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Titan unveiled - Ralph Lorenz

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Titan unveiled - Saturn's mysterious moon explored
Ralph Lorenz
Paperback / softback
Princeton University Press
UK Publication Date

For twenty-five years following the Voyager mission, scientists speculated about Saturn's largest moon, a mysterious orb clouded in orange haze. Finally, in 2005, the Cassini-Huygens probe successfully parachuted down through Titan's atmosphere, all the while transmitting images and data. In the early 1980s, when the two Voyager spacecraft skimmed past Titan, Saturn's largest moon, they transmitted back enticing images of a mysterious world concealed in a seemingly impenetrable orange haze. Titan Unveiled is one of the first general interest books to reveal the startling new discoveries that have been made since the arrival of the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and Titan.

Ralph Lorenz and Jacqueline Mitton take readers behind the scenes of this mission. Launched in 1997, Cassini entered orbit around Saturn in summer 2004. Its formidable payload included the Huygens probe, which successfully parachuted down through Titan's atmosphere in early 2005, all the while transmitting images and data--and scientists were startled by what they saw. One of those researchers was Lorenz, who gives an insider's account of the scientific community's first close encounter with an alien landscape of liquid methane seas and turbulent orange skies. Amid the challenges and frayed nerves, new discoveries are made, including methane monsoons, equatorial sand seas, and Titan's polar hood. Lorenz and Mitton describe Titan as a world strikingly like Earth and tell how Titan may hold clues to the origins of life on our own planet and possibly to its presence on others.

Generously illustrated with many stunning images, Titan Unveiled is essential reading for anyone interested in space exploration, planetary science, or astronomy.

A new afterword brings readers up to date on Cassini's ongoing exploration of Titan, describing the many new discoveries made since 2006.

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Ralph Lorenz is a planetary scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Jacqueline Mitton is a writer, editor, and media consultant in astronomy. They are the coauthors of Lifting Titan's Veil: Exploring the Giant Moon of Saturn.

"Titan's allure seems only to increase the more scientists learn about it...Obscured by haze, the landscape has been exposed by radar, special optical cameras, and the Huygens lander. The authors cover in detail the information gathered by these and other instruments, which impart a practical sense of how scientists work from raw data toward finished interpretations...Including amazing photographs of Titan's evident geological dynamism, Lorenz and Mitton's work has a high 'wow' factor that will thrill buffs and may spur students toward a planetary science career."---Gilbert Taylor, Booklist

"Lorenz was one of the researchers on the Cassini-Huygens mission which first successfully explored beyond the hazy atmosphere (and arguably, most intriguing) moon. In Titan Unveiled, he, with Mitton, an astronomer and writer, provides an insider's perspective of this first encounter with an alien landscape. . . . Recommended to lovers of cosmology and planetary science, both professional and amateur."

"Titan Unveiled describes how most of what we once hypothesized about Titan has been proved wrong. The story of how we gained our current knowledge is fascinating; even more intriguing is what remains to be learned."---Henry Roe, Nature

"This fantastic book shines a light on the truth of the matter: that science is about a sense of wonder, awe, the joy of finding stuff."
Nature Geoscience

"Lorenz, the author of this popular account of Titan, is intimately involved in the Cassini-Huygens mission as a planetary scientist, and he contributes personal anecdotes as well as a thorough treatment of the science and technology of missions to Saturn and its moons."---M. Dickinson, Choice

"Lorenz provides an intimate account of this unique adventure. . . . Anyone with an interest in science, astronomy, planetary science and exploration, engineering or the evolution of our own planet will find this book captivating and uplifting."---Agustin Chicarro, Physics World

"Ralph Lorenz . . . has teamed with veteran science journalist Jaqueline Mitton to convey both the human and scientific drama of remote robotic space exploration.""---Laurence A. Marschall, Natural History

"Lorenz, a planetary scientist, and Mitton, a science writer, vividly describe this encounter with an alien landscape; excerpts from Lorenz's log convey what it was like to be involved with the mission."
Scientific American

"Illustrated with many stunning images, Titan Unveiled is essential reading for anyone interested in space exploration, planetary science, or astronomy."
Lunar and Planetary Information Bulletin

"[T]he delight of reading about a mission that has boldly gone where no man has gone . . . yet make[s] Titan Unveiled and enticing read."---Ray Bert, Civil Engineering

"A fascinating read."---David Tytell, Sky & Telescope

"[A]n engrossing firsthand account of one of humankind's greatest adventures of recent years. It will take decades to prepare a new mission and then an additional seven years for another spacecraft to reach titan.
In the meantime, Titan Unveiled provides the general reader with a
lively narrative that combines a reliable, nontechnical account of the Cassini-Huygens mission with personal and often intimate insights into these efforts to explore a fascinating planetary analogue to the Earth."---Fred Taylor, American Scientist

"[W]hile expert readers in the science and engineering community will find much of interest here, it is the book's less technical target audience that will benefit the most. Apart from unveiling the mysteries of an alien world, it opens a window on the mostly hidden world of the planetary scientist, which is equally fascinating."---Mark Williamson, Space Times

Keyword Index
Titan (Satellite)|Titan (Satellite) - Exploration.
Country of Publication
New Jersey
Number of Pages

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