Wednesday, January 15, 2014

NatGeo: "Beyond our Universe" offers plenty of maps of other planets and moons within our own solar system

National Geographic offers as “supermarket” book, “Beyond our Galaxy: Exploring the Vastness of Space”, apparently edited by Bridget A. English.  The book is in four chapters, “The Solar System”, “The Milky Way”, “The Universe”, “The Multiverse.”

The book has maps of Venus, the Moon, Mars, Europa, and Titan.  There are surface illustrations of photographs from Venus, Mars and a small photo from Titan.

The book explains how the liquid layers among the gas giants are different.  Uranus and Neptune have a layer of many gasses, which gradually turn into a foam and liquid at increasing depth.  Jupiter and Saturn have a layer of metallic hydrogen. 

One of the more interesting discussions concerns that of Dark Matter and Dark Energy (73% of everything).  Dark matter is affected only by gravity, and dark energy may be the “cost” associated with creating more space-time.  That leads to the idea that eventually dark energy may pull everything in the universe apart in a “big rip”. 

Michio Kaku explains some of the possibilities. 

The very last page gives an explanation of the “anthropic principle”.  

Update: July 4, 2014

The July 2014 issue starts with an article "Is Anybody Out There: Life Beyond Earth", by Michael D. Lemonick.  There's discussion of the Drake Equation and an artists' rendition of the surface of Europa.

The July 2013 issue had offered a "Field Trip to Mars" in pictures.  


Kay said...

How can I get 14 copies of this publication? The stores in our area are out of copies.

Bill Boushka said...

I usually pick up NatGeo at a CVS, Walgreens, Safeway or Harris Teeter. There's usually only one or two copies. I'd check Nattional Geographic's website.

I would think public school systems might want specific issues for classwork in science or history.