Astronomy fans: this giveaway is for you!
Chronicle Books just published The Planets: Photographs from the Archives of NASA, written by Nirmala Nataraj and with a preface by Bill Nye. I mentioned it in our Stack Overflow about coffee table books last week. It features eye-catching photos from our solar system, and Chronicle Books is giving away three copies to lucky GeekDad winners. Each copy will include a bookplate signed by Bill Nye.
First, though, a few of the images from the book:
Io drifts across the picturesque backdrop of Jupiter’s clouds in this image from Cassini taken on January 1, 2001. Although Io looks like it’s directly interacting with Jupiter, the planet and its moon are separated by 217,480 miles (350,000 kilometers), the equivalent of 2.5 Jupiter-size planets. Io, known for its massive volcanic eruptions, is one of Jupiter’s best-known moons, but the giant planet has a total of sixty-seven known moons, the majority of which are less than 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) in diameter.
The above photo (and a few others of Jupiter’s moons) was one of my favorites from the book, because it shows just how enormous Jupiter really is.
This 2016 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter image provides a view of barchan sand dunes, which is the term for any crescent-shaped dune. Common in Earth’s deserts, barchan sand dunes are created when the wind blows across the landscape from one direction. The idiosyncratic shape of these Martian dunes suggests two intersecting wind currents from different directions.
There are, of course, plenty of photos of entire planets hanging in the black emptiness of space, but there are also gorgeous shots of landscapes and features, like the sand dunes above.
Iran’s Great Salt Desert, Dasht-e Kavir, is pictured in this false-color composite image (in infrared, red, and green wavelengths) taken by Landsat 7, which is part of the longest-running program for satellite imagery of Earth. The massive desert is filled with mud flats and salt marshes. NASA’s World Wind project allows viewers to observe 3-D images taken by Landsat 7.
And here’s one more, this time of our own planet. There are many photos of Earth in The Planets, showing us views that we don’t normally get to see.
That’s just a small taste of what’s included in The Planets, which features over 200 images from NASA archives. If you’d like to win a copy of the book, click here to enter the giveaway!
Note: The giveaway will be administered by Chronicle Books. Contest is open from December 4 to December 11. Chronicle Books provided a review copy of The Planets.