Twenty Worlds

Thirty years ago the only planets we knew were the ones orbiting our own Sun; we now know of thousands of other worlds orbiting distant stars.

In this book astronomer Niall Deacon journeys to twenty of these globes: from giant, blisteringly hot planets orbiting close to their parent stars to planets that float through the cold wilderness of space alone, and from dead stars shredding asteroids to worlds made of diamond and even planets that may be similar to the Earth. Deacon also takes in the latest exoplanet discoveries, and explains how astronomers have come to learn so much about these strange and distant worlds. Twenty Worlds tells a sweeping story, of real planets around other stars, and appeals to the wide audience for popular science and astronomy.

Published by Reaktion Books.

Praise for Twenty Worlds

"this is the perfect book to introduce exoplanet science . . . But Twenty Worlds is not really for those who want to find out more about any one of the planets covered. Rather it reveals what each of them represents to the field in general. Its real value is in the analogies that Deacon uses to clarify difficult and complex exoplanetary scientific methods to the reader. Nowhere will you find a more descriptive book to understand the processes used to learn about the existence of these worlds." BBC Sky at Night Magazine

"This is a truly entertaining and informative book, but the reason I’m giving it the full five stars has as much to do with the refreshing novelty of the author’s style as anything else. There’s novelty in the subject-matter too – the wide variety of recently discovered exoplanets orbiting other stars . . . He’s a professional astronomer too, though you wouldn’t guess that from his writing style, which is as straightforward and lucid as science writing gets."