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  • © 2018

Exploring the Ocean Worlds of Our Solar System

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  • Offers readers a comprehensive and comparative overview of the five bodies in our Solar System that have evidence of a subsurface ocean, as well as other bodies that could theoretically have a subsurface ocean

  • Provides an in-depth analysis of the research and related subjects, such as the origin of water in our Solar System and the importance of the frost line

  • Addresses common misconceptions, misunderstandings, and false claims made in the media and existing literature about ocean worlds

Part of the book series: Astronomers' Universe (ASTRONOM)

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  • ISBN: 978-3-319-93476-1
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Table of contents (12 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xxiv
  2. Part I

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 1-1
    2. The Voyagers’ Tale

      • Bernard Henin
      Pages 3-20
    3. The Frost Line

      • Bernard Henin
      Pages 21-31
    4. Life on Earth and in Space

      • Bernard Henin
      Pages 33-75
  3. Part II

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 77-77
    2. Ganymede

      • Bernard Henin
      Pages 79-96
    3. Callisto

      • Bernard Henin
      Pages 97-109
    4. Europa

      • Bernard Henin
      Pages 111-142
    5. Titan

      • Bernard Henin
      Pages 143-158
    6. Enceladus

      • Bernard Henin
      Pages 159-188
  4. Part III

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 189-189
    2. Ceres and Dione

      • Bernard Henin
      Pages 191-208
    3. Triton and Pluto

      • Bernard Henin
      Pages 209-231
    4. The Possible Others

      • Bernard Henin
      Pages 233-247
  5. Part IV

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 249-249
  6. Back Matter

    Pages 273-303

About this book

In the last 25 years, planetary science experienced a revolution, as vast oceans of liquid water have been discovered within the heart of the icy moons of our Solar System. These subsurface oceans lie hidden under thick layers of ice. We call them ocean worlds.

Some of these icy moons, such as Ganymede, may hold two to three times more liquid water than all the water present on Earth, while others, such as Enceladus and Europa, are thought by astrobiologists to be our best hope of finding extraterrestrial life.

In this book, we will explore and compare a variety of Solar System ocean worlds, meeting in the process 22 of the most intriguing objects, from the giant asteroid Ceres to the enigmatic, distant Sedna. In doing so, we will also encounter the multiple spacecraft that brought back most of what we know of these worlds (Pioneers, Voyagers, Cassini-Huygens, etc.), as well as the latest scientific research on this new topic.

We will also entertain the possibility of life on each of these ocean worlds by assessing their habitability, as ultimately, these ocean worlds might hold the key to answering the fundamental questions in life: How did life appear? Where do we come from? Is there life out there?

Keywords

  • Alien bodies of water
  • Astrobiology and water
  • Habitability of worlds
  • Oceans on other planets
  • Habitability of other planets
  • Moons in our solar system
  • Extraterrestrial wet worlds
  • Europa's ocean
  • Enceladus' buried ocean
  • Titan's ocean
  • Planet subsurface
  • Planetary exploration

Reviews

“Henin is almost exclusively interested in these subsurface oceans for their potential to host extraterrestrial microbes. … his book provides an up-to-the-minute overview of a very interesting topic, … Summing Up: Recommended. With the caveat above. Undergraduates and general readers.” (B. M. Simonson, Choice, Vol. 56 (11), July, 2019)

 

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nottingham, United Kingdom

    Bernard Henin

About the author

Bernard is a member of the Sherwood Observatory in the United Kingdom (home to the second largest telescope in the country, which is freely accessible for public viewing), where he regularly does public outreach activities related to planetary science. Writing a book on astronomy felt like the next logical step in raising awareness of the incredible solar system we inhabit. Bernard has a Bachelor's degree in Applied Science and has written articles related to world culture for international magazines. Originally from Belgium, he has also lived in the USA, the United Kingdom and Hong Kong.   

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

eBook
USD 29.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-319-93476-1
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD 39.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)