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by Mark Knox
Formerly Lynda.com, LinkedIn Learning's video tutorials out-class almost anything you can find on YouTube.Read More
Perseverance and Ingenuity
Once Upon a Time I Lived on Mars: Space, Exploration, and Life on Earth
When it comes to Mars, the focus is often on how to get there: the rockets, the engines, the fuel. But upon arrival, what will it actually be like? In 2013, Kate Greene moved to Mars. That is, along with five fellow crew members, she embarked on NASA's first HI-SEAS mission, a simulated Martian environment located on the slopes of Mauna Loa in Hawai'i. For four months she lived, worked, and slept in an isolated geodesic dome, conducting a sleep study on her crew mates and gaining incredible insight into human behavior in tight quarters, as well as the nature of boredom, dreams, and isolation that arise amidst the promise of scientific progress and glory. In Once Upon a Time I Lived on Mars, Greene draws on her experience to contemplate humanity's broader impulse to explore. The result is a twinned story of space and life, of the standard, able-bodied astronaut and Greene's brother's disability, of the lag time of interplanetary correspondences and the challenges of a long-distance marriage, of freeze-dried egg powder and fresh pineapple, of departure and return.
Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void
Space is a world devoid of the things we need to live and thrive: air, gravity, hot showers, fresh produce, privacy, beer. Space exploration is in some ways an exploration of what it means to be human. How much can a person give up? How much weirdness can they take? What happens to you when you can't walk for a year? have sex? smell flowers? What happens if you vomit in your helmet during a space walk? Is it possible for the human body to survive a bailout at 17,000 miles per hour? To answer these questions, space agencies set up all manner of quizzical and startlingly bizarre space simulations. As Mary Roach discovers, it's possible to preview space without ever leaving Earth. From the space shuttle training toilet to a crash test of NASA's new space capsule (cadaver filling in for astronaut), Roach takes us on a surreally entertaining trip into the science of life in space and space on Earth.
The Secret Lives of Planets
An insider’s guide to astronomy reveals everything you need to know about the planets, their satellites, and our place in the solar system.
We have the impression that the solar system is perfectly regular like a clock or a planetarium instrument. On a short timescale it is. But, seen in a longer perspective, the planets, and their satellites, have exciting lives, full of events.
For example, did you know that Saturn’s moon, Titan, boasts lakes which contain liquid methane surrounded by soaring hills and valleys, exactly as the earth did before life evolved on our fragile planet? Or that Mercury is the shyest planet? Or, that Mars’s biggest volcano is one hundred times the size of Earth’s, or that its biggest canyon is ten times the depth of the Grand Canyon, or that it wasn’t always red, but blue?
The culmination of a lifetime of astronomy and wonder, Paul Murdin’s enchanting new book reveals everything you ever wanted to know about the planets, their satellites, and our place in the solar system.
The Search for Life on Mars
With a focus of the Perseverance rover mission, here is the "Quintessential account of one of humanity’s most intriguing quests" (Pail Halpern, Medium), "A remarkable, timely, and up-to-date account of Mars exploration" (Leonard David, "Space Insider," Space.com).
From The War of the Worlds to The Martian and to the amazing photographs sent back by the robotic rovers Curiosity and Opportunity, Mars has excited our imaginations as the most likely other habitat for life in the solar system. Now the Red Planet is coming under scrutiny as never before. As new missions are scheduled to launch this year from the United States and China, and with the European Space Agency's ExoMars mission now scheduled for 2022, this book recounts in full the greatest scientific detective story ever.
For the first time in forty years, the missions heading to Mars will look for signs of ancient life on the world next door. It is the latest chapter in an age‑old quest that encompasses myth, false starts, red herrings, and bizarre coincidences—as well as triumphs and heartbreaking failures. This book, by two journalists with deep experience covering space exploration, is the definitive story of how life's discovery has eluded us to date, and how it will be found somewhere and sometime this century. The Search for Life on Mars is based on more than a hundred interviews with experts at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and elsewhere, who share their insights and stories. While it looks back to the early Mars missions such as Viking 1 and 2, the book's focus is on the experiments and revelations from the most recent ones—including Curiosity, which continues to explore potentially habitable sites where water was once present, and the Mars Insight lander, which has recorded more than 450 marsquakes since its deployment in late 2018—as well as on the Perseverance and ExoMars rover missions ahead.
And the book looks forward to the newest, most exciting frontier of all: the day, not too far away, when humans will land, make the Red Planet their home, and look for life directly.
The Sirens of Mars
"Sarah Stewart Johnson interweaves her own coming-of-age story as a planetary scientist with a vivid history of the exploration of Mars in this celebration of human curiosity, passion, and perseverance."--Alan Lightman, author of Einstein's Dreams
Mars was once similar to Earth, but today there are no rivers, no lakes, no oceans. Coated in red dust, the terrain is bewilderingly empty. And yet multiple spacecraft are circling Mars, sweeping over Terra Sabaea, Syrtis Major, the dunes of Elysium, and Mare Sirenum--on the brink, perhaps, of a staggering find, one that would inspire humankind as much as any discovery in the history of modern science.
In this beautifully observed, deeply personal book, Georgetown scientist Sarah Stewart Johnson tells the story of how she and other researchers have scoured Mars for signs of life, transforming the planet from a distant point of light into a world of its own.
Johnson's fascination with Mars began as a child in Kentucky, turning over rocks with her father and looking at planets in the night sky. She now conducts fieldwork in some of Earth's most hostile environments, such as the Dry Valleys of Antarctica and the salt flats of Western Australia, developing methods for detecting life on other worlds. Here, with poetic precision, she interlaces her own personal journey--as a female scientist and a mother--with tales of other seekers, from Percival Lowell, who was convinced that a utopian society existed on Mars, to Audouin Dollfus, who tried to carry out astronomical observations from a stratospheric balloon. In the process, she shows how the story of Mars is also a story about Earth: This other world has been our mirror, our foil, a telltale reflection of our own anxieties and yearnings.
Empathetic and evocative, The Sirens of Mars offers an unlikely natural history of a place where no human has ever set foot, while providing a vivid portrait of our quest to defy our isolation in the cosmos.
We Have No Idea
Prepare to learn everything we still don't know about our strange and mysterious universe from the authors of Frequently Asked Questions About the Universe
Humanity's understanding of the physical world is full of gaps. Not tiny little gaps you can safely ignore --there are huge yawning voids in our basic notions of how the world works. PHD Comics creator Jorge Cham and particle physicist Daniel Whiteson have teamed up to explore everything we don't know about the universe: the enormous holes in our knowledge of the cosmos. Armed with their popular infographics, cartoons, and unusually entertaining and lucid explanations of science, they give us the best answers currently available for a lot of questions that are still perplexing scientists, including:
* Why does the universe have a speed limit?
* Why aren't we all made of antimatter?
* What (or who) is attacking Earth with tiny, superfast particles?
* What is dark matter, and why does it keep ignoring us?
It turns out the universe is full of weird things that don't make any sense. But Cham and Whiteson make a compelling case that the questions we can't answer are as interesting as the ones we can.
This fully illustrated introduction to the biggest mysteries in physics also helpfully demystifies many complicated things we do know about, from quarks and neutrinos to gravitational waves and exploding black holes. With equal doses of humor and delight, Cham and Whiteson invite us to see the universe as a possibly boundless expanse of uncharted territory that's still ours to explore.
Space 2069: After Apollo: Back to the Moon, to Mars, and Beyond
Half a century after Apollo 11 we have still not returned to the Moon, but that is about to change. The thirteenth person to walk on the Moon could soon be part of a crew establishing a base on the lip of a crater at the lunar south pole. The discovery of ice in the eternal shadows of the polar regions transforms our ability to live on the Moon. From bases on the Moon we can make the long, lonely and dangerous voyage to Mars, where there is also ice. The obstacles are many, not least the fragilities of the human body. And what type of world would the first Mars explorers find?
Black Hole Survival Guide
Throughout her career, astrophysicist Janna Levin has focused, alongside her research, on making the science she studies not just accessible, but, perhaps more important, intriguing to the nonscientist. And that is what she has done again here, helping us to understand the black hole: perhaps the most opaque theoretical construct ever imagined by physicists. She explains how their existence came to be proven decades after they were first predicted in Einstein's 1915 general theory of relativity. And she explores the ways in which what we know about them has changed our most basic understanding of the galaxy, the universe, the whole expanse of reality that we inhabit. Lively, engaging and utterly unique, Black Hole Survival Guide is not just informative. It is as well, a wonderful read from first to last.
The Sky Atlas
The Sky Atlas unveils some of the most beautiful maps and charts ever created during humankind's quest to map the skies above us. This richly illustrated treasury showcases the finest examples of celestial cartography—a glorious art often overlooked by modern map books—as well as medieval manuscripts, masterpiece paintings, ancient star catalogs, antique instruments, and other curiosities.
This is the sky as it has never been presented before: the realm of stars and planets, but also of gods, devils, weather wizards, flying sailors, ancient aliens, mythological animals, and rampaging spirits.
• Packed with celestial maps, illustrations, and stories of places, people, and creatures that different cultures throughout history have observed or imagined in the heavens
• Readers are taken on a tour of star-obsessed cultures around the world, learning about Tibetan sky burials, star-covered Inuit dancing coats, Mongolian astral prophets and Sir William Herschel's 1781 discovery of Uranus, the first planet to be found since antiquity.
• A gorgeous book that delights stargazers and map lovers alike
With thrilling stories and gorgeous artwork, this remarkable atlas explores our fascination with the sky across time and cultures to form an extraordinary chronicle of cosmic imagination and discovery.
The Sky Atlas is a wonderful book for map lovers, history buffs, and stargazers, but also for those who are intrigued by the many wonderful and bizarre ways in which humans have sought to understand the cosmos and our place in it.
• A unique map book that expands beyond the terrestrial and into the celestial
• A wonderful gift for map lovers, obscure-history fans, mythology buffs, and astrology and astronomy lovers
• Great for those who enjoyed What We See in the Stars: An Illustrated Tour of the Night Sky by Kelsey Oseid, Maps by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski, and Atlas of Remote Islands: Fifty Islands I Have Never Set Foot On and Never Will by Judith Schalansky
How to Astronaut
A wildly entertaining account of the rules, lessons, procedures, and experiences of space travel, How to Astronaut is a book that will appeal to anyone— male or female, young or old—with even a passing interest in space. Written by Col. Terry Virts, a former astronaut, space shuttle pilot, and International Space Station commander who spent 200 consecutive days in space, it answers all of our curious questions and much more: Here’s how to survive that first brush with weightlessness (in the so-called vomit comet); the nearly indescribable thrill of a first blastoff; managing the daily tasks—eating, bathing, doing chores, going to the bathroom— that are anything but ordinary when you’re orbiting the earth at 17,000 miles per hour; how to don your space suit and head out to work on a spacewalk (“alone in the vacuum”); how to prepare for emergencies of all kinds, from managing “space brain” to dealing with a dead crew member; and what it’s like to return to Earth, including something as seemingly simple as walking after spending six months in zero-g.
A born storyteller, Virts reveals the often-untold side of space travel in 51 short chapters filled with a mix of you-are-there detail, a dose of science made simple, and the inherent drama of describing something few will ever know firsthand.
How to Die in Space
A brilliant and breathtakingly vivid tour of the universe, describing the physics of the dangerous, the deadly, and the scary in the cosmos.
So you’ve fallen in love with space and now you want to see it for yourself, huh? You want to witness the birth of a star, or visit the black hole at the center of our galaxy? You want to know if there are aliens out there, or how to travel through a wormhole? You want the wonders of the universe revealed before your very eyes?
Well stop, because all that will probably kill you.
From mundane comets in our solar backyard to exotic remnants of the Big Bang, from dying stars to young galaxies, the universe may be beautiful, but it’s treacherous. Through metaphors and straightforward language, it breathes life into astrophysics, unveiling how particles and forces and fields interplay to create the drama in the heavens above us.
The Zoologist's Guide to the Galaxy
From a noted Cambridge zoologist, a wildly fun and scientifically sound exploration of what alien life must be like, using universal laws that govern life on Earth and in space.
Scientists are confident that life exists elsewhere in the universe. Yet rather than taking a realistic approach to what aliens might be like, we imagine that life on other planets is the stuff of science fiction. The time has come to abandon our fantasies of space invaders and movie monsters and place our expectations on solid scientific footing.
But short of aliens landing in New York City, how do we know what they are like? Using his own expert understanding of life on Earth and Darwin's theory of evolution--which applies throughout the universe--Cambridge zoologist Dr. Arik Kershenbaum explains what alien life must be like: how these creatures will move, socialize, and communicate. For example, by observing fish whose electrical pulses indicate social status, we can see that other planets might allow for communication by electricity. As there was evolutionary pressure to wriggle along a sea floor, Earthling animals tend to have left/right symmetry; on planets where creatures evolved in midair or in soupy tar, they might be lacking any symmetry at all.
Might there be an alien planet with supersonic animals? A moon where creatures have a language composed of smells? Will aliens scream with fear, act honestly, or have technology? The Zoologist's Guide to the Galaxy answers these questions using the latest science to tell the story of how life really works, on Earth and in space.
The Last Stargazers
The story of the people who see beyond the stars--an astronomy book for adults still spellbound by the night sky.
Humans from the earliest civilizations through today have craned their necks each night, using the stars to orient themselves in the large, strange world around them. Stargazing is a pursuit that continues to fascinate us: from Copernicus to Carl Sagan, astronomers throughout history have spent their lives trying to answer the biggest questions in the universe. Now, award-winning astronomer Emily Levesque shares the stories of modern-day stargazers in this new nonfiction release, the people willing to adventure across high mountaintops and to some of the most remote corners of the planet, all in the name of science.
From the lonely quiet of midnight stargazing to tall tales of wild bears loose in the observatory, The Last Stargazersis a love letter to astronomy and an affirmation of the crucial role that humans can and must play in the future of scientific discovery.
In this sweeping work of narrative science, Levesque shows how astronomers in this scrappy and evolving field are going beyond the machines to infuse creativity and passion into the stars and space and inspires us all to peer skyward in pursuit of the universe's secrets.
Space at the Speed of Light
From the big bang to black holes, this fast-paced illustrated tour of time and space for the astro-curious unlocks the science of the stars to reveal fascinating theories, surprising discoveries, and ongoing mysteries in modern astronomy and astrophysics.
Before the big bang, time, space, and matter didn't exist. In the 14 billion years since, scientists have pointed their telescopes upward, peering outward in space and backward in time, developing and refining theories to explain the weird and wonderful phenomena they observed. Through these observations, we now understand concepts like the size of the universe (still expanding), the distance to the next-nearest star from earth (Alpha Centauri, 26 trillion miles) and what drives the formation of elements (nuclear fusion), planets and galaxies (gravity), and black holes (gravitational collapse). But are these cosmological questions definitively answered or is there more to discover?
Oxford University astrophysicist and popular YouTube personality Dr. Becky Smethurst presents everything you need to know about the universe in ten accessible and engagingly illustrated lessons. In Space at the Speed of Light: The History of 14 Billion Years for People Short on Time, she guides you through fundamental questions, both answered and unanswered, posed by space scientists. Why does gravity matter? How do we know the big bang happened? What is dark matter? Do aliens exist? Why is the sky dark at night? If you have ever looked up at night and wondered how it all works, you will find answers--and many more questions--in this pocket-sized tour of the universe!
Ask an Astronaut
Was it fun to do a space walk? How squashed were you in the capsule on the way back? What were your feelings as you looked down on Earth for the first time? Were you ever scared? Where to next -- the Moon, Mars, or beyond?
Based on his historic mission to the International Space Station, Ask an Astronaut is Tim Peake's guide to life in space, and his answers to the thousands of questions he has been asked since his return to Earth. With explanations ranging from the mundane -- how do you wash your clothes or go to the bathroom while in orbit? -- to the profound -- what's the point? -- all written in Tim's characteristically warm style, Tim shares his thoughts on every aspect of space exploration.
From training for the mission to launch, to his historic spacewalk, to re-entry, he reveals for readers of all ages the cutting-edge science behind his groundbreaking experiments, and the wonders of daily life on board the International Space Station. The public was invited to submit questions using the hashtag #askanastronaut, and a selection are answered by Tim in the book, accompanied with illustrations, diagrams, and never-before-seen photos.
AAPI Heritage Month: Kids Books for Younger Readers
A Big Mooncake for Little Star
Pat, pat, pat...
Little Star's soft feet tiptoed to the Big Mooncake.
Little Star loves the delicious Mooncake that she bakes with her mama. But she's not supposed to eat any yet! What happens when she can't resist a nibble?
In this stunning picture book that shines as bright as the stars in the sky, Newbery Honor author Grace Lin creates a heartwarming original story that explains phases of the moon.
This acclaimed picture book from two award-winning creators about connecting across generational and language differences shows that sometimes you don't need words to find common ground.When a young boy visits his grandfather, their lack of a common language leads to confusion, frustration, and silence. But as they sit down to draw together, something magical happens -- with a shared love of art and storytelling, the two form a bond that goes beyond words.
With spare text by Minh Lê and luminous illustrations by Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat, this stirring story about reaching across barriers will be cherished for years to come.
Cilla Lee-Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire
Priscilla "Cilla" Lee-Jenkins is on a tight deadline. Her baby sister is about to be born, and Cilla needs to become a bestselling author before her family forgets all about her. So she writes about what she knows best—herself! Stories from her bestselling memoir, Cilla Lee-Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire, include:
- How she dealt with being bald until she was five
- How she overcame her struggles with reading
- How family traditions with her Grandma and Grandpa Jenkins and her Chinese grandparents, Nai Nai and Ye Ye, are so different
Debut author Susan Tan has written a novel bursting with love and humor, as told through a bright, irresistible biracial protagonist who will win your heart and make you laugh.
Apple Pie 4th of July
No one wants Chinese food on the Fourth of July, I say. We're in apple-pie America, and my parents are cooking chow mein! . . . They just don't get it. Americans do not eat Chinese food on the Fourth of July. Right?
Shocked that her parents are cooking Chinese food to sell in the family store on this all-American holiday, a feisty Chinese-American girl tries to tell her mother and father how things really are. But as the parade passes by and fireworks light the sky, she learns a lesson of her own.
This award-winning author-illustrator team returns with a lighthearted look at the very American experience of mixed cultures.
Meet Yasmin! Yasmin is a spirited second-grader who's always on the lookout for those "aha" moments to help her solve life's little problems. Taking inspiration from her surroundings and her big imagination, she boldly faces any situation, assuming her imagination doesn't get too big, of course! A creative thinker and curious explorer, Yasmin and her multi-generational Pakistani American family will delight and inspire readers.
Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas
"In this Chinese American retelling of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears," a careless Goldy Luck wreaks havoc on the home of a family of panda bears. She eats up the littlest panda's rice porridge, breaks his rocking chair, and rumples all the blankets on his futon. When Goldy takes responsibility for her actions, she makes a new friend (and a whole plate of turnip cakes!) just in time for Chinese New Year."
Ohana Means Family
Join the family, or ohana, as they farm taro for poi to prepare for a traditional luau celebration with a poetic text in the style of The House That Jack Built.
"This is the land that's never been sold, where work the hands, so wise and old, that reach through the water, clear and cold, into the mud to pick the taro to make the poi for our ohana's luau."
Acclaimed illustrator and animator Kenard Pak's light-filled, dramatic illustrations pair exquisitely with Ilima Loomis' text to celebrate Hawaiian land and culture.
Bilal Cooks Daal
Six-year-old Bilal is excited to help his dad make his favorite food of all-time: daal! The slow-cooked lentil dish from South Asia requires lots of ingredients and a whole lot of waiting. Bilal wants to introduce his friends to daal. They’ve never tried it! As the day goes on, the daal continues to simmer, and more kids join Bilal and his family, waiting to try the tasty dish. And as time passes, Bilal begins to wonder: Will his friends like it as much as he does?
This debut picture book by Aisha Saeed, with charming illustrations by Anoosha Syed, uses food as a means of bringing a community together to share in each other’s family traditions.
The Name Jar
Being the new kid in school is hard enough, but what about when nobody can pronounce your name? Having just moved from Korea, Unhei is anxious that American kids will like her. So instead of introducing herself on the first day of school, she tells the class that she will choose a name by the following week. Her new classmates are fascinated by this no-name girl and decide to help out by filling a glass jar with names for her to pick from. But while Unhei practices being a Suzy, Laura, or Amanda, one of her classmates comes to her neighborhood and discovers her real name and its special meaning. On the day of her name choosing, the name jar has mysteriously disappeared. Encouraged by her new friends, Unhei chooses her own Korean name and helps everyone pronounce it—Yoon-Hey.
A Different Pond
A 2018 Caldecott Honor Book that Kirkus Reviews calls "a must-read for our times," A Different Pond is an unforgettable story about a simple event - a long-ago fishing trip. Graphic novelist Thi Bui and acclaimed poet Bao Phi deliver a powerful, honest glimpse into a relationship between father and son - and between cultures, old and new. As a young boy, Bao and his father awoke early, hours before his father's long workday began, to fish on the shores of a small pond in Minneapolis. Unlike many other anglers, Bao and his father fished for food, not recreation. A successful catch meant a fed family. Between hope-filled casts, Bao's father told him about a different pond in their homeland of Vietnam. Thi Bui's striking, evocative art paired with Phi's expertly crafted prose has earned this powerful picture books six starred reviews and numerous awards.
Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen
Eight-year-old Jasmine Toguchi is a flamingo fan, tree climber, and top-notch mess-maker!
She's also tired of her big sister, Sophie, always getting to do things first. For once, Jasmine wishes SHE could do something before Sophie—something special, something different. The New Year approaches, and as the Toguchi family gathers in Los Angeles to celebrate, Jasmine is jealous that her sister gets to help roll mochi balls by hand with the women. Her mom says that Jasmine is still too young to join in, so she hatches a plan to help the men pound the mochi rice instead. Surely her sister has never done THAT before.
But pounding mochi is traditionally reserved for boys. And the mochi hammer is heavier than it looks. Can Jasmine build her case and her mochi-making muscles in time for New Year's Day?
Eyes That Kiss in the Corners
This lyrical, stunning picture book tells a story about learning to love and celebrate your Asian-shaped eyes, in the spirit of Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry, and is a celebration of diversity.
A young Asian girl notices that her eyes look different from her peers'. They have big, round eyes and long lashes. She realizes that her eyes are like her mother's, her grandmother's, and her little sister's. They have eyes that kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea, crinkle into crescent moons, and are filled with stories of the past and hope for the future.
Drawing from the strength of these powerful women in her life, she recognizes her own beauty and discovers a path to self-love and empowerment. This powerful, poetic picture book will resonate with readers of all ages.