'An enchanting book. In prose that is by turns lyrical and wry, and always filled with an infectious sense of wonder, she moves engagingly through our solar system … Sobel's enthusiasm for her subject is absolute and she succeeds in transmitting it to the reader, quite a feat when the subject matter can be so tricky to grasp. Much of the passion feeds directly from the astronomers themselves, their great discoveries and their endless yearning for understanding.' Sunday Telegraph
‘In this enthralling, accessible book, bestselling author Dava Sobel provides a detailed portrait of each heavenly body. Drawing on myth and history, astrology and science fact as well as science fiction, she tells a story that will have you gazing up at the night skies with renewed fascination.’ Daily Mail
'If you like your science lyrical Dava Sobel is the author for you.’ Independent
'It is science that excites Sobel. There's a real gee-whizzery about her treatment of telescopes and space probes and their many astonishing discoveries in recent years. It is hard to imagine a better picture of the dangerous and inhospitable nature of our solar system, where the existence of any form of life, let alone one capable of travelling to other worlds, is nothing less than a miracle. The book is also a timely reminder of the fragility of the little green spacecraft on which we are all passengers.’ John Moorish, Independent on Sunday
'...a rich tapestry of poetry, history and anecdote...also a glittering anthology...in which science and scripture are mingled.'
Patrick Moore, The Guardian
'The Planets is a very agreeable read.'
The Glasgow Herald
'If you wish to tour the heaven, you could hardly find a more charming and beguiling guide.'
Scotland on Sunday
A highly informative book as well as a loveably odd one. It educates and entertains and deserves every success.'
Sobel writes beautifully and conveys complex information with elegance and charm'
The Sunday Telegraph
'An enchanting book...always filled with an infectious sense of wonder...Sobels enthusiasm for her subject is absolute.'
After the huge national and international success of ‘Longitude’ and ‘Gallileo’s Daughter’, Dava Sobel tells the human story of the nine planets of our solar system.
This groundbreaking work traces the ‘lives’ of each member of our solar family, from myth and history, astrology and science fiction, to the latest data from the modern era's robotic space probes.
Whether revealing what hides behind Venus's cocoon of acid clouds, describing Neptune's complex beauty, or capturing first-hand the excitement at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory when the first pictures from Cassini at Saturn were recently beamed to earth, Dava Sobel's unique tour of the solar system is filled with fascination and beauty. In lyrical prose interspersed with poems by Tennyson, Blake and others, ‘The Planets’ gives a breathtaking, intimate view of those heavenly bodies that have captured the imagination since humanity’s first glimpse of the glittering night skies.
Timely and timeless, ‘The Planets’ will engage and delight as it unravels the mysteries of the cosmos. It is of infinite relevance to this age in which new planets are being discovered elsewhere in our galaxy.
Note that it has not been possible to include the same picture content that appeared in the original print version.
About the Author
Dava Sobel, a former New York Times science reporter, is the author of ‘Longitude’, a prize-winning international bestseller, and ‘Galileo's Daughter’, which was shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize. She has co-authored six books, including ‘Is Anyone Out There?’ with astronomer Frank Drake, and ‘The Illustrated Longitude’ with William J. H. Andrewes. Dava Sobel has won a number of awards for her outstanding contribution towards public understanding of science. She lives in East Hampton, New York.