World Space Week Round-Up #WSW2013

All this week for World Space Week, we’ve been posting excerpts from Chris Impey and Holly Henry’s new book, Dreams of Other Worlds: The Amazing Story of Unmanned Space Exploration, and while that’s an amazing book, we decided that in order to give World Space Week all of the cosmic attention it deserves, we would put together an interstellar round-up to fire up your engines and blast you to infinity… and beyond!

Beyond UFOs
Beyond UFOs: The Search for Extraterrestrial Life and Its Astonishing Implications for Our Future

By: Jeffrey Bennett

This book describes the startling discoveries being made in the very real science of astrobiology, an intriguing new field that blends astronomy, biology, and geology to explore the possibility of life on other planets. This book goes beyond UFOs to discuss some of the tantalizing questions astrobiologists grapple with every day: What is life and how does it begin? What makes a planet or moon habitable? Is there life on Mars or elsewhere in the solar system? How can life be recognized on distant worlds? Is it likely to be microbial, more biologically complex–or even intelligent? What would such a discovery mean for life here on Earth?

Titan Unveiled
Titan Unveiled: Saturn’s Mysterious Moon Explored

By: Ralph Lorenz and Jacqueline Mitton

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.

From Dust To Life
From Dust to Life: The Origin and Evolution of Our Solar System

By: John Chambers & Jacqueline Mitton

The birth and evolution of our solar system is a tantalizing mystery that may one day provide answers to the question of human origins. This book tells the remarkable story of how the celestial objects that make up the solar system arose from common beginnings billions of years ago, and how scientists and philosophers have sought to unravel this mystery down through the centuries, piecing together the clues that enabled them to deduce the solar system’s layout, its age, and the most likely way it formed.

Fly Me to the Moon
Fly Me to the Moon: An Insider’s Guide to the New Science of Space Travel

By: Edward Belbruno
With a foreword by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Belbruno devised one of the most exciting concepts now being used in space flight, that of swinging through the cosmos on the subtle fluctuations of the planets’ gravitational pulls. His idea was met with skepticism until 1991, when he used it to get a stray Japanese satellite back on course to the Moon. The successful rescue represented the first application of chaos to space travel and ushered in an emerging new field. Part memoir, part scientific adventure story, Fly Me to the Moon gives a gripping insider’s account of that mission and of Belbruno’s personal struggles with the science establishment.

The Milky Way
The Milky Way: An Insider’s Guide

By: William H. Waller

This book offers an intimate guide to the Milky Way, taking readers on a grand tour of our home Galaxy’s structure, genesis, and evolution, based on the latest astronomical findings. In engaging language, it tells how the Milky Way congealed from blobs of gas and dark matter into a spinning starry abode brimming with diverse planetary systems–some of which may be hosting myriad life forms and perhaps even other technologically communicative species. It vividly describes the Milky Way as it appears in the night sky, acquainting readers with its key components and telling the history of our changing galactic perceptions.

Universe
The Universe in a Mirror: The Saga of the Hubble Space Telescope and the Visionaries Who Built It

By: Robert Zimmerman
With a new afterword by the author

The Hubble Space Telescope has produced the most stunning images of the cosmos humanity has ever seen. It has transformed our understanding of the universe around us, revealing new information about its age and evolution, the life cycle of stars, and the very existence of black holes, among other startling discoveries. But it took an amazing amount of work and perseverance to get the first space telescope up and running. The Universe in a Mirror tells the story of this telescope and the visionaries responsible for its extraordinary accomplishments.

Think you know all about missions in space? Take our quiz and find out!
Proud of your score? Tweet it! #WSW2013

Stuart Mitchner on Princeton University Press: “The University Publisher”

Stuart Mitchner has a very nice piece on Princeton University Press in the most recent issue of Princeton Magazine, which includes mention of several recent books and authors. To give you a feel, here is the introductory paragraph:

Princeton University Press celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2005 with the publication of A Century in Books, which showcased 100 volumes that “best typify what has been most lasting, most defining, and most distinctive about our publishing,” according to the introduction by outgoing director Walter Lippincott, who was succeeded in March of that year by the current director Peter J. Dougherty. The co- chair of the search committee at the time was University Provost Christopher Eisgruber, the University’s newly installed twentieth president and the subject of this issue’s cover story. What the provost said about the new director eight years ago could be said by the president today, that he’s looking forward to working with Dougherty “to sustain the healthy relationship between the Press and the University.”

To illustrate the depth of the rest of Mitchner’s piece, here is a slideshow of the important books featured in the article:

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To read Mitchner’s full article in Princeton Magazine, click here.

Hello Earth — a photograph from the Cassini probe

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Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

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This image has been circulating around the internet this week. It shows the view from Saturn’s rings, looking homeward to Earth (that tiny, fuzzy blue dot in the lower right corner of the photograph).

On the NASA site, they write:

In this rare image taken on July 19, 2013, the wide-angle camera on NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has captured Saturn’s rings and our planet Earth and its moon in the same frame. It is only one footprint in a mosaic of 33 footprints covering the entire Saturn ring system (including Saturn itself).  At each footprint, images were taken in different spectral filters for a total of 323 images: some were taken for scientific purposes and some to produce a natural color mosaic.  This is the only wide-angle footprint that has the Earth-moon system in it.

We have images like this and tremendous amounts of scientific data about the far reaches of our solar system and universe thanks to unmanned space expeditions like Cassini, Voyager, the Viking and Mars Exploration Rovers, and telescopes like Spitzer, Chandra, and Hubble.

I spite of our fascination with astronauts and manned expeditions, the heavy lifting these days is done via remote by unmanned missions and technology. To get the soup-to-nuts history of how unmanned exploratory missions have expanded our knowledge of the universe and our place in it, please check out the forthcoming book Dreams of Other Worlds: The Amazing Story of Unmanned Space Exploration by Chris Impey and Holly Henry.

Princeton astrophysicist Jeremiah Ostriker to discuss HEART OF DARKNESS: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Invisible Universe tomorrow evening at Labyrinth Books in Princeton at 6:00 PM

If you happen to be in the Princeton, NJ, area tomorrow evening come out to hear Princeton astrophysicist Jeremiah Ostriker discuss his new book HEART OF DARKNESS: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Invisible Universe with science writer Michael Lemonick tomorrow evening, March 27, at 6:00 PM at Labyrinth Books.

NASA’s Donald Yeomans and NEAR-EARTH OBJECTS at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science this Wednesday

If you happen to be in the Denver area this week come out to see NASA’s Donald K. Yeomans discuss his timely new book NEAR-EARTH OBJECTS: Finding Them Before They Find Us at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science this Wednesday, March 27 at 7:00 PM.

New Physics and Astrophysics Catalog!

Be among the first to check out our new physics and astrophysics catalog!
http://press.princeton.edu/catalogs/physics13.pdf

Of particular interest are our forthcoming titles including William H. Waller’s navigation of a journey through The Milky Way: An Insider’s Guide and Jeremiah P. Ostriker and Simon Mitton’s rich Heart of Darkness: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Invisible Universe.

Also noteworthy are A. Zee’s unique Einstein Gravity in a Nutshell and Anupam Garg’s comprehensive Classical Electromagnetism in a Nutshell, each of our In a Nutshell series–a concise, accessible, and up-to-date collection of textbooks for advanced undergraduates and graduate students on key subjects in the physical sciences.

You will also find other essential textbooks including Biophysics: Searching for Principles by William Bialek and Why You Hear What You Hear: An Experiential Approach to Sound, Music, and Psychoacoustics by Eric J. Heller. Browse the catalog to discover other titles ranging in theme from topological insulators to climate dynamics.

To further whet your appetite, don’t miss our new titles including Abraham Loeb and Steven R. Furlanetto’s comprehensive The First Galaxies in the Universe, W. Patrick McCray’s fascinating The Visioneers: How a Group of Elite Scientists Pursued Space Colonies, Nanotechnologies, and a Limitless Future, and Donald K. Yeomans’ behind-the-scenes Near-Earth Objects: Finding Them Before They Find Us.

The selection of critical, cutting-edge titles abounds, so if you’re interested in hearing more about our physics and astrophysics titles, sign up with ease here: http://press.princeton.edu/subscribe/ Your email address will remain confidential!

We’ll see everyone at the meeting of the American Astronomical Society January 6-10 in Long Beach, CA. Come visit us at booth 301!

The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein captures his journey to the Far East while dealing with the consequences of celebrity in turbulent political times — PUBLICATION DAY

THE COLLECTED PAPERS OF ALBERT EINSTEIN
Volume 13: The Berlin Years: Writings
& Correspondence, January 1922—March 1923, Documentary Edition

Edited by Diana Kormos Buchwald, József Illy, Ze’ev Rosenkranz, & Tilman Sauer

Princeton University Press, the Einstein Papers Project at California Institute of Technology, and the Albert
Einstein Archives at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
, are pleased to be publishing the latest volume in the massively authoritative Einstein Papers Project THE COLLECTED PAPERS OF ALBERT EINSTEIN: Volume 13: The Berlin Years: Writings & Correspondence, January 1922—March 23, Documentary Edition on September 25, 2012.  When in the fall of 1922 it was announced that Albert Einstein had won the Nobel Prize in Physics, after more than a decade of nominations, Einstein was on a steamer headed for Japan. Although he was unofficially made aware of the upcoming award, he decided to leave Berlin, and makes no mention of the award in his detailed and poetic Travel Diary of his trip to the Far East, Palestine, and Spain, published here in its entirety for the first time. Together with a correspondence of 1,000 letters—most of which were never published before—with numerous colleagues, friends, and family members, the volume presents a rich trove of documents, central to understanding this period in Einstein’s life and work, heavily marked by the assassination of Germany’s foreign minister, his friend Walther Rathenau. As Einstein himself professed, the trip was an escape from the tense atmosphere in Berlin and rumored threats against his own life, as well as the fulfillment of his long-held desire to visit Japan.

Aside from his personal and political activities documented here, among which are his visit to Paris and his involvement in the League of Nations, Einstein was still heavily engaged in major current issues in theoretical physics. Thus, from among the thirty-six writings covering these fifteen months, a paper on the Stern-Gerlach experiment, written with Paul Ehrenfest, shows with uncompromising clarity that the experiment posed a problem that could not be solved by contemporary quantum theory and anticipates, in a sense, what later would become known as the quantum measurement problem.  In relativity theory, Einstein continued to be concerned with its cosmological implications, and with the extent to which Mach’s principle would be vindicated in special solutions.  He also began to investigate the possibilities and restrictions that relativity implied for a unified field theory of the gravitational and electromagnetic fields.  During periods of leisure on board the steamer on his return trip from Japan, he completed a paper which further developed Arthur S. Eddington’s recent reinterpretation of relativity as being based solely on the concept of the so-called affine connection.

THE COLLECTED PAPERS OF ALBERT EINSTEIN

Diana Kormos Buchwald, General Editor

THE COLLECTED PAPERS OF ALBERT EINSTEIN is one of the most ambitious publishing ventures ever undertaken in the documentation of the history of science.  Selected from among more than 40,000 documents contained in the personal collection of Albert Einstein (1879-1955), and 20,000 Einstein and Einstein-related documents discovered by the editors since the beginning of the Einstein Papers Project,  The Collected Papers will provide the first complete picture of a massive written legacy that ranges from Einstein’s first work on the special and general theories of relativity and the origins of quantum theory, to expressions of his profound concern with international cooperation and reconciliation, civil liberties, education, Zionism, pacifism, and disarmament.  The series will contain over 14,000 documents and will fill close to thirty volumes.  Sponsored by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Princeton University Press, the project is located at and supported by the California Institute of Technology, and will make available a monumental collection of primary material. The Albert Einstein Archives is located at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

ABOUT THE SERIES

Thirteen volumes covering Einstein’s life and work up to his forty-fourth birthday have so far been published. They present more than 300 writings and 5,000 letters written by and to Einstein. Every document in The Collected Papers appears in the language in which it was written, while the introduction, headnotes, footnotes, and other scholarly apparatus is in English.  Upon release of each volume, Princeton University Press also publishes an English translation of previously untranslated non-English documents.

About the Editors:
At the California Institute of Technology, Diana Kormos Buchwald is professor of history; József Illy, Ze’ev Rosenkranz, and Tilman Sauer are senior researchers in history

If you’re ever in Brooklyn and want/need some drink and knowledge, check out the Secret Science Club as profiled in the New York Times

We were thrilled to read Jennifer Schuessler’s terrific story on the popular phenomenon of bar lecturing (and not in an intoxicated way, but a learned way!)  Check out her story here.  It looks like alcohol and science is a powerful (and successful) formula. 

The Press is pleased to have had the pleasure of working with the Secret Science Club as they’ve hosted talks for a handful of our science authors.  In particular, I was delighted to see friend-of-the-Press Dorian Devins at the SSC getting a mention!

New Physics & Astrophysics Catalog

We invite you to view our new 2012 physics and astrophysics catalog at:
http://press.princeton.edu/catalogs/physics12.pdf

Be sure to check out all of the wonderful series featured in this catalog, including In a Nutshell and Princeton Frontiers in Physics, as well as our great textbook options. New and forthcoming titles include How to Build a Habitable Planet by Charles H. Langmuir & Wally Broecker, Strange New Worlds by Ray Jayawardhana, Reinventing Discovery by Michael Nielsen, The Ultimate Book of Saturday Science by Neil A. Downie, and more. Many new paperbacks and ebooks are also available. It’s easy to download the catalog to your smartphone or tablet for browsing.

We’re at this year’s AAS meeting in Austin, TX. Stop by and visit us at booth #211.

Astronomer Ray Jayawardhana will discuss his new book STRANGE NEW WORLDS at the American Museum of Natural History/Hayden Planetarium on October 3

If you are in the New York City area this Monday, October 3, please come out to the Amercan Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium to see author and astronomer Ray Jayawardhana discuss his new book STRANGE NEW WORLDS: The Search for Alien Planets and life beyond Our Solar SystemThe event begins at 7:30 PM for the Hayden’s renowned Fronters in Astrophysics lecture series.

To whet your appetite, check out Ray’s recent talk at Google below.

Astronomer Avi Loeb describes how the first stars and galaxies formed

Before we get all the way back to the Big Bang, there may have been a time when stars like our Sun and galaxies like our Milky Way did not exist, because the Universe was denser than it is now. Harvard professor Avi Loeb explores how and when the first stars and galaxies formed in this talk taped at the Santa Barbara Museum of Science.

We are the publishers of Loeb’s recent book titled, appropriately enough, How Did the First Stars and Galaxies Form?

Jacob Schiach is almost as excited as we are about Reinventing Discovery

Even though the cover is reversed, that galley is easily recognizable as Reinventing Discovery by Michael Nielsen. We expect finished books in October, but so far most of the reactions have been, well, you can see for yourself…

Via our friends at Citizen Science Quarterly.