness of space alone, and from dead stars shredding asteroids to worlds made of diamond and even planets that may be similar to the Earth. Deacon also takes in the latest exoplanet discoveries, and explains how astronomers have come to learn so much about these strange and distant worlds.

Twenty Worlds tells a sweeping story, of real planets around other stars, and appeals to the wide audience for popular science and astronomy.

‘A wonderfully enjoyable tour of twenty diverse worlds that orbit distant stars. Niall Deacon uses simple ideas from science to show us how each world has its own personality – its own story. Twenty Worlds is an accessible introduction to some of the most exciting discoveries in astronomy.’ — Michael E. Summers, Professor of Planetary Sciences and Astronomy, George Mason University

Show all

Niall Deacon is an astronomy researcher and writer, and lives in Heidelberg, Germany. His research focuses on failed stars called brown dwarfs and giant planets orbiting other stars.

Introduction: An Ordered Family Portrait

Alien Worlds
1 A World beyond Expectation
2 A World Obscuring
3 A Tempestuous World
4 A Glimmer of Atmosphere
5 A World in Reverse

Towards Earth
6 A Flash from Darkness
7 A World You Can’t Set Your Watch By
8 A Contrasting Sibling
9 A World Like Ours?

10 An Unseen Embryo
11 A World through the Blur
12 An Ember Spat from a Fire
13 A Lonely Planet
14 A Dreich World?

15 A Cursed World
16 A World that’s Just Right?
17 A World Bombarded

18 A Dark Cloak of Death
19 A World Torn Asunder
20 A Diamond Born from Death

Epilogue: Yet More Worlds

Appendix: The Twenty Worlds
Photo Acknowledgements