|Model Worlds Dava made a shoebox model of the Solar System when she was a child. In this recreation the past, present, and future co-exist. Most of the planet's moons were not known during Dava's childhood, but they are known today and appear on the room's wallpaper. Extrasolar planet discoveries were to come much later as well. We still have not found a system with an Earth-like planet elsewhere in our cosmos, such as the one we see through the window. But astronomers believe that systems like this exist, and such a discovery may be only weeks or months away.
|Sun The Tree of Life is featured in this planetary Garden of Eden. It flourishes under the warm rays of the eclipsing Sun. On the left, topiary "gas and dust clouds" form into disks, and then into planets. The continents of Earth slowly drift on conical bushes on the right.
|Mercury Fleet-footed Mercury runs with the caduceus toward his tortoise lyre. He journeys between the world of the dead and the world of the living as he goes about his divine errands. A feather rests on the sill. Could it have fallen from Mercury's winged sandals?
|Venus Since ancient times Venus has been the subject of myths in many cultures. Monuments have been dedicated to this bright Morning Star and Evening Star. Despite her reputation as the goddess of love and beauty, she is a hellish world that regularly resurfaces itself beneath thick greenhouse gases. Lightning is thought to crackle through the clouds.
|Earth From the days of Ptolemy to the voyages of Columbus, and with the exploration of the ocean floors and study of the planet's core to the magnificent views of Earth from space, our knowledge and understanding of our home world has expanded. We know that the Earth is not at the center of the universe, as once believed, nor is it even the center of our solar system. Rather, the Earth and the other eight planets orbit the Sun, and comprise just one of almost 200 planetary systems known to exist.
|Moon A coyote howls at the full Moon from the edge of a temple honoring the Apollo spacecraft and astronauts. Snow Moon, Sap Moon, Beaver Moon, and Harvest Moon are just a few of the special names given to the full moons during the year. The Moon garden, full of fragrant flowers and white blooms, sparkles as Moon dust falls to the water's surface.
|Mars Has life ever existed on Mars? We don't know. The Martian canals once thought to crisscross the planet's surface do not exist. The frightening War of the Worlds invaders have not materialized. It is also unclear whether the famous Martian Meteorite, ALH84001 shows credible evidence of bacterial life. However, it does look as though Mars was a wet planet at one time in its history; scientists have identified what seems to be the shoreline of an ancient ocean.
|Jupiter The discovery of the Galilean moons around Jupiter helped to support the heliocentric (Sun-centered) system of Copernicus, and led to the break between astronomy and astrology. Yet Jupiter remains a bold force in both fields. It is the king of the planets, a massive, gaseous body with colorful bands of clouds that has swallowed up comets and spacecraft alike.
|Saturn The Music of the Spheres plays a Saturnian song: Holst's score of The Planets. Our familiar ringed world enters through the open doorway as Titan's orange clouds billow in the distance. Cloned Cassinis march in step on the floor.
|Uranus and Neptune Sir William Herschel discovered Uranus with a homemade, 7-foot telescope that he used in his back yard garden. The fuzzy object, first thought to be a comet, doubled the size of the known Solar System. Difficulties in pinning down Uranus's orbit led to the discovery of an even more distant world, Neptune.
|Pluto Clyde Tombaugh's cat Pluto lounges on the green rug, playing with planets and string. Ellis Island, placed within the silhouette of the Lowell Observatory where the planet Pluto was discovered, shines in the sunlight. It is a way station for aliens (the human kind) arriving from other countries. Pluto's known size has diminished over the years, sparking a debate about what constitutes a "real" planet. This controversy is likely to continue as more objects are found beyond the edges of the Solar System.
|Growing Planets The planets of the Solar System are shown as if they are flowers standing tall above the leaves.
Look for all of these beautiful artworks in
the paperback version of The Planets. Order The Planets US Edition, Paperback
Look for Lynette's artwork on the case
(the hard cover under the paper jacketshown center, below)
of both the US and UK editions of The Planets.
|Order The Planets US Edition, Hardcover
|Order The Planets UK Edition, Hardcover
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