Beyond This Island Earth: Space Resources To Explore While Waiting For The Force To Awaken

[First, a brief update on the October 21st post on Tutankhamun’s tomb: radar scanning in late November gave researchers 90 percent confidence that there is more to the burial chamber beyond its interior walls; they’ll investigate further over the next few months.]

What with one incredible photograph after another coming back from Pluto over these past several months, it’s a good time to check out space exploration resources! Books yet to be published will have plenty of information about Pluto and its moons, but for right now, the best source of new information on Pluto is NASA’s New Horizons website:

https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/newhorizons/main/index.html

We also have some excellent titles on other aspects of the solar system and the universe. This next title is a good general reference for the solar system (although the New Horizons Pluto flyby, along with other recent missions, will certainly require a new edition soon):

REF QB501.E53 2007     Encyclopedia of the Solar System, 2nd ed. (2007)

In addition, we have atlases concerning Mars exploration, the Galilean Moons of Jupiter, our own moon, and other planets and moons. You can find links to these following three ebooks by searching on their titles in the Library Catalog:

eBook     The international Atlas of Mars Exploration: Vol. 1, 1953 to 2003 (2012)

eBook     Atlas of the Galilean Satellites (2010)

eBook     Photographic Atlas of the Moon (2002)

The non-photographic Times Atlas of the Moon can be found in the Oversize Collection, as well as in one of the Reference Collection atlas cases.

OVR QB595.U49 1969     Times Atlas of the Moon

One of our most recent titles covers the just-ending Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn, including information on the giant geysers on the ice moon Enceladus, Titan, Saturn’s rings, and much more:

QB671.M45 2015     The Cassini-Huygens Visit to Saturn (2015)

QB means Astronomy in the Library of Congress call number system, so you can find interesting books on everything from asteroids to galaxies just by browsing the QBs in the Reference, General, and Oversize collections; the NAS section for NASA in the Government Documents section also has some very interesting works, such as this periodical that is available both in print and online:

GOV DOCS NAS 1.83/4     Hubble … Science Year in Review
http://hubblesite.org/hubble_discoveries/science_year_in_review/

More extrasolar ‘exoplanets’ are being discovered every day; this ebook is an excellent title that discusses both exoplanets and the possibilities of discovering life:

eBook     The Life of Super-Earths (2012)

There are some astronomy-related DVDs in the Media Collection:

MEDIA QB88.F68 2009                400 Years of the Telescope (2009)

MEDIA QB500.268.T443 2010    Telescope: Hunting the Edge of Space (2010)

Two classics worth seeing are ‘Cosmos’ and ‘Powers of Ten.’ Carl Sagan’s 13-part ‘Cosmos,’ which was first broadcast in 1980, has inspired so many people:

MEDIA QB44.2.C834 2000         Cosmos (re-mastered, restored, and enhanced edition)

The captivating 9-minute Charles and Ray Eames 1968 film, ‘Powers of Ten,’ is an impressive demonstration of just how big — and small — the universe really is. What, the title doesn’t sound very interesting? Give it one minute and you’ll want to watch the whole thing. Scroll to the bottom of this web page for the video:

Powers of Ten and the Relative Size of Things in the Universe
http://www.eamesoffice.com/the-work/powers-of-ten/

The narrator of ‘Powers of Ten,’ by the way, is not just any voice, but that of Philip Morrison, a noted physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project, helped assemble the Nagasaki bomb, and later became a strong advocate for the non-militaristic use of nuclear energy.

The last title I’ll mention is one that local libraries don’t have right now, but is worth knowing about. It’s a beautifully illustrated book of space as imagined by artists:

The Art of Space: The History of Space Art, from the Earliest Visions to the Graphics of the Modern Era (2014)

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