Drifting on Alien Winds

Exploring the Skies and Weather of Other Worlds

  • Michael Carroll

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Starting Here and Getting There

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Michael Carroll
      Pages 2-20
    3. Michael Carroll
      Pages 42-64
    4. Michael Carroll
      Pages 66-86
  3. The Forecast: Clearing with Scattered Ammonia Showers by Morning

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 87-87
    2. Michael Carroll
      Pages 88-105
    3. Michael Carroll
      Pages 106-126
    4. Michael Carroll
      Pages 128-142
    5. Michael Carroll
      Pages 144-171
    6. Michael Carroll
      Pages 172-195
  4. Future Explorers

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 197-197
    2. Michael Carroll
      Pages 216-221
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 223-238

About this book


Drifting on Alien Winds explores the bizarre weather of alien worlds, from the blistering hurricane-force winds of Venus to the gentle methane rain showers of Saturn's giant moon Titan. Blinding bolts of lightning sizzle through Jupiter's skies, ammonia blizzards swirl through Saturnian clouds, and Earth-sized cyclones pinwheel across Uranus and Neptune. Late-breaking scientific discoveries from spacecraft, observatories, and laboratories reveal the mysteries of weather across the Solar System. Our knowledge of weather on other worlds has not come easily. Drifting on Alien Winds introduces the inventors, engineers, and scientists who struggled to launch the first probes that would help us to understand the atmospheres of other worlds. The untold stories of early engineering feats and failures, from small Soviet Venus balloons to advanced studies of blimps and airplanes for Mars and Titan, are showcased here, along with what we’ve learned and are still trying to learn about alien skies. Some of today’s most creative and scientifically feasible ideas for voyaging through distant skies are presented. With spectacular spacecraft images and stunning original paintings by the author, Drifting on Alien Winds is a feast for the eyes as well as the mind.


Montgolfier balloon Physical features of planets Space balloon projects atmospheric probes extraterrestrial weather planetary atmospheres planetary balloon systems study of meteorology

Authors and affiliations

  • Michael Carroll
    • 1
  1. 1.LittletonUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011
  • Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
  • eBook Packages Physics and Astronomy
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4419-6916-3
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4419-6917-0
  • Buy this book on publisher's site