THE PLANETS is Dava Sobel's sweeping look at our heavenly galaxy. In the spirit of Longitude and Galileo's Daughter, Sobel once again brings science and history deftly to life as she explores the origins of the planets and reveals the exotic environments that exist in each of these fascinating alien worlds. After the huge national and international success of Longitude and Galileo's Daughter, Dava Sobel tells the human story of the nine planets of our solar system. THE PLANETS tells the story of each member of our solar family, from their discovery, both mythic and historic, to the latest data from the modern era's robotic space probes and images from the Hubble Space Telescope. Whether revealing what hides behind Venus' cocoon of acid clouds, describing Jupiter's 'Technicolor lightning bolts and shimmering sheets of auroras,' or capturing first-hand the excitement at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory when the first pictures from Voyager were beamed to earth, Dava Sobel's unique tour of the solar family is filled with fascination and poetry. In lyrical prose THE PLANETS gives a breathtaking, close-up perspective on those heavenly bodies that have captured the imagination of humanity since that first glimpse at the glittering night skies. This is an extraordinary book of science, history, biography and storytelling. Timely and timeless, THE PLANETS will engage and delight as it unravels the mysteries of the cosmos.From the Compact Disc edition.