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Distant Wanderers: The Search for Planets Beyond the Solar System Hardcover – Nov 1 2001


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 226 pages
  • Publisher: Copernicus; 2002 edition (Nov. 1 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0387950745
  • ISBN-13: 978-0387950747
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.4 x 23.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 658 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #791,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From Library Journal

In 1995, the first authenticated and accepted discovery of an extrasolar planet was made, and more than 60 such planets have been identified since then, possibly leading the way to the discovery of intelligent life beyond Earth. A contributor to Astronomy, Discover, the Boston Globe, and other publications, science journalist Dorminey devotes most of this work to the various successful search methods and resulting discoveries. The last several chapters discuss future searches with planned new instruments and search methodologies under development. The scientific level of the book will be challenging for lay readers, and the seemingly unavoidable flood of acronyms for new programs is wearisome at times. Still, this well-written volume is useful, particularly for the currency of its information. Other recommended titles in the fast-growing field of extrasolar planets include Michael Lemonick's Other Worlds (LJ 4/1/98) and Ken Crosswell's Planet Quest (LJ 9/1/97). Dorminey's book is recommended for academic and large public libraries. Jack W. Weigel, Ann Arbor, MI
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

In his first book, science journalist Dorminey gives a lucid and enjoyable account of the search for planets beyond our solar system. Although more than 60 such extrasolar planets have been detected, none have so far been directly observed. Instead their presence has been verified by the effects they have on the stars they orbit, such as wobble and interference. Therefore it is primarily the largest, or "Jupiter-class or better," planets that have been detected, and some of them are so large their existence challenges the very definitions of planets and stars. Dorminey does an excellent job of explaining the complex techniques involved in their study, such as Doppler spectroscopy, astrometry, and interferometry. He takes readers for a night's viewing at the world's major observatories, and introduces the patient scientists at the forefront of this painstaking yet exciting field. Ultimately they're searching for habitable planets such as our own, and although numerous factors must converge for life to evolve, many believe that the odds are in favor of abundant life in the universe. David Siegfried
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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First Sentence
On a clear night in the Northern Hemisphere, cruising the interstate highways across the Great Plains of the U.S., or ambling the foredecks of the old car ferries that still run the channel between the U.K. and France, the naked eye can discern some 5000 stars. Read the first page
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Format: Hardcover
A very timely book! Five years ago there wasn?t enough progress and news to warrant a book on this intriguing subject. Today this field is teeming with excitement and new discoveries. This book takes you behind the scenes of the serious research that is focused on finding planets beyond the solar system.
Bruce Dorminey does an excellent job of setting the stage. For the layman, like me, there are simple explanations of the more technical terms and concepts. These are welcome and wisely placed within the text, making the book highly readable. The professional merely skips over these italicized paragraphs.
As he travels the world to visit observatories, scientists and their scientific conferences, Mr Dorminey adds his own observations of the localities, the technical facilities and the personalities behind some of these remarkable discoveries. Amongst others, we follow him to Chile, Hawaii, the south of France and even the Isle of Capri!
The final chapters on Signatures of Life and Signals of Life are what this search is all about. Fascinating reading!
It is enjoyable and well worth the time to read this well written book on a truly absorbing subject.
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Format: Hardcover
The search for planets in orbit around stars outside our own Solar Systems is one of the most exciting fields of science today. Since the first indirect detection of a planet circling another Sun-like star was announced in 1995, dozens of extrasolar planets have been discovered.
In Distant Wanderers, Bruce Dorminey looks at the history, methods, and future of extrasolar planet hunting. He predicts, "Before the end of this new century, every schoolchild will know for certain how many planers circle nearby stars," and whether or not Earth-like planets are a rare anomaly. Like many rapidly developing scientific fields, the search for extra-solar planets has had many controversies and false starts along with the startling new discoveries, and the book presents a variety of theories and viewpoints in a fair and even-handed way.
In the first part of the book, Dorminey, an award-winning science journalist and former bureau chief for Aviation Week & Space Technology, describes methods that planet hunters have used (spectroscopic methods, astrometric detection, interferometry, microlensing, transit studies, and direct imaging through the use of a coronagraphic mask in the focal plane a camera). Although most of these methods require sophisticated technology and painstaking analysis, he explains each term or concept as it is introduced. He makes the science seem simple enough for lay readers to grasp and explains the strengths and limitations of each method.
The rest of the book looks ahead to programs that are planned for the future, including telescopes in space and larger, more sophisticated instruments here on Earth. Some of these programs are already funded and will begin soon. Others are nd ambitious ideas that may not be attempted for years, if they ever happen at all.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
The search for planets in orbit around stars outside our own Solar Systems is one of the most exciting fields of science today. Since the first indirect detection of a planet circling another Sun-like star was announced in 1995, dozens of extrasolar planets have been discovered.
In Distant Wanderers, Bruce Dorminey looks at the history, methods, and future of extrasolar planet hunting. He predicts, "Before the end of this new century, every schoolchild will know for certain how many planers circle nearby stars," and whether or not Earth-like planets are a rare anomaly. Like many rapidly developing scientific fields, the search for extra-solar planets has had many controversies and false starts along with the startling new discoveries, and the book presents a variety of theories and viewpoints in a fair and even-handed way.
In the first part of the book, Dorminey, an award-winning science journalist and former bureau chief for Aviation Week & Space Technology, describes methods that planet hunters have used (spectroscopic methods, astrometric detection, interferometry, microlensing, transit studies, and direct imaging through the use of a coronagraphic mask in the focal plane a camera). Although most of these methods require sophisticated technology and painstaking analysis, he explains each term or concept as it is introduced. He makes the science seem simple enough for lay readers to grasp and explains the strengths and limitations of each method.
The rest of the book looks ahead to programs that are planned for the future, including telescopes in space and larger, more sophisticated instruments here on Earth. Some of these programs are already funded and will begin soon. Others are nd ambitious ideas that may not be attempted for years, if they ever happen at all.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Format: Hardcover
The search for planets in orbit around stars outside our own Solar Systems is one of the most exciting fields of science today. Since the first indirect detection of a planet circling another Sun-like star was announced in 1995, dozens of extrasolar planets have been discovered.
In Distant Wanderers, Bruce Dorminey looks at the history, methods, and future of extrasolar planet hunting. He predicts, "Before the end of this new century, every schoolchild will know for certain how many planers circle nearby stars," and whether or not Earth-like planets are a rare anomaly. Like many rapidly developing scientific fields, the search for extra-solar planets has had many controversies and false starts along with the startling new discoveries, and the book presents a variety of theories and viewpoints in a fair and even-handed way.
In the first part of the book, Dorminey, an award-winning science journalist and former bureau chief for Aviation Week & Space Technology, describes methods that planet hunters have used (spectroscopic methods, astrometric detection, interferometry, microlensing, transit studies, and direct imaging through the use of a coronagraphic mask in the focal plane a camera). Although most of these methods require sophisticated technology and painstaking analysis, he explains each term or concept as it is introduced. He makes the science seem simple enough for lay readers to grasp and explains the strengths and limitations of each method.
The rest of the book looks ahead to programs that are planned for the future, including telescopes in space and larger, more sophisticated instruments here on Earth. Some of these programs are already funded and will begin soon. Others are nd ambitious ideas that may not be attempted for years, if they ever happen at all.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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