JOurney to the centre of the earth:
Our planet appears tranquil from outer space. And yet the arcs of volcanoes, the earthquake zones and the auroral glow rippling above our heads are testimony to something remarkable happening inside…
For thousands of years the subterranean world was alien, perhaps even the gateway to Hell itself, it was explained in legend and myth. Only in recent times has the brave new science of seismology emerged. One hundred and fifty years after the extraordinary imaginative feat of Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth, David Whitehouse embarks on a voyage of scientific discovery into the heart of our world.
Whitehouse’s book encompasses the history of our planet and the latest findings about its inner core. We watch as supercomputers convert signals from the ground into three-dimensional scans of subterranean continents, visit laboratories where scientists attempt to reproduce the intense conditions at the centre of the Earth, travel down the throat of a volcano, look into the deepest hole ever drilled.
Today's scientists are uncovering a bizarre world beneath our feet, far stranger than anyone had ever imagined. Inside the Earth is a place where rock acts like plastic dragging the continents apart and then forcing them together raising giant mountain ranges. Storms rage within a sea of white-hot metal in the outer core, vast plumes of rock rise from the Earth's core spawning giant volcanoes, giant slabs from the surface sink like enormous battleships, and iron crystals the size of cities grow in our planet's heart of iron which is almost the size of the Moon. Motions within the molten core - as hot as the surface of the Sun - produce a magnetic field that shelters every living thing above.
We know more about the distant planets and stars than we do about the centre of the Earth. It is time for a modern retelling of Verne’s famous tale, this time with the benefit of the science we have done in the intervening years. This book comes at the right time because recent discoveries and new equipment are revealing a new and even stranger world beneath our feet. The Earth has been a busy place since it was formed.
Weidenfeld & Nicholson/ Orion UK (WEL) to be published February 2015
Material: final edited manuscript.
‘A treasure trove of science, speculation and anecdote about our star. Whitehouse touches on everything from the birth of the sun in a cold interstellar cloud to its predicted death as a bloated red giant. He covers the sunspot cycle and the nature of auroras, the solar neutrino mystery and the puzzle of coronal heating. Whitehouse appears to have explored every possible avenue, and I can only guess at the enormous amount of research this must have required ’ New Scientist
‘A spectacularly detailed written portrait of the Sun: rife with historical and scientific details.’ The Planetarian
‘Outstanding’ The Daily Telegraph
‘A staggering range of content… offering a plethora of facts and a fascinating read.’ Good Book Guide.
The Sun is the Rosetta Stone of the Universe – understand it and you understand almost everything. It sustains life on Earth and shapes our understanding of ourselves. It is the most powerful and awe-inspiring phenomenon we will ever encounter. We have defied it, created myths to understand it and celebrated it in music and art. In this fascinating and groundbreaking account, David Whitehouse skilfully interweaves science, philosophy, religion, history and art to form a comprehensive biography of our nearest star.
Earlier version published by (all rights now reverted and updated version available):
John Wiley UK
Pearson Education Benelux Netherlands
Naklada Ljevak Biblit Croatia
Whistler Publishing Korea
Material: Previous English edition (344pp). Author has brought the text completely up to date.
A tour-de-force, utterly compelling. Whitehouse is terrific.’ Financial Times
‘Intriguing, engaging’ The Sunday Telegraph
‘The author’s brimming passion for his subject is obvious…this is an excellent prospect for the many people who enjoyed Dava Sobel’s Longitude and deserves to be widely read.’ The Guardian
‘This must surely be the most wide-ranging book on Earth’s nearest neighbour ever written. A great book … Whitehouse writes on all subjects with confidence and clarity…This is by no means a book only for astronomers or even those interested in the sciences. There is much here to interest art historians, readers of pre-20th century literature, psychiatrists and biographers.’ The BooksellerThe moon has been the earth’s, and man’s, constant companion since the dawn of time. We have all seen it, but how well do we really know it? Reaching back into prehistory, retelling myths and legends and looking forward to the future, the moon’s story has at last been drawn together in David Whitehouse’s brilliant biography.
Headline UK (Rights reverted)
Material: Previous English edition (320pp). Author has brought the text completely up to date.